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  1. Hungry Pigeon is a place where I could easily see myself hanging out all day. I stopped in for dinner one rainy evening, and was so pleased I wish I would have checked into a hotel so that I could wander back and have breakfast. But first, let me tell you how delicious dinner was. Parking in Queen's Village can be a bit tricky, but I managed to snag a spot right in front. Consider myself lucky, and the night was off to a wonderful start. The decor of Hungry Pigeon is very comfy. I am certain many other restaurants spend thousands to execute the design that is accomplished at the Pigeon. The room is peppered with lush green plants, artwork, and wooden tables throughout the space. There is a communal long picnic style table in the back that I find rather charming. I am not sure what the fuss is against communal dining. I happen to enjoy it. It affords the opportunity to engage in conversation with strangers, or a group of diners that are there for the same reason. On this night, I opted to have a seat at the bar, because let's be honest, it's the best seat in the house. As soon as I sat down, I had the sense I was going to have a wonderful meal. There is nothing pretentious about this spot, and I fell hard for the bohemian energy that filled this space. Before deciding on coming to the Pigeon, I didn't do much digging in terms of learning about the menu. I read that Craig Laban, Philly's food critic, was a fan. He actually gave it three bells, and for the last few years it has been the darling of the city landing on lists published by several of Philly's finest reads. The spot serves all day fare. In the AM, it's counter service for breakfast and lunch, and at 5 it converts to full service for dinner with hand crafted cocktails, a bevy of local craft beers, and wines. On the menu there is a category titled, " Let's cook for you," ($50) and I gladly obliged, and chose the cocktail pairing. ($25) Four courses paired with a cocktail for each course priced under $80, a total bargain in my opinion. The first course or shall I say an appetizer x 3 was delectable. I was expecting one, but was bestowed a flight of 3 apps. A beef tartare dressed in fragrant olive oil donned with briny capers, smoked cheddar and paper thin sliced shallots. Its was served with house friend crisp potato chips. Amazing. Second, a stunning salad composed of strawberries and cherry tomatoes served with farmer cheese and dotted with sumac. Thirdly, a ham cured in amaro presented with a few helpings of pickled zucchini. All of this food was ample enough for 2, so I happily asked the server to pack up what I did not finish. This first course was paired with a delectable seasonal Negroni. A traditional recipes with the addition of a fragrant strawberry- rhubarb shrub. The aroma of the cocktail was like the most delicious strawberry field. That drink went down incredibly smooth. I could not get enough of how wonderfully delicious the drink's aroma had me captivated. And the bread, oh my. Pat O'Malley, who recently returned from a run at Baltazar, is the genius behind all of the pastries, breads, and sweets. For the first bread offering , a country rye is served with softened butter, and later in the meal, walnut bread follows.. For the first course, I nearly sopped the plate clean with the bread in the oil that pooled on the plate of beef tartare. Following the apps, a small plate of house made linguine tossed with tender squash, fragrant baby leaves of basil, butter, and a copious amount of grana padano. There was a fresh herb peppered throughout the dish that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but lent a slight bitterness to the dish. The bitterness was a welcome contrast to the richness of all the other components. A Tired Hand Pilsner was paired nicely with the pasta. Although I am not much of a beer fan in general, it was nice. A pilsner done in the style of a German hefeweizen. I am trying to expand my palate and open myself to enjoy beers, but I am not quite there. I don't enjoy the bitterness that is present in all beers, but I do appreciate the craft that goes in the production of beer and how in the last several years a beer renaissance has occurred. I took a few sips, and was looking forward to what the next course would present. A perfectly cooked loin of swordfish paired with a vibrant salad of haricot verts and tomatoes was absolutely divine. The salad was a raw salad dressed in vinaigrette that I could only guessed to be perhaps champagne vinegar and a generous helping of garlic. There was something fishy about the vinaigrette that I could not stop going back to. Kinda tasted like perhaps a dash of fish sauce was added to the dressing. Can't say for sure, but there was a familiar flavor that reminded of me home. The wine for this course was a varietal produced in the Canary Islands. A bright Listan Blanco, a varietal of Palomino grapes that are popular in the production of sherry, paired nicely with the fish. And to wrap up this incredible meal , a honeysuckle panna cotta topped off with the sweetest strawberries ended a most delicious degustation. The final pairing was an Amarro produced in Croatia. I was informed the Amarro is distilled from orange tea leaves among several other herbs. It made sense to round things out with a digestive, and it was perfect. All of the raves the Pigeon have received are so well deserved. This meal for what I paid, I would have gladly shilled more for. The quality of the ingredients to the attentive, yet relaxed service, will warrant me visiting several times over. Next visit will be to indulge in the full spectrum of pastries. I can hardly wait! Royally fed in the Queen's Village, katt
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