Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cuisine on the Mezzanine at DoubleTree's New Balcony

Welcome to Balcony
On Wednesday night I enjoyed dinner at the new restaurant, Balcony, located in the DoubleTree Hotel on the Avenue of the Arts.   Balcony offers “Cuisine on the Mezzanine” for breakfast and dinner.  The restaurant sits just above the lobby offering a panoramic view of Broad Street while also admiring the lobby’s unique chandelier. This is not just a typical stuffy hotel restaurant at all; it has a warm atmosphere and the menu is bursting with comfort foods with a southern twist. 

I had reservations for myself and a guest at 7 p.m just when Center City Sips was wrapping up. We arrived with only 15 minutes left until the bar specials ended, the bar was buzzing with people ordering specialty martinis; lemon drop, apple and chocolate. In fact I overheard one of the bartenders say he had to go to the kitchen to get more martini glasses!  They had an even larger crowd than expected for happy hour because it was also Center City District’s 20th birthday celebration. 

Once we were seated we browsed the menu and were delighted by the different options. The menu was created with the idea of offering American comfort foods with a southern influence and I think they did a great job of balancing healthy options like hummus and pita with greaser dishes like sliders or a Philly cheesesteak. 

Mac N' Cheese with fried tomato on the side
After pondering what appetizer we were going to start with I asked our server, Junior, what he recommended and he said the mac n’ cheese or the Balcony sliders were the way to go. So we ordered the mac n’ cheese and I was so glad we did because when it came out to my surprise there was a fried tomato accompanying the delicious cheesy bowl!  Fried tomatoes are definitely where the southern twist came in and what’s more comforting than a bowl of cheesy elbow pasta sprinkled with breadcrumbs?  

Moving right along to the main course we had even more difficult choices to make.  After indulging in the mac n’ cheese I wanted to take a turn to the healthier options on the menu so I ordered the salmon entree.  The salmon was served with jasmine rice, lemon caper sauce and topped with asparagus.  Adding to this square meal I ordered a side of seasonal vegetables; squash, carrots and snap peas.
Salmon dish
I was happy with my salmon dish but I wish I had not let my guilty conscious get the best of me and I should have ordered the homemade meatloaf or lump crab cakes instead to sample another one of their signature dishes.  Lucky for me my dinner date ordered the fried chicken and waffles so I got to taste its savory yet sweet flavors.  That’s right fried chicken and waffles were served on the same plate and it gets even better; it was served with a mound of mashed sweet potatoes and gravy on the side. Those whipped sweet potatoes ended up being one of my most favorite items of the entire meal. You really have to try their unique chicken dish. I’ve never seen this on a menu before but I hope that it stays on Balcony’s menu so you can try it too. 

Fried chicken and waffles with sweet potatoes
 After we practically cleaned our plates, Junior asked if we wanted to see a dessert menu. I hesitated but of course we just had to see what was on the dessert menu. All of the desserts and pastries are made on premise including their famous DoubleTree cookies and they even use homemade ice cream.  After just a glance at the dessert menu I knew I’d be making a big mistake if I didn’t try one of the house-made treats. There were five desserts to choice from and it was yet another difficult decision. We ended up ordering The DoubleTree Stack and it was heaven towered up on a plate. This signature dessert starred vanilla and chocolate ice cream sandwiched with three DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies graduating in size and then drizzled with caramel and chocolate served with heaps of whipped cream and garnished with raspberries.  I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to end our amazing meal at Balcony.  
The DoubleTree Stack for dessert, yummm
 No matter if you are a local, hotel guest or visitor, you will be delighted with Balcony. Let me know what you think after you check it out yourself. Oh and don't forget your camera for the exciting views.
Cheers from Balcony

view from the lobby floor

1 comment:

  1. This place sounds amazing! The next time I take a trip to Philly I will be sure to have a meal at Balcony!