Supper puts whole grains in the spotlight

The Buffalo grits (front left) and red quinoa pilaf (front right) are two dishes in the new Mill section on Supper's menu. | Photo by Grace DickinsonIt’s raining grains at South Street’s farm-to-table restaurant, Supper. Chef Mitch Prensky recently added a new “Mill” section to the menu, bringing quinoa, barley and other whole grains to the center of the plate.

“I wanted options that would be healthier and different than your traditional Italian pasta,” says Chef Prensky who opened Supper back in 2007 with his wife, Jennifer. “This gives us an opportunity to work with those more marginal ingredients that people tend to only see in smaller amounts.”

The Mill section offers four different dishes, which will change as new produce comes in season. Most fruits and vegetables are sourced from the restaurant’s personal farm, Blue Elephant, located just 45 minutes outside Philadelphia in Newtown, Pa.

On Monday evening I had the opportunity to taste some dishes from the Mill section. A favorite was the Buffalo grits, a rich, dreamy creamy dish topped with buttermilk blue cheese, pickled celery, hot sauce and salty fried buffalo pieces. If wings were ever worthy of a fork, these are it. There was also the red quinoa pilaf, the restaurant’s first vegan option, made with homemade almond milk, roasted asparagus, edamame and toasted nuts. The dish was anything but bland.

Chef Mitch Prensky prepares dishes from the Mill section on Monday night. | Photo by Grace Dickinson“It’s not like that section of the menu where you see the quinoa and you scratch and sniff for the patchouli,” says Prensky, who presumes most diners won’t even realize the quinoa is dairy-free.

Prensky has also kept in mind his gluten-free customers. “There [are] just so many gluten-free options for [celiacs] in the grain worlds that people often don’t even know about.” Among these gluten-free grains are millet and buckwheat, which Prensky plans to experiment with in the future.

All “Mill” offerings are available in both appetizer and entrée sized portions to encourage even skeptical diners to try something new.

Supper, 926 South Street, (215) 592-8180, supperphilly.com

GRACE DICKINSON is a food blogger, photo enthusiast and recipe creater. These passions are brought together on FoodFitnessFreshAir.com, where she chronicles her experiments in the kitchen.