Last month for our anniversary N and I went to Philadelphia for the day. We had done it before a couple of years a really great time. We had also heard about a great new exhibit on Pixar at the Franklin Institute. So off we went leaving A at the sitter for a fun Anniversary date day in Philadelphia!
The Franklin Institute
Our first stop and our activity for the day, was at the Franklin Institute. The Franklin Institute is a fantastic science museum. It has a large selection of permanent exhibits and has a couple of traveling exhibits that change every few months. This summer, the exhibit is on Pixar.
The Pixar exhibit had a staggered entry time for tickets to limit the amount of people so it wouldn’t be too crowded. We headed in and saw a short film about the Pixar Studios and their movie making process. We then headed into the exhibit itself.
There was a ton of stuff to do and see!! There were many different stations to show and demonstrate the techniques and processes that go into making a digital film like Pixar does so well. They used snippets from their films to demonstrate things like lighting, painting, how to make digital grass, how to make a digital item appear round, and much, much more. We spent 3 hours in the exhibit reading all of the plaques, trying all of the visual demonstrations, watching all of the testimonials from Pixar Studios staff about their jobs and looking at all of the character models.
There was so much to do. It was really interesting and we had a lot of fun! Side note: a few days later, we watched A Bugs Life, which is one of the films that was discussed at length in the exhibit and N had never seen before. It was really cool to watch the film and see all of the little details that had been described in the exhibit.
Our next stop is a particular favorite of ours, we went there several times last year and recommended it to many friends and family members. Last year they were called Citron and Rose, but they have since rebranded and are now known as C&R Kitchen. We had not been able to get back for almost a year so we were really looking forward to it so after our great day at the Franklin Institute, we excitedly headed to C&R Kitchen for dinner.
First, we always sit at the bar for a few minutes, it worth ordering a bar appetizer or two, they are fairly cheap and we like them. They also have a number of really good specialty drinks. It is also rare for a kosher restaurant to have a setup like this so the novelty of sitting at the bar and chatting with the barkeep is fun.
This time we had a Smoked Whitefish on Crostini with a cucumber dill sauce, as the appetizer. It was quite nice and very tasty. The dill sauce added a nice brightness and the crisp crostini gave a great texture contrast.
As for our drink order, N and I don’t usually go out to bars as kosher bars are rare (basically non existent) in our area. Usually we mix our own drinks at home or drink wine or beer. So when we go to C&R Kitchen, we ask the barkeep for suggestions. This time, he had a specialty drink, a Melon Sangria. It was off menu and very limited. The barkeep told us that he likes to play around with mixed drinks and had mixed up this sangria as well as a peach one. He let us try both and happily shared his recipe with us. N and I really enjoyed both tastes but settled on the melon since the peach was a bit sweet for us. We had never had a white sangria before. When we were in Las Vegas, we had a fantastic red sangria that we had loved. So we were really happy to have the white sangria. It was light, tasty and refreshing.
Once we were seated, we enjoyed 3 appetizers.
Chicken Spring Rolls, fried but very tasty.
Crudités, which was basically tempura fried vegetables. It included veggies like carrot, broccoli, cauliflowers. We really enjoyed it. It had been a while since I had this and it had always been a favorite appetizer option of mine.
Maryland Style Cod Cakes, while the cod cakes were very good we felt like it was something N could make at home. The two sauces that it came with, tartar and C&R cocktail sauce, were quite nice though.
For our mains we chose two dishes and split them. We often do this so that we can try more dishes and enjoy a variety and ask for an extra plate so that we can share. This is the first time ever that a restaurant has noticed this and served us accordingly. We each got half of the dish in our own plates with full presentation on each. We were so pleased and delighted by this, it really added a specialness to the meal.
Mushroom Ragu with Pappardelle pasta, a vegetarian option. While the mushroom was delicious, meaty and tasty, the pasta is not homemade and tasted like generic pasta, we only ate a few scoopfuls because we knew we had one more dish coming and didn’t want to fill up. We did eat it the next day and thought it was much better day 2, go figure.
Our last dish was Tuna Steak Cajun Style with asparagus and black pepper pilaf, we loved it!! I almost wanted to lick the plate, it was that good! The tuna was cooked to perfection and had a delicious Cajun spice crust. The excellently cooked asparagus had just the slightest crunch and the rice added a lovely smooth and tasty element to balance out the plate.
We skipped dessert because we were running late and had to get home. However, N and I agreed that if we were doing it again, we would have skipped the cod cake appetizer and had a dessert.
It was a wonderful Anniversary date day! We will definitely keep these two stops on the favorites list and I will continue recommending them as great stops to my family and friends. In fact, two days after we went to Philadelphia my parents asked for suggestions for their anniversary the following week. We recommended The Franklin Institute and C&R Kitchen.