There is a such thing as (an almost…) Free Lunch

Sometimes, the amount of opportunities that Penn offers is overwhelming! How are we supposed to take advantage of all of them at the same time?  Well here is one opportunity I couldn’t miss: last Friday, Penn subsidized half of the coast of meal at the Ritz Carlton Hotel as part of Philadelphia’s restaurant week.

Twice a year, Philadelphia celebrates Restaurant Week. Cafes and restaurants all over town offer special deals ($20 for a 3-course lunch, $35 for a 4-course dinner) with the hopes of encouraging people to try new places at a deal. And for us college students, amazing food at a low cost is win-win.

So at around 12:45pm on Friday, Ramie (RA of third floor McKean and Baldwin), three other FH residents, and myself to took a trip downtown via Septa to enjoy a luscious meal at 10 Arts. World famous chef Eric Ripert owns 10 Arts, and its kitchen is run Top Chef star Jen Carroll! The hotel lobby, furnished with the finest furniture, is super swanky, equipped with bar and lounge, all while maintaining the modern vibe of the hotel.

Undoubtedly, us college students seemed to stick out like a sore thumb amongst the business suit clad businessmen and businesswomen, but that just made me feel even more special.

For the first course, we were given the choice between a honey crisp apple salad, with mustard greens, toasted walnuts, and apple cider vinaigrette or creamy cauliflower soup with kale & roasted garlic gremolata. I opted for the soup, and it was delicious. Even though cauliflower isn’t my favorite vegetable, I gladly wiped the bowl clean with the fluffy bread that the server brought to the table.

For the second course, we had the choice between croque monsieur ham & gruyere (with fries or salad) or roasted lancaster county chicken breast with roasted butternut squash and natural chicken jus. I chose the chicken! The chicken was both tender and tasty as the waitress poured over the natural chicken jus before I started eating. The butternut squash was impeccable, adding the perfect savory and sweet compliment to the seasoned chicken.

And to top it all off, for dessert, we had the choice between milk chocolate gateau praline anglaise, fixed with candied hazelnuts or cheesecake ginger orange sauce and yogurt sorbet. For me, nothing can beat chocolate, and so I chose the first option. The chocolate was thick but smooth, strong but not overbearing. And, accompanied by a small cup of coffee, there was the perfect balance of sweetness.

The delectable food along with the 5 star treatment by the waiters and waitresses made this trip extremely awesome! I probably won’t be eating in the Ritz Carlton for another couple of years – that is, unless, the House invites me again!

Speaking of: next week, FH is providing another amazing opportunity as part of Restaurant Week! On Friday, October 12, 2012, Fisher Hassenfeld is offering a trip to Garces Trading Company, a cozy, elegant restaurant owned by Iron Chef Jose Garces (see the menu here!). Bring $10 to the Equipment Office to reserve your spot on this exciting lunch trip. There are only 9 open spots, so don’t delay!

I must say that Philadelphia is an incredible city. We’ve only been here a month, and so I haven’t had the opportunity to explore downtown Philadelphia, but this was an incredible introduction. As a New York City native, I felt nostalgic of my hometown and while I feel that no city could ever replace NYC, I am learning to love Philadelphia for the amazing city that it is.

the FH lunch crew

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