English Pea Gazpacho at Forsythia

Cool off with the Best Summer Dishes in the Philadelphia Region

Summer’s hottest heatwave is hitting the Philadelphia region, and it’s time for top-tier “hot weather dishes” to shine! We’ve rounded up a list of our go-to refreshing fare to enjoy during the hot and humid summer months, including local hot spots such as Forsythia, Royal Boucherie, Urban Farmer, Assembly Rooftop Lounge, Playhouse Deck, Oloroso, Red Owl Tavern, Square 1682, Townsend EPX, Patchwork, and Rex at The Royal.

Forsythia, Old City’s contemporary French bar and restaurant helmed by Chef Christopher Kearse, boasts an ever-evolving selection of French fare that truly embodies each season in each dish’s ingredients, execution, and flavor profiles. The current summer-focused menu consists of a bevy of delightful, beautifully prepared dishes that will transport restaurant goers to a picturesque balcony overlooking the Golf du Lion in the South of France, with highlights spanning Big Eye Tuna Niçoise ($38) and the Steamed Icelandic Cod ($36) complemented by summer squash blossom, crab, and lemon myrtle bouillon.

For those looking for lighter summer fare, Forsythia also offers in-season small plates such as Wellfleet Oysters on the Half Shell ($24), and a refreshing English Pea Gazpacho ($14) decorated with Jonah crab, lemon crème fraîche, and hazelnut crumb.

Hours of operation: Wednesday through Sunday, 5 pm – 10 pm for dinner service, and Saturday and Sunday, 10:30am – 2pm for brunch service

233 Chestnut St | 215.644.9395 | www.forsythiaphilly.com

Royal Boucherie, Old City’s lively and atmospheric neighborhood bistro, features scrumptious summertime shellfish dishes on its robust European-inspired menu, notably, a savory Lobster Cocktail ($18) in addition to its Plateaus De La Mer ($48-$98), a chilled assortment of fresh shellfish. Additionally, Royal Boucherie boasts a mouthwatering Lobster Benedict ($24) decked out with ‘nduja, a spicy salume spread, and kale during its Sunday brunch, from 10am until 3pm.

For patrons who may be shy about shellfish, Royal Boucherie also offers the French summer staple, Ratatouille Tian, adorned with delicate layers of summer vegetables, anchovy, maldon salt, and Parmesan.

Hours of operation: Wednesday through Thursday, 4pm–10pm. Friday, 4pm–11pm, Saturday, 12pm–11pm, and Sunday, 10am–9pm

52 S 2nd St | 267.606.6313 | www.royalboucherie.com

Urban Farmer, Logan Square’s modern American steakhouse, provides foodies with a plethora of seasonal dishes to be enjoyed on the restaurant’s picturesque patio. Foodies can dive into the Seafood Mezze Board ($22), decked out with jumbo lump crab salad, salmon rillette, and citrus poached shrimp. Those feeling extra ravenous can opt to add on the fan-favorite small plate of Diver Scallops ($19), which are decadently complemented by parsnip puree, 50-year sherry vinegar, and asparagus salad.

Urban Farmer also offers light summer fare staples such as a Ricotta and Beet Salad ($15) with pistachio and citrus in addition to a Halibut ($38) entrée served with miso glaze, forbidden rice, baby carrot, edamame, and yuzu aioli.Hours of operation: Tuesday through Saturday, 8am – 9pm, and Sunday, 8am – 3pm

1850 Benjamin Franklin Parkway | 215.963.2788 |  www.urbanfarmersteakhouse.com

The Grove at Assembly Rooftop Lounge, is a tropical bungalow-inspired pop-up boasting island cocktails, a bright seafood-centric menu, exotic plant life, and ambient, unparalleled views perfect for a summer escape from bustling city life. The pop-up bar’s menu is carefully curated with an abundance of summertime seafood favorites. Most notable is the Lobster Roll ($21) served on a brioche bun with crème fraiche aioli and potato chips on the side. Additional menu highlights include Tuna Poke ($18) with pickled green papaya, citrus ponzu, taro chips, and togarashi, as well as the ever-tender Charred Octopus Salad ($15) complimented by romesco sauce, hearts of palm, chimichurri, and preserved lemon.

Hours of operation: Tuesday through Saturday from 4 pm with last seating at 10:30 pm

1840 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy | 215.783.4171 | www.assemblyrooftop.com

Playhouse Deck, a modern, yet laid-back perch over the Delaware River tucked behind the legendary Bucks County Playhouse, has kicked off its brand-new summer Lobster Roll Special. Every Wednesday, New Hope locals and travelers alike can indulge in a toppling Lobster Roll ($40) consisting of a whopping six ounces of juicy lobster, nearly double the amount on a standard roll, packed onto a grilled potato roll with a side of hot, crispy fries.

Other summer delights include a Sugar Snap Pea and Radish Salad($12) with feta, mint, lemon confit, Mussels Escabeche ($15) in an espelette sauce with lemon and saffron in addition to a Branzino ($29) entree served with orange & black olive relish and basil dressed Israeli couscous.

Hours of operation: Wednesday through Thursday: 4pm – 9pm and Friday through Sunday: 12pm – 9pm. Bar menu only: Wednesday through Sunday: 9pm – 10pm.

70 S Main St, New Hope, PA | 267.397.6866 | www.playhousedeck.com

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Oloroso, Philadelphia’s premier Spanish restaurant, is the quintessential go-to spot for sharing a heaping bowl of paella on a summer night with friends. During the summer Oloroso offers three seasonal paella dishes sure to tickle your taste buds. Variations include Squid Ink ($58/84) with whole shrimp, snap peas, and pil pil emulsion, Oloroso ($62/88) with shrimp, clams, mussels, chicken, chorizo, and saffron, as well as Escalivada ($52/74) with roasted zucchini, summer squash, bail, and basquaise peppers. These delicious paellas are particularly delightful when enjoyed in Oloroso’s gorgeous dining space and perfectly pair with the restaurant’s extensive Spanish wine selection.

Hours of operation: Wednesday through Sunday, 5pm – 10pm

1121 Walnut Street | 267.324.3014 |  www.olorosophl.com

Red Owl Tavern, the contemporary kitchen and bar located across from Independence Hall in Old City, recently released its new summer menu with curated seasonal dishes, small and large, which any foodie will salivate over. Stand-out small plates include the Summer Panzanella ($15), a bright seasonal salad consisting of heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, corn, and garlic croutons topped with muscatel vinaigrette, in addition to the sweet and savory Marinated Watermelon ($15) salad, complete with frisee, whipped goat cheese, pickled shallots, and crispy quinoa, topped with yuzu vinaigrette. For a fresh and light summer dinner, diners can indulge in entrees such as the Grilled Swordfish ($29) served with tomato couscous, tzatziki, and caper salsa verde, as well as the Grilled Summer Squash ($24), served with tomato couscous, whipped goat cheese, and tomato vinaigrette.

Hours of operation: Monday through Tuesday 8am – 9pm, Wednesday 8am – 3pm, Thursday and Friday 8am – 10pm, Saturday 9am – 10pm, Sunday 9am – 3pm

433 Chestnut St | 215.923.2267 | www.redowltavern.com

Square 1682, the modern American kitchen located at the intersection of 17th and Sansom streets, is known for its famed Surf ‘n’ Turf Tuesday Special, when the restaurant offers this crowd-pleasing classic at a reduced price of $29 during dinner from 5 pm – 10 pm. Square 1682’s Surf ‘n’ Turf plate consists of filet mignon, a half-pound of lobster, rosemary jus, and drawn butter, and is served with Philly’s favorite side dish, crab fries.

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8am – 11am for breakfast, and 11:30am – 2pm for lunch, Tuesday through Thursday, 5 – 10pm, and Friday and Saturday, 5 – 11pm for dinner, Saturday and Sunday, 9am – 3pm for brunch

121 South 17th St | 215.563.5008 | www.square1682.com

Townsend EPX, Chef Townsend Wentz’s acclaimed French restaurant on bustling East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia, serves up vibrant, seasonal offerings perfect for summer weather. Cool off with Marinated Tuna crafted with cucumber, honey crisp apple, furikake, and sesame; chow down on some decedent Roasted Organic Chicken complete with essential summer fixings such as cippolini, speck, apricot jam, and pistachio, or veg out with a Butternut Squash-Truffle Gratin served with mushrooms, thyme, and breadcrumbs.

Hours of operation: Wednesday through Saturday, 5pm – 2am, Sunday, 10:30am – 2:30pm and 5pm – 12am

1623 East Passyunk Ave | 267.534.4175 | www.townsendepx.com

Patchwork, a lively restaurant and bar focused on New American cuisine, located on the second floor of Hyatt Centric Center City offers a wide selection of summertime favorites sure to satisfy. Diners can start off with a cool plate of Cape May Oysters ($22) served with a pickled ginger mignonette, Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad ($12) tossed with whipped feta, cucumbers, sundried tomato, and sumac, and Summer Kimchi Pickles ($7) with jicama, mango, and bell peppers.

For dinner, Patchwork offers a scrumptious plate of Ancho Seared Scallops ($32) with corn purée, bacon jam, and brussel sprout succotash or the fan-favorite Goat Cheese Agnolotti ($22) with maitake mushroom, green peas, and guanciale.

Hours: Wednesday through Thursday from 6:30am – 11:30am and 5pm – 10pm, Friday from 6:30am – 11:30am and 5pm – 11pm, Saturday 8am – 2pm and 5pm – 11pm, and Sunday from 8am – 2pm

1620 Chancellor St | 215.985.1234 | www.patchworkphilly.com

Rex at The Royal, Philly’s destination for elevated Southern and Lowcountry cuisine, features a summer fresh Lobster Salad ($29) tossed with scallion buttermilk ranch, shaved fennel, pickled corn, celery, and served with benne seed crackers. The salad is additionally featured in the menu’s star of the show— a Seafood Plateau ($69) filled to the brim with assorted coastal treats including half a dozen oysters, shrimp cocktail, local catch crudo, and the aforementioned lobster salad.

Other summer staples include a vegan Hoppin’ John ($19) made with marsh hen mills black-eyed peas and Carolina gold rice, pickled carrots, onions, tomatoes, celery, peppers, and okra, in addition to Fried Green Tomatoes ($11) with cornmeal dusted green tomatoes, and house pimento cheese.

Hours: Sunday through Thursday: 5pm–10pm. Friday through Saturday 5pm–11pm. Sunday Brunch: 11am–2:30pm.

1524 South St | 267.319.1366 | www.rexphl.com

–Samantha Schultz