Tuesday, September 6, 2011
My sister loves trying restaurants equally as much as I do, so whether I visit her, she comes home or we go on vacation together, dining out is going to be the main agenda. The meal we shared at Derek's (4411 Main St) was in celebration of our birthdays which come a month apart. It was also a chance to try out Restaurant.com.
With Restaurant.com you can purchase a $25 gift certificate online cheaply, between $2 -$5, then you check the list of participating restaurants; which doesn't include every new Center City hotspot, but it's a pretty extensive listing. And then print the gift certificate for the chosen establishment.
Here's the thing, you can't just order a meal for $25 or less, there's a minimum to use the GC. I think our minimum purchase was $50, so it's basically like buy one entree, get one free. Which is still a pretty good deal.
Rating System - * Excellent - 4 Tines / * Great - 3 Tines / * Good - 2 Tines / * Fair - 1 Tine / * Poor - TarnishedWe went with the 3 courses for $32.99 which consists of one choice from certain items on the small plate menu, one choice of items from the large plate menu and a dessert. Not a lot to choose from in terms of the small plates, however, you could substitute for soup-
|White Bean Puree Tomato Bisque with Cream Corn and Basil - 4 Tines|
|French Onion Soup- needed croutons - 3 Tines|
|Yukon Gold Potato Gnocchi bathed in heavy cream with maytag blue cheese & fresh asparagus - the heavy cream was a bit too rich after 4 or 5 bites - 2 Tines|
|Steak & Mushroom Salad grilled twin filet mignons and portobella mushroom with roasted red peppers, grilled red onion, mixed greens, feta cheese & white balsamic vinaigrette - 2 Tines|
|Carnival Style Funnel Cake served warm with fresh strawberry sauce & vanilla ice cream , good idea, pretty, but not super scrumptious - 2 Tines|
- Bread on the table - Flat bread - 1 Tine
- Service - The air conditioning was blasting upstairs, so we sat at the downstairs bar, and the bartender did a fine job doubling as waiter - 3 Tines
- BYOB - The restaurant has full bar service, yet they still allow you to bring your own and they'll uncork and chill for you. No mandatory corking fee, but of course tip accordingly - 4 Tines By the way, my sister turned me on to a perfect, crisp, summer Sauvignon Blanc by 3 Stones New Zealand (2010) - 4 Tines
- Decor - Dark Lounge, sleek, but not terribly chic, both upstairs and downstairs - 2 Tines
- Outdoor Seating - Good space. Derek's is located far enough down Main Street that there's not a lot of nuisance foot traffic while your trying to dine alfresco - 3 Tines
- Bathroom Decor - 2 Tines Bathroom Cleanliness - 3 Tines
- Misc - The restaurant attracts a younger bar crowd on the weekends and features live music.
- Sunday Brunch is served 11 -3. Vodka Bar - No info