Beautiful Spring day a few weeks back and we just had to have that first meal outside. Not being in the mood for a major outing, we settled on a few small plates in the courtyard of the M House Hotel & Restaurant.
Here's the sign on 8th beckoning you into the courtyard to enjoy a glass of wine and an empanada. Yes, wine & empanadas..I'll get to that in a minute. The wines-by-the-glass were a little pricey, but you're paying for the atmosphere of the courtyard...a fair trade on a gorgeous Spring afternoon.
First, some pretty standard but delicious bruschetta...this was goat cheese with tiny diced squash made for a unique topping.
The truffled honey & rich creamy Delice de Bourgogne cheese is a combo that I'm putting in the rotation at home.
But this is what I was really there for...empanadas. The flaky crust was perfect - I could only imagine how much lard or shortening went into these beauties. I heard that the same family that runs the restaurant has been trying to open an Italian/Argentinian place down in the Italian Market and that the empanadas were going to be featured there as well.
While the ham & cheese was a classic combination, our favorite filling was the meat, egg & olive empanadas. A well-seasoned filling (possibly cumin?), these lived up to the hype - just look at the consistency of the crust and the gooey, savory filling. They have a special that allows you to sample all 3 varieties of empanada for $16.
Their menu was extensive enough that we could've enjoyed a full service but it really makes for a great pit-stop on a day when you're out & about in the Washington Square West section of Center City.