Twenty21

June 15, 2007
Cuisine: American (New)

2005 Market St, Philadelphia 19103
At N 20th St

Phone: 215-851-6262
Website: www.twenty-21.com

Rosemary Foccacia (complimentary)

Homemade Meatloaf – traditional meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mushroom jus ($15)

Jumbo Lump Crabcake – Napa cabbage, caramelized pears ($19)

Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brulée ($7)

I’m leaving Philadelphia.

The Astronomer and I are packing our bags and heading to Ho Chi Minh City for the next year to temporarily escape the grind and to see what life is like on the other side of the globe. While I’m beyond stoked about our coming adventures, I’m extremely bummed to be leaving the city I called home for the past few years.

For my farewell luncheon, my colleagues and I dined at Twenty21, which is located across the street from our building in Commerce Square. Even though Commerce Square is positioned right smack in the middle of two high rise buildings in Center City, the ambiance is surprisingly serene due to a flowing fountain and shady greenery.

Twenty21’s dining room is huge, smartly decorated, and dimly lit. We opted to dine outside because the weather was much too pleasant to be stuck inside. As we waited for our food to arrive, we nibbled on some rosemary foccacia with olive oil. The foccacia was stellar and flavorful as is, so the olive oil wasn’t necessary. We enjoyed it so much that my colleague Carol asked for seconds for the entire table.

I ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake and struck a deal with my colleague Jennifer to share her meatloaf. The crab cake, served with sautéed Napa cabbage and caramelized pears, was disappointingly bland. While it’s important to showcase the crabmeat, it’s also essential to properly season the crab cake. Jennifer and I both agreed that the sautéed cabbage was really great. The pears were good, but too thinly sliced and skimpy.

Whereas the crab cake was under-seasoned, the meatloaf was slightly over-seasoned, especially the portions sitting in the jus. I served my portion of the meatloaf on to a separate plate so I didn’t find it too salty, but rather just right. The potatoes were smooth, buttery, and extra delicious with the mushroom jus. The asparagus and mushrooms atop the meatloaf were all cooked very well.

In a celebratory mood, Jennifer and I split a crème brûlée for dessert. The sugary shell was done right, but sadly there was only a shallow layer of crème beneath. The miscalculated ratio of sugar to crème was unsatisfactory.

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