This past Friday was the Architect’s birthday and her husband treated us to an absolutely amazing dinner at Sycamore in Lansdowne. Just a hop, skip and a jump from Swarthmore east on Baltimore Pike, Sycamore is somewhat of an inconspicuous little treasure in a charming town of tree-lined streets, beautifully restored Victorian homes and a train station designed by legendary Philadelphia architect Frank Furness. The borough of Lansdowne has a lovely park called Sycamore Tree Park, which perhaps inspired the restaurant’s name.
I don’t claim to be a food critic, but I will do my best to describe the delightful atmosphere and delicious meals we enjoyed at Sycamore. First, I always appreciate a simple and nicely designed graphic and Sycamore’s did not disappoint….clean, crisp, and a great font. The tree theme was carried inside where a stunning and ginormous (I know this is not a word, but for purposes of this description, pretend that it is) light fixture crafted out of tree branches, perhaps Sycamore, hung above our table…this visual treat gave us our first clue that our taste buds were about to be equally stimulated.
For appetizers, we devoured a cheese plate, that included drunken raisins, fresh fruit, honey and croutes. We also had a fresh baby arugula salad with strawberries, cucumbers, goat Feta, with a lemon chive vinaigrette, and a dish called Pasta Ai Funghi with sautéed organic mushrooms, fettuccine, Mascarpone cheese, and lemon zest.
We ordered a variety of entrees including seared sea scallops served with potatoes, spring greens (local, of course) and black trumpet mushroom sauce, a Flat Iron Steak garnished with chive butter (herbed butters are delicious and very easy to make, btw), and the most succulent ribs served over mashed potatoes and topped with watermelon…yum! Birthday girl had a tasty Golden Tilefish dish. Golden Tilefish is a firm, extra lean, white meat fish with a mild flavor, similar to Tilapia.
The experience continued through dessert and we happily inhaled a Raspberry Crème Brûlée, a Banoffee Tart made with dulce de leche, whipped cream and banana chips, and a decadent chocolate cake. Pure heaven.
Sycamore is a BYOB (our favorite kind of restaurant) and we blissfully imbibed a few bottles of wine including a very smooth Spanish red, 2004 Lan Rioja Reserva… “silky texture with expressive flavors of black plum, violet, licorice and smoke”….www.wine.com.
An all around enjoyable experience indeed!