Food + Drink

Aldine: A Restaurant that Pays Attention to Details

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Three years ago, if you would have walked upstairs 1901 Chestnut you would have entered a nightclub that no Philadelphian in their right mind should have enjoyed. Now, this 2nd floor window-filled space has turned into a phenomenal restaurant that most of Philadelphia is overlooking.

Aldine is a fairly new restaurant here in Philadelphia that was unlocked by George Sabatino, the owner and head chef of the restaurant, and his wife/partner Jennifer Sabatino who creates the unique bar program.

First and foremost, there’s something to be said about the owners of a restaurant that put in an extensive amount of their effort to make sure you have a great experience; And with George Sabatino making you the food himself in the open-kitchen –  making sure every plate is a perfect work of art that he himself brings to your table is extremely notable.

George Sabatino uses all in-season vegetables for his dishes that come from a local farm right outside of Philadelphia – Green Meadow Farms.  The wait staff and the cooks are very knowledgeable and want to provide you with whatever suits your needs (and taste buds of course); You tell them your dietary restrictions and they’ve got you covered from there.

The menu is à la carte, with small plates of all kinds; meat, vegetarian, and vegan options all available. What really won me over is how the dishes were fabricated: From the Potato + Bone Marrow Croquettes to the pork belly that was glazed and then topped with mint – Can’t say I have ever seen someone master Mint on the same dish as Pork Belly.. As Uncle Jesse would say, ‘Have Mercy.’

The atmosphere: Casual yet chic, but the staff makes you feel like it’s completely okay to be a flannel-wearing hipster here too.

The Cocktails: Drink at your own risk, they are tasty. All drinks are made with seasonal herbs and fresh juices.

Me: I left here with a full belly and a smile bigger than Beyoncé’s.

(Dishes are below and labeled for your convenience)
Photography by Samantha Tess

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The cocktails were perfectly crafted. My favorite was the one on the left – Tequila, Serrano, Rhubarb, Lime.

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All of their bread, butter, and dairy products are made in-house using ingredients from Green Meadow Farms.
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Sugar Snap Peas, Pickled Chili, Smoked Almond Milk dressing

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White Asparagus, Cured Egg Yolk, Truffle Aioli
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Glazed Pork Belly, Chili Squid, Black Rice Crackers, Mint
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Strip Steak glazed with a sweet sauce, accompanied by potato + marrow croquettes
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Don’t get me started on the dessert
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Thai Basil Chocolate.. Richer than Donald Trump
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Panna Cotta with preserved Raspberries won my heart
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Olive Oil Cake – A Family Recipe from the Sous Chef

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Aldine provided me with a 5 star dinner and a 10 star experience. I truly admire when the owners don’t just tell their staff what to do and how to satisfy the average customer – they provide great leadership and work as a team to make the restaurant stand out, causing the customers to talk about them well-after they leave.

Experiences, personalities, and details matter in the restaurant industry, and George and Jennifer Sabatino, alongside of their incredible staff are successfully doing just that here in the City of Brotherly Love.

Follow @AldinePhilly on Instagram and the chef himself, @GWSabatino

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George and Jennifer Sabatino
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