Grub Guide

Seventeen Things We’re Excited to Try This Fall

The Mildred, Fette Sau and a second Federal Donuts location are just a few of the hot openings we’ve been anticipating for some time. Save for the Brooklyn barbecue export, most of the chickens we’ve been counting in the city’s culinary coops have already hatched. Still we’re excited about trying out the dishes at some of these newly opened restaurants, and awfully eager to learn more about those that are still on the way. In the meantime, here’s a handful of plates and places that we anticipate will be trending this season. Click through, check them out, and let us know with a comment what you think.

When you’re done here, check out what everyone’s looking forward to in Boston, Chicago, L.A., New York, and San Francisco, too.

Though the second location of Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook’s Federal Donuts already made its debut, we’re still psyched to munch our way through the menu. Like FedNuts’ Pennsport mothership, the Center City location has a menu limited to doughnuts, chicken and coffee, but the selection of flavors for the fried goods is completely different. Pictured here is Cowboy Coffee fried chicken, crispy fried birds tossed in a spice mixture blended specially to mimic the taste of red-eye gravy.
If the arrival of The Saint James, a joint venture from Michael Schulson (Sampan and Izakaya) and Rob Wasserman (Rouge, 500 Degrees) at Ardmore’s Suburban Square tells us anything, it’s that there’s finally going to be some suburban dining destinations worth traveling for in our immediate future. Coming on the heels of The Saint James is Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook’s Citron & Rose, whose crispy duck shalot (pictured above) should give good reason to visit Merion, and Tavro 13, Terence Feury’s new venture in the former Swedesboro Inn in Swedesboro, New Jersey.
Seems a little trivial, but when temperatures are teetering in the high nineties, a bowl of steaming hot soup is hardly something to get excited about. But as autumn approaches and the mercury dips, soups, like this trio of New England clam chowder, Manhattan clam chowder, and snapper turtle soup at the Oyster House, seem to have magical comforting and restorative powers.
This past summer, longtime Fork chef Terence Feury announced he was stepping down to pursue his own venture, Tavro 13 in Swedesboro, New Jersey. Owners Ellen Yin and Roberto Sella quickly named Eli Kulp as his replacement at the Old City mainstay. Kulp recently finished tweaking the menu, which includes this stunning whole roasted Muscovy duck in a sweet and spicy Szechuan honey glaze.
Stephen Starr and Joe Carroll’s recreation of hit Brooklyn barbecue joint Fette Sau is so close to opening, we can smell the hickory smoke wafting in from Fishtown. Carroll’s told us he has some Philly-specific dishes in the works for his Frankford Ave. outpost, but has remained mum on exactly what. As a tease he sent along this photo as an example of what a typical order will look like.
As a self-described meat geek, The Butcher & The Brewer’s chef Jennifer Choplin is pretty psyched about the menu she’s just rolled out at the newly opened “meatery” that replaces the short-lived Boilermaker. Along with dishes like this, a pan-seared venison loin with sweet grape marmalade, and fig vincotto served with a hickory-smoked stuffed apple, expect regularly changing nose-to-tail (goats, pigs, gamebirds) specials, charcuterie, chops, and lamb pie.
Greg Vernick’s been quietly building a dedicated following, while simultaneously racking up some impressive critical praise for his seasonally-inspired dishes since opening last spring. If this roast chicken dish pictured here is any indication of what’s coming this fall, we’re guessing Vernick’s going to continue gathering more buzz.
Recent rumblings of progress being made on the construction front, and a search on for cooks to work its kitchen, the long-awaited opening of Khyber-Cantina-Royal owners Stephen Simons and Dave Frank’s Royal Sushi & Izakaya seems inevitable at this point. But whether it means waiting a few more weeks, or several more months remains unclear. 
Chilly weather means those thirst-quenching Kolsches, pilsners, and other light and low ABV brews we cling to life with during summer’s punishing heat are no longer needed. Just as you would with your clothes, we recommend slipping into something a little heavier as the temperatures start to dip. Scotch ales, Baltic porters, and fortifying stouts are what the season calls for. Dogfish Head’s hearty seasonal Chicory Stout fits the bill. We like to think of it as a sweater you can drink.
Brauhaus Schmitz chef Jermey Nolen turned out a veritable show-stopper with his foie gras liverwurst during September’s Feastival. He’s since added the dish to his menu updates for fall. 
As if the promise of a fireplace, a cozy bar, and hearty, comforting fare cooked and served in cast-iron Staub French ovens wasn’t enough of a come-on to get you into this just opened Bella Vista spot this fall, chef Michael Santoro’s authentic approach to bouillabaisse just might. The dish comes to life when carefully roasted sea robin, mullet, dorade, prawns, scallops and cockles are met with a heady, fennel and Pernod-scented broth that’s poured table-side. Our guess is, this will be one of the most talked about dishes of the season.
The mass pumpkin-ization of everything edible and drinkable this time of year typically has us fed up with all things related to the ubiquitous big orange gourds. But every so often a chef comes up with a dish that changes our minds. This year that dish is this monkfish spiendi with a pumpkin Romesco that Amis chef Brad Spence is serving.
The fab forcemeats Nick Elmi’s been steadily rolling out at Rittenhouse Tavern since it opened earlier this year, have proven some of the most popular plates at the restaurant. For fall he’s refreshed the selection, adding a delectable amalgamation of Scottish mountain hare, foie gras, foie fat in one, quail rillettes, foie gras, Madeira and pawpaw mostarda in another, and country pork, port wine and caramelized pear in a third.
This stick-to-your-ribs dish that chef Pat Szoke rolled out last spring might’ve been a little too robust for summer consumption. But with the return of cooler weather, the super-savory stewed lamb served in a rich tomato sauce is one of the dishes at the top of our list for fall.
The just opened Hotel Monaco in Old City comes with one of the most stunning outdoor spaces in the city. Perched high above Independence Mall, 11-stories above the streets, the al fresco bar and and lounge features cozy seating, and a fire feature that ensures that it will be open, and serving guests even as the weather grows cooler.
Fireplaces and fall go together like summer and sweat. But if it’s the great outdoors you still yearn for, the giant stone fire pits stationed on the Tap House’s second story balcony offer the best of both worlds — the comforting warmth of open flames, and the open night sky above bustling Chestnut Street.
Chef Natalie Maronski’s clever creation foots the bill for guests’ hunger for hearty meat-and-potatoes-like dishes. She puts tender morsels of slowly braised beef short ribs inside a puff of starchy taro dough that’s fried to a delicious golden brown crunch, and topped with a sweet chili sauce.
Seventeen Things We’re Excited to Try This Fall