My family and I found ourselves in sunny Philadelphia yesterday for Arcadia University‘s production of The Tempest, which just happens to be my son Marc’s Senior year production. Shakespeare always makes me hungry, so after such stellar thespian performances, we decided to stop in town for a nice dinner before we headed back home to Brooklyn.
Marc as Antonio in The Tempest (on the far right)
Where to go? Philadelphia offers such an array and variety of fabulous restaurants, but nothing quite says comfort food to me quite as eloquently as Jones Restaurant in Central Philly, one of Stephen Starr’s “theme” eateries in town. The fact that Executive Chef Steven Petrecca is married to that doyenne of fabulosity known as Jennifer Cohan, might have influenced my decision to go there, but no argument was as compelling as this:
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the incomparable Luca Petrecca! There is no way I can even start to tell you how wonderful and delicious this baby is! But I digress…
Chef Steven sent out some extraordinary mac and cheese that was so inviting, I never got a chance to take a picture. My family descended on those two bowls like a hoard of beasts, I’m sorry to say, but I can guarantee you that the mac and cheese alone was worth the trip. When the following apps of Cobb Salad, Chicken and Rock Shrimp Dumplings, and Seared Tuna Tacos, I warded them off long enough to get the picture, before those, too were devoured.
Cobb Salad (The blue cheese in combination with the bacon is what makes me wax poetic about this salad!)
Chicken and Rock Shrimp Dumplings with Sweet Soy and Chile Oil
Seared Tuna Tacos
I love the vibe at Jones, almost as much as the food and the chef, which is retro without being hipster. It’s fun in an almost kitchsy way, without being obvious, and they make a killer martini! We placed orders for comfy entrees that included Meat Loaf with Whipped Potatoes and Buttered Peas, Fried Chicken with Gravy and Waffles, and Crab Cakes with Cole Slaw and French Fries. Chef Steven was featuring a beautiful Striped Bass with Potatoes and Red Cabbage as well as Grilled Scallops with a Savory Orzo Salad, which we ordered and found to be delicious. The seafood was impeccably fresh and was delicately framed by the accompanying sides (the red cabbage for the bass and the pasta for the sweet scallops…I’m definitely trying those at home!).
Meatloaf and Gravy
Fried Chicken and WafflesCrab Cakes
Striped Bass with Potatoes and Red Cabbage
Sooooooo good! We decided we would pass on dessert, to which my girl Jennifer replied:
As if on cue, our lovely waitress, Kelly, delivered a Brownie Sundae Cake which was an outright sin. Deep dark chocolate brownie cake with a thick layer of creamy vanilla ice cream with gooey chocolate sauce and whipped cream! *SWOON*Brownie Cake
This is a stop you’ll definitely want to make the next time you find yourself in Central Philly, or maybe you’ll make the trip just because…believe me, the mac and cheese alone justifies it, the rest of it is just gravy!
Executive Chef Steven Petrecca and his main man Luca at Jones Restaurant
Jones Restaurant 7oo Chestnut St Philadelphia, PA 215 223-5663
The gorgeous Jennifer did not like the picture I posted, so I am posting this one to showcase her gorgeousness!