It's been only a few weeks since Bank and Bourbon's epic repeat Bourbon Bash. But after being blown away by their pastrami pork belly, I knew I had to return to try more than just their Secret Knock cocktail at Happy Hour. Coincidentally, Loews' Director of PR, Jaimi Blackburn, reached out to see if I had wanted to stop by to have lunch with her.
Meals here begin with rustic sourdough, served with with rich, room-temp (thankfully!) butter.
A native Philadelphian, CIA-trained Thomas Harkins is the Exec Chef at Bank and Bourbon. He's worked with numerous lauded chefs including Charlie Trotter, Mario Batali, and Jean Andre Charial. At Loews, Chef Harkins boasts a decade's worth of experience. And while he wasn't on hand for this meal, he did highly recommend the asparagus soup for us to start.
Asparagus Soup [$9]
Morels, goat cheese
At first sip, it was clear why. The depth of the asparagus essence was immediately apparent. I was surprised by the lightness of the soup, perfect to complement the weather as we finally transition to spring. The buttered, crisp croutons were a nice accent to each spoonful, offering contrasts in texture along with some richness.
Crispy Pork Belly Sandwich [$12]
Salsa verde, Parmesan, farm egg
And while the soup was great, I was almost embarrassed at my inability to contain my excitement with the pork belly sandwich. Grilled ciabatta housed thick slabs of unctuous pork belly, which were wonderfully crisped. The well-seasoned salsa verde provided a nice countervailing brightness to the heft of the pork, though the gooey farm-fresh egg brought each bite over the top.
Chef Harkins will be revealing his spring menu over the next few weeks so be sure to check it out! In the meantime, I'd make a beeline over to Bank and Bourbon, lest you risk the pork belly sandwich coming off the menu!
FTC Disclaimer: I was invited for lunch as a guest of Bank and Bourbon. Regardless, my opinions are mine alone and, therefore, unbiased.