Friday Photo: Truffled Cauliflower, Village Whiskey, Philadelphia

Truffled cauliflower, whipped ricotta, and olive tapenade, 2012
Truffled cauliflower, whipped ricotta, and black olive tapenade at the Village Whiskey, Philadelphia, 2012

Due to my affinity with all things doused in vinegar, I was absolutely thrilled to return to the Village Whiskey, a Prohibition-style bar near Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia with gourmet burgers, hearty fries, and pickled vegetables. I love to eat pickled vegetables in the winter because they preserve a home-grown taste reminiscent of warmer days, but their bright colors, tart pucker, and texture also make them the perfect celebration of summer.

Village Whiskey’s truffled cauliflower ($8) consists of bite-sized pieces of one of my least favorite vegetables that have been soaked in a brine of vinegar and sugar for at least 10 days, placed on a bed of sweet pickled carrot, and swirled with truffle oil. This pairing is perfectly balanced: the cauliflower is bright and acidic and crowned with the rich oil; the airy whipped ricotta coats your mouth to give way to the deep oiliness of the fresh tapenade. Even the texture is balanced: crisp vegetables on crisply-toasted slices of sourdough contrasting with creamy cheese and the finely chopped olives.

Also excellent small plates at the Village Whiskey are the herbed cherry tomatoes ($7) and the classic deviled eggs ($3).

Village Whiskey
118 South 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 665-1088

Sunday-Monday: 11:30am – 11:00pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 11:30am – 12:00am
Friday-Saturday: 11:30am – 1:00am

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