When I was a little girl, I loved orphans, and if the orphans sang and danced, I was in little girl nirvana. One of my absolute favorite movies was Annie. Our VCR got quite a workout as I watched Annie over, and over, and over again.
I loved Annie so much, my mom developed the tactic of “playing Annie,” with me to get me to clean my room. When I didn’t want to clean my room, she would pretend to be Miss Hannigan and I was an orphan. The orphan me could get my room squeaky clean in no time.
Having adoration for food pretty much starting at birth, there was one particular scene in Annie that always stuck out for me. It was the scene when Annie first arrives at Daddy Warbuck’s home and Mrs. Pugh lists off the menu items. Her list includes Texas grapefruit, Virginia ham, Idaho potatoes, Wisconsin cheese, Washington apples,and baked Alaska. At the age of seven I knew what everything on that menu was, except for the baked Alaska. The only thing I knew about Alaska at the time, was that it was cold, so baked Alaska conjured up ideas of some sort of horrific casserole made of polar bears and penguins. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that baked Alaska was actually a yummy desert, a desert that I vowed one day to taste.
Finally that day has come.
My husband wanted to go to Butcher + Singer for his birthday. Unfortunately, it just didn't fit into our September schedule, so this year we decided to take a break from our traditional Amada anniversary dinner and we headed to Butcher + Singer instead.
(taking picture in the restaurant was challenging. The lighting is dark and it's not the kind of place where you can go all willy -nilly with the flash)
Butcher + Singer, is a fancy steakhouse located on 1500 Walnut Street, in Philadelphia. I have to give Stephen Starr credit because he sure knows how to create atmosphere and set a mood. The theme of the restaurant is 1940’s Hollywood and from the moment you walk through the doors you feel transported to another time. The lights are low, there is dark wood everywhere, and the seats are made of stylish black or creamy leather.
Since it was our anniversary and it has been a crazy interesting year, we decided to do it up.
We started out with drinks. We both got the Palmyra No. 9, which was a martini version of a mojito.
Having our drinks together next to the low dim light on our table made me imagine that I could have been a movie star having secret drinks with her director or maybe a woman in peril meeting with a private eye to develop a plan to find out what happened to her husband’s fortune.
For our first course we ordered salads. My husband got The Butcher Salad and I got The Wedge.
I love a good wedge and this was one of the best I have had. Usually the dressing is lightly drizzled over the iceberg and then a little bit of cheese and bacon is sprinkled on the top, but there was so much dressing, cheese and bacon, I couldn’t see the iceberg underneath. It was cheesy, bacony, dressing goodness.
Like most fancy steakhouses, the main courses at Butcher + Singer are a la carte. We ordered the dry aged porterhouse for two, the creamed spinach and the stuffed (with cheese and Vidalia onions) hash browns. The steak was absolutely perfect. My husband described the filet side of the porterhouse as being, “meat candy.” The creamed spinach was also delicious. The hash browns weren’t bad, but they were very salty, so if we ever go back, we would probably order the mashed potatoes instead.
After doing a fairly decent job of clearing our plates, it was time for dessert. We didn’t even need the menu because my heart was set on the baked Alaska.
Just in case you don’t know what it is, Baked Alaska is ice cream that is covered with meringue and then heated quickly so that the meringue hardens but the ice cream remains cold. The baked Alaska at Butcher + Singer is delightful. The meringue was done perfectly so that it was fluffy with just the right amount of crisp. I believe it is a dessert that is difficult to get just right, which is why most restaurants do not serve baked Alaska. I was so happy that I finally was able to fulfill my seven year old heart’s dream and try baked Alaska for the very first time.
By the way, if I ever become filthy rich tons of money, I'm going to hire staff that not only know how to cook and clean, but can also put on elaborate song and dance numbers. I often wonder what the hiring process was like at Daddy Warbuck’s house.
"So I see here you studied pastry arts in Paris, very impressive, but your resume doesn’t state if you are an alto or a soprano, and how strong are your pirouettes?
It would make a great reality show, The Next Daddy Warbuck’s staff. It would be a sort of mash up between America’s got Talent and Chopped.