Philadelphia's historic City Tavern was once a favorite spot of George Washington and other Founding Fathers. Today, more than 200 years later, City Tavern is once again a popular restaurant, thanks to executive chef Walter Staib.
Staib, who aims to help his diners to "taste history" through his re-creation of 18th-century food and ambiance, is turning his attention to The Saturday Early Show Chef on a Shoestring, creating a meal for four on our budget of $40.
The City Tavern was built in 1773 and became the unofficial gathering spot for the First Continental Congress in the summer of 1774. The Tavern became a favorite spot for George Washington, John Adams, Ben Franklin and other Founding Fathers.
The Tavern was destroyed in a fire in the mid-1800s. Then, Congress commissioned the Tavern to be rebuilt in time for the country's Bicentennial.
Chef Staib came to the restaurant in 1994. Both the National Park Service and Chef Staib have made every effort to faithfully recreate the Tavern as it operated during the American Revolution. Diners eat with pewter-style flatware and goblets, and the staff is attired in Colonial garb. Chef Staib has won a number of awards for his work at City Tavern.
Here's his menu for Chef on a Shoestring: Char Siu Chicken Napoleon (page 2), Paupiettes of Brook Trout (page 3) and Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble (page 4)
Chef Staib fills a trout fillet with almond stuffing, and then shows us how to wrap it in a leek. He will then cook the fish in white wine, and show us how to tell when it's done. He finishes the fish with a simple sauce, and serves it with sauteed snap peas.
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