The Other Critics

The Pickled Heron Is a ‘Promising Upstart’; Marlton Tavern Has the ‘Best Crab Cakes’

• Craig LaBan calls BYOB The Pickled Heron “unprecedented,” but not so much for its cuisine as much as its high ambitions and prices while situated in the heart of Fishtown. Costs and coordinates aside, he adds that the “fine flavors” that chef-owners Daniela D’Ambrosio and Todd Braley turn out of their kitchen gives “good reason to come back.” Grilled octopus was “wonderfully tender,” and the “breast of veal rolled around a pinwheel of lemony sorrel” serves as “a clear emblem of the old-school Larousse aesthetic.” Despite minor missteps, he says the “finesse will come” to the “promising upstart.” [Inquirer]

• At the historic Marlton Tavern, Adam Erace munches the “best crab cakes” he’s ever had, but that, he writes, did not “prove prophetic for the other appetizers.” Cheesy crab-and-spinach dip was plagued by poor execution, and the “salty tortilla chips added a strange Tex-Mex note to the dish.” “Overcooked scallops” and “stringy mussels” made the seafood pescatore pretty “pedestrian.” With the arrival of a grilled pork chops stuffed with sundried tomatoes, sauteed spinach and feta, things “did get better.” [Courier-Post]

The Pickled Heron Is a ‘Promising Upstart’; Marlton Tavern Has the