Philly food is so much more than cheesesteaks. Let us show you.
Fishtown, once a bastion of simple beer bars and pizza joints (renowned though they may be), is getting classier by the day. And while this trend was started (maybe a little too early) by The Pickled Heron, it has been continued with new establishments like Root and, most recently, Wm Mulherin’s Sons. The former, housed in a rehabbed whiskey blending and bottling facility, may be the most impressive, with a surprisingly spacious inside that can feel, at times, like you’re sitting in someone’s 1950s-era den.
Most of the wait staff fit in to this paradigm, with clothes that mimic the era—or just the hipster fashions of the neighborhood. Sometimes, in fact, it’s hard to know if someone walking toward your table is just a fellow guest coming from the restroom or a server coming to clear your table. Regardless, the staff was attentive, friendly, and well-informed.
Aside from the food, which is labeled as “urban, wood-fired Italian,” the drinks also shone here. There is an extensive bottle list of wine, as well as some interesting offerings by the glass. The cocktail menu is also worth checking out—when we were there, the special cocktail was a wonderful charred Pisco sour—and the beer list surprisingly solid. Whether by draft or bottle, Wm Mulherin’s doesn’t feel out of place in the generally beer-savvy neighborhood.
EAT YOUR FILL OF…
Stuffed Dates – Dates stuffed with gorgonzola, wrapped in prosciutto, and smeared in plum puree. It’s a pretty standard combination, but worth getting anywhere you see it—and Wm Mulherin’s is no exception. They do it as well as anyone, and the dish offers a perfect start to the meal with a well-balanced combination of sweetness from the puree and dates and saltiness from the prosciutto and gorgonzola, without either taking over.
Hamachi Crudo – Mulherin’s proves they are just as adept at delicate seafood as they are at wood firing pizzas. While the crudo could use some spice—some chili wouldn’t hurt the mixture—it was still a tasty dish. The Hamachi is drizzled with oil and grapefruit juice and topped with pistachios and basil for another trip around sweet, tangy, and salty. It’s easy to overwhelm raw fish, but that doesn’t happen here.
Spicy Jawn – Pizza and pasta are the main draws here (as you would expect) and the pizza is good. The Spicy Jawn is right up our alley with pepperoni, hot coppa, caciocavallo (a type of cheese), sharp provolone, long hots, and tomato. As the name and ingredients would suggest, it’s like South Philly on a crust. The spice is enough to satisfy any cravings, but not so much that you don’t want to eat every piece of the pie on your own.