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What's Happening in:  Queen Village 

Southwark restaurant receives two bell review for blending old and new

Across from Bainbridge Green in Queen Village sits Southwark restaurant. After a switch of ownership and some renovations in 2015, the restaurant is now thriving.

A photo posted by Southwark (@southwark_phl) on

Craig Laban paid this revamped spot a visit, giving Southwark two bells for the owners’ work of “caretaking someone else’s legacy before forging their own.”

From the review:

The menu, meanwhile, shows as much ambition as ever toward of-the-moment ingredients and handcrafted flavors. The usual hummus is turned a vivid spring hue with green chickpeas. Smoky mackerel is whipped into pâté, chilled beneath a jellied layer of horseradish cream in a neighborly nod to the smoked whitefish salad across the way at the Famous Fourth Street Deli. A beef tartare, zippy with mustard and capers, showed off the luscious quality of Painted Hills beef, the softness of its minced bits glossed with a farm yolk then dusted with a spicy snow of shaved fresh horseradish root.

D’Ambro indulges his whole-animal instincts with a slow-stewed pig’s head turned into a crispy patty for a tasty slider slathered with spicy ‘nduja salami mayo. The house charcuterie platter shows off his terrine skills (if not yet cured meats) – but also some edges that still need polish. I loved the flavor of pork terrine, with hazelnuts and a hint of bacon smoke, but the texture was a shade too coarse and dry. Likewise, the house mortadella studded with Castelvetrano olives tasted great, but the meat’s emulsion was slightly separated and greasy. The chicken pâté flavored with green chickpeas and maitakes was my favorite.

Also worth noting is the new restaurant that owners Chris D’Ambro and Marina De Oliveira have planned just next door to Southwark. This new spot, called Ambra, will be an Italian wine bar that should open within the next few months.

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