UPDATE : Unfortunately, my friend Clark closed down this fine restaurant and I'm just waiting to see where he lands next and what great restaurant he'll be creating.
My friend Chef Clark Gilbert, whose daughter Riley plays basketball with my oldest daughter Nell, just moved his restaurant Gemelli from Narberth, PA to Manayunk, PA.
Last night my wife and I enjoyed an incredible dinner there with our friends Barbecue Bob and his lovely wife Bert. I wanted to give Clark a shout out and let him know how much we all enjoyed everything we ordered.
I took photo's of some of the dishes with my trusty Sony Cyber-shot and some came out fine while a couple were a little out of focus. I'd like to bring my Nikon D-80 but I find it a little conspicuous in restaurants. Hmmm!
We started out with a variety of appetizers including Caprese Salad, a classic Italian salad Clark prepares with oven roasted tomatoes, burrata (a form of mozzarella cheese), fresh basil and yuzu vinaigrette. I'm going to have to ask Clark about the yuzu vinaigrette since I've never heard of it.
Barbecue Bob ordered my favorite Vitello Tonnato made with tuna tartare, crispy sweetbreads and tonnato sauce. Bert enjoyed an asparagus salad loaded with fresh local asparagus and I tried the Rabbit Rillette served on top of Lentils du Puy.
Rillette is very similar to country style pate and Puy is in the region of Auvergne, France known for the best green lentils. Served with a little red onion marmalade and country style whole grain mustard, you have a mouth watering delight.
For our main courses, Bert tried the lobster and shrimp cannelloni served with braised pork belly and lobster cardamon jus. May sound like a strange combination but every worked well together.
Bob enjoyed the most perfectly cooked sea scallops served with salt-cod risotto, zucchini and roasted chicken jus. I have to find out how he prepares the scallops so perfectly.
My wife Meg ordered a fish on the menu called Barramundi. Not familiar with it, I looked it up on Wikipedia and found out it is also called an Asian Seabass and gets its name from the Australian Aboriginal language and means "large-scalled river fish".
Didn't notice the scales but this white, tender meat fish was delicious and served with the most tasty ratatouille seasoned with Indian spices. Loved it.
I had Clark's signature Gemelli which is a goat meat bolognese with golden raisins and marcona almonds. When I go back with a group I might ask them to serve this as a first course for the table along with the other appetizers. It's that good.
The name Gemelli is the Italian word for twins. Gemelli pasta is a "single s-shaped strand twisted into a spiral." Clark daughter and son are twins, thus the name of the restaurant.
If you live in the Philadelphia area or just visiting the area, I encourage you to make a short trip to Manayunk (a very cool little town) and try Clark's restaurant. He is an amazing chef with an incredible knowledge of food and the food industry.
I hope to convince him to contribute some writings and recipes to my blog and can't wait to learn more from him in the future.
So SHOUT OUT to Clark and looking forward to many great meals with you.