Karmel Knocking Around

Philadelphia art and, uh, fart?

In a nod to our “Hike and Slice” series, we should probably add “Art and Fart” to the repertoire. Because after a great excursion to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we decided to venture out to find a local restaurant and enjoy the ambiance of the older part of the City of Brotherly Love…and the night ended up in the shitter.

What we found was that, on a Monday, there ain’t nothing open. Well, almost nothing. Driving down Broad Street in the Arts District, we made a quick turn down Pine Street and happened upon this really cute and quaint old-style Italian restaurant, one block down on a corner – Giorgio’s on Pine. We could see that the place was pretty empty, but open, so we parked and walked in.

The owner greeted us with the usual, and obligatory, “Do you have a reservation?” Well, no, we didn’t. But the place WAS fairly empty.

“I’m sorry. I have no place to put you. If you can wait 10-15 minutes, we can see if there is a cancellation,” he said.

I am going to wait to SEE if there IS a cancellation? Well…we parked…we’re there…can’t find anything else open…so OK…we’ll wait. It’s only 5:15 p.m. The owner is walking around the place frantically as if he has a packed house and there are customers lined up outside on the street. He didn’t…and there weren’t.

Finally he said, “OK, I can give you a table, but can you be out within the hour? I can’t afford to give up a table. You know, I have to cook for everyone, just not you.” What the HELL does that mean? And, what, you’re doing me a favor now? You’re LETTING me eat here? Normally, we would give this chooch a Hi-De-Ho or, better yet, a good ole F-O, but we decided to see what was so great about this place.

By the way, I DID mention we had a great time at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, right?

Benjamin Franklin…who else?

Anyway…back to the point…what was so great about this place…right…that’s it.

With all of the tables available in the place, he decided to seat us at the table immediately behind his welcome podium at the front door. And when I went to move the table a few inches so that I would have more room, he immediately moved it back. “You have plenty of room,” he said. And so I spent the entire time with his ass brushing up against my back, on and off, as he kept moving about.

Right after we sat down, two women came in and did, in fact, have a 5:30 reservation. Mr. Welcome Mat told them that they needed to be out by 7:15 because, what else, he needed the table.

Well, we both decided to go away from the regular menu and went strictly with their specials. They must have REALLY wanted us out quickly because we were served our food within five minutes. We shared a Burrata cheese salad with a balsamic glaze, and Melissa had the sweet potato gnocchi while I had the lobster ravioli. Neither one of us particularly care for a “cream” sauce, but we both went off “course” for this one. The salad was OK. Melissa felt that the gnocchi was rather bland and the sauce had to have been sitting around for a while, it didn’t seem quite fresh. The lobster ravioli only had four ravioli, but there were chunks of lobster meat in the sauce. Not bad, but not great.

Giorgio on Pine’s lobster ravioli
Giorgio on Pine’s sweet potato gnocchi

The Philadelphia Museum of Art was great.

Great Art at the Philadelphia Art Museum

The server, who was excellent, offered up some homemade desserts. Melissa chose the chocolate cake with chocolate chips and chocolate sauce, while I chose the tartufo. According to Melissa, the cake was like eating Sara Lee out of the freezer. The tartufo was nothing special…nor was the coffee. Definitely Wawa was the next stop.

When Mr. Warmth moved away from his perch, we could see the reservation list. And there were not many names on there at all. So what is this guy talking about? There ARE some good reviews of this place online, but, if you look hard enough, you will find the complaints about the lack of customer service and rude owner.

Oh, we were out of the place within our one hour time limit. It felt like when you know the meter is about to expire on your parking space and you have to run to get to your car before you are hit with a violation. Honestly, it was such that, no matter what we tried, it was going to be awful. THAT’s the kind of mindset we were in. And why would the owner of ANY establishment want a customer feeling like that?

It was an exasperating hour, a waste of calories, and $103 down the toilet.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has some great works of art…and an interesting café. Enjoy the art…avoid the fart on this one.

A fountain in the museum!

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