by Chrysa Smith

S l o w f o o d.

It sounds like just the thing to ease frazzled minds and spirits, feed empty stomachs. Done well, it is exactly that and so much more. And it was our perfect ending to a very harried week.

Mark surprised me with a dinner at The Farm and the Fisherman—an intimate, farm-to-table eatery in Center City Philadelphia. It is small. It is cozy. And the food is, well, to live for—because everything served, is delivered from local farms, dairies and fisheries—or from regional sustainable ones. The freshness is off the charts, translating to flavor that’s right along with it.

The menu arrives on little wooden boards, where selections are divided into three courses. The first is as expected: salads and vegetable dishes. The second is more protein-based offerings and the third is the main course. As menus go, it is not large, but there’s enough variety to please most anyone. And the service comes with only those smaller eateries where you know the owner and staff are on the same page.

What tickles me is hearing about where my food comes from. I love that I could probably go up to said farms myself and pick out my own cow or chicken for dinner. But that makes it all too personal for me. I’d rather leave all that to others and enjoy the preparation of a fine meal. But the farm-to-table movement which keeps ingredients local has done great things for regional farmers. And made farmers of former white-collar execs who think dabbling in the food chain is a fun venture.

Our ‘starters’ were both from neighboring New Jersey—fresh greens with veggies & goat cheese and diver scallops with asparagus puree; both delicious. This was followed by a PA pork loin (with crusted bacon, because there’s nothing quite like pork-on-pork) and east coast halibut–from a ‘sustainable’ purveyor, served over Meyer lemon spaghetti. It was all quite delicious.

If you’re heading into town, I highly recommend it. It is a BYOB, so bring along your favorite. If you’re just idly curious, check out the menu for yourself at :

The Farm & the Fisherman
1120 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA