What to Eat for Dinner at High Street on Market

By Danya Henninger  |  November 12, 2013
Credit: Danya Henninger

We had a chance to stop in for dinner at High Street on Market, Ellen Yin’s Old City sister establishment next door to Fork. During the day, the new market-cafe offers an excellent assortment of sandwiches, pastries, coffee and breads, some of which are pretty innovative. It’s at night, however, that chef Eli Kulp really gets to play.

“I’ve had a lot of fun putting my personal touch on the food at Fork,” Kulp says, “but it’s a relatively traditional menu, and people love it. It’s been popular for 15 years, so - other than updating the tastes and flavors - why change it? Here at High Street I can explore really exciting things.”

Think foraged produce, hard-to-find or unusual ingredients and a more unorthodox menu: instead of apps and entrees, the list is broken into a range of plates “to share” and a selection of larger pastas, which are all made in-house. Everything is served in rustic style, which matches the hand-crafted, relaxed decor. Even the plates and bowls are made of wood and hand-spun pottery.

“Fork is an evening out,” says Yin, “whereas here, we want folks to just drop in when they feel like it, for a cocktail and quick bite, or maybe a pasta and a couple glasses of wine.” Click through for a look at some of the best dishes on the menu (they will change often), then stop in to try it for yourself (5:30-10 PM, Tuesday-Thursday and 5:30-10:30 PM, Friday-Saturday).

  • The smallest and most inexpensive plate on the menu (at $3) might also be the most intensely flavorful. Instead of shattering and coating your mouth with annoying green shards, these kale chips maintain a bit of texture. Yeast and fermented soybean dust is added both before and after dehydrating. If you’re looking for something to accompany a cocktail, start here.

  • A small cocktail list includes several pre-bottled classics. The time in the bottle allows the ingredients of a Manhattan, for instance, or a Vesper, to meld and suffuse each other with flavor, making for a slightly mellower but just as potent sip. There are also several wines in bottle and by the glass and bottled beers on offer.

  • Crispy broccoli is like an ultra light tempura, with just enough batter on the stalks to make them more like candy than vegetable. They’re topped with spicy chow chow, a Southern-style pickled relish ($5).

  • We didn’t know that what hummus was yearning to mate with was squash, but now we know it’s a match that had to happen. A spoonful of the squash hummus with the long hot chermoula is great on its own, but don’t miss following it up with the ultra-dense black sesame oil seeded toasts ($8.5).

  • Kulp gives James Bond’s favorite potted shrimps an upgrade by capping the nutmeg-flavored seafood with an airy cap of whipped foie gras. Set a spoonful on the crunchy shrimp toast piece and let it float into your mouth ($9.50).

  • Credit: Danya Henninger

    If you think beets are overrated (we did), just wait until you try them aged. Slices of not-quite-beet-jerky alternate with beet crisps and stalk-on sliced radishes in this very unique salad ($8).

  • By the time the wild and cultivated mushrooms arrived, our dining partner was convinced enough of the menu’s cred that he had no qualms about the relatively odd-looking bowl, happily scooping up the farm egg yolk and smoky eggplant purée, even though he’s not usually a fan of either of those ingredients ($13). We quickly followed suit.

  • A dish of rabbit, chestnuts and roasted cauliflower gets it’s real zing from slivers of juicy and autumn stone fruit woven in with the savory components. Additional sweetness comes from fudge-like maple penuche ($13).

  • One of the most visually arresting dishes on the menu is surely the seaweed bucatini, purple inky strands covered in bright orange lobster bottarga shavings and bits of scallion. Intense ocean flavor matches the appearance ($21).

    Note: the pasta dishes shown here are not full portions.

  • Toasted bread rigatoni has nearly the opposite flavor effect; instead of bowling you over, the flavor in the pasta provides a broad base of earthy flavor. It’s a perfect landing point for the braised snails and bacon strewn throughout ($23).

  • Do save room for desserts from pastry chef Samantha Kincaid, especially the housemade ice creams, mousses and puddings ($7-$8).

    308 Market St.; 215-625-0988