The Endless Road Trip — Philadelphia’s Top 10 Eats 4. Duck in a Pot
On the second night of our Philadelphia adventure, the intrepid ES crew was treated to a feast at JG Domestic, Iron Chef Jose Garces’ farm-to-table restaurant anchored in the bottom of Cira Center. Supposedly a small plate, made-to-share type of joint, we found that most of JG’s offerings were fairly large and satisfying… not that it didn’t stop us from trying almost everything on the menu!
There is one item that stands above the rest. I’m not even saying it outshines everything at JG Domestic, I’m saying it outshines almost any meat-based appetizer I have ever eaten. And trust me, there have been a bounty of them in my years as an insatiable epicure.
Allow me to introduce you to the Hudson Valley Potted Duck with foie gras mousse and orange gelée, served with cornichons and crostini.
One of our friends from Philly Homegrown, Alethia, had highly recommended the potted duck. Never a bunch to turn down the opportunity to spread some fatty meat on bread, we were more than happy to order a couple for the table. What’s in that little mason jar? Heaven. Heaven in duck fat form. I honestly cannot think of any family-friendly ways to describe what I want to do to this dish. I’ve tried to think of an unpornographic way to relate its decadent mouthfeel and flavor, but… I have deemed it impossible.
I will say that this duck is so rich that we needed a lot more crostini to finish the pot. After we requested this from our server, I sat anxiously, my eyes fixated on the half-full jar, greedily praying that nobody else would hog the remnants of the jar before I got my hands on the bread. All it takes is a little foie gras to turn me from a sophisticated diner into a ruthless glutton.
After the glorious Potted Duck experience, we moved onto myriad more dishes, including inventive plates such as New Jersey Soft Shell Crab with Heirloom Tomato and Black Garlic…
Oregon chanterelles over Anson Mills polenta…
By the end of our entrees, our table was a beautiful, hot mess of dirty dishes and wine glasses.
A close second in my otherworldly duck experience would have to be our nightcap, the bourbon butterscotch latte and accompanying bourbon beignets with bourbon vanilla mousseline and Maker’s Mark butterscotch for dipping. Too much bourbon? No such thing!
This cup of coffee may look innocent from the outside, but do not be deceived. We will have more on this delicious treat later today…
JG Domestic has an ever-changing menu and we all agreed that despite its location in an office skyscraper, it would be the perfect first date spot. No loss of conversation while poring over the uniquely crafted, seasonal selections… and obviously the potted duck is the perfect aphrodisiac.
JG Domestic is located in the Cira Centre, Ground Floor, 2929 Arch Street. 215-222-2363