Philadelphia is hands down one of my favorite U.S. cities, there is great history there, lively people, and an awesome food culture. So when someone in one of my travel groups posted about wanting to visit Philly to dine at Volver I said sure why not. Food and a getaway is always a great deal. I will save you all the boring details of our planning and arrival but what I will tell you is to dine at Volvér is to have an experience.
Our reservation was for 8 pm and I got there a little early just to take a look at the amazing Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, where Volver is housed. Once seated we had a great view of the kitchen area where guests can see what the chefs are preparing. When dining you have the option of a six or 12 course tasting menu, but whatever is picked the entire table has to go along with. We chose the 12 course tasting menu (which really ended up being 14) and 3+ hours later when we finished we were full, tired, satiated, and thoroughly impressed. Usually with tasting menus there are always some hit or miss courses, but even the things I expected to dislike were pretty awesome. I won’t write in detail about every course but I will share the menu and some of the items in the gallery below. There were some really standout items on the menu. In course one there was a “deviled egg” filled with duck liver mousse Pedro Ximenz gelee. The really amazing part about this course was the “egg” wasn’t really an egg but goat cheese somehow crafted to texturally and visually appear to be a hard-boiled egg white. Another favorite course isn’t on the menu it was given to us between courses. They tortured us and gave us a laminated thyme croissant, which was AMAZING alone, served with a butter topped with olive oil and sprinkled with “black crack.” My favorite course was the “milk and cereal,” a far cry from anything you’d eat for breakfast with rice flakes, quail egg, bacon, chicken oyster, truffle, thyme marshmallows, and white asparagus milk. I know it sounds like a lot and trust me when I read it I was thinking I’m going to hate this. But it was absolutely awesome.
Also they ask about food restrictions and allergies at the beginning to accommodate your needs. One person in our party didn’t eat beef or pork and they found replacements whether it was fish, changing the broth to soy or finding a vegetable that was texturally similar to meat.
The big question is what’s the cost Christen? I start off by saying remember this is an experience. It was expensive but it was honestly worth the cost. The menu starts at about $75 per person and goes up depending on the course selection that is chosen. Also drinks are an additional cost and they can be purchased individually or by flight. The restaurant also has a bar where you can order small plates. If you do the tasting menu the six course is more flexible because you can add courses but the 12 is more extensive and you get to try it all. Another treat is no matter what course selection you choose you receive an autographed menu and homemade lolli’s as your parting gift.
Volver means “to return” and I definitely would.
Check out this video that shares the process of my favorite dish on the menu and see my pictures from my experience below…