Forsythia is French AF

The sensuous French-inspired Forsythia in Old City, Philadelphia is hosting French AF, an extended happy disco party/roller boogie affair.

Almost 10 years after opening his intimate, molecular gastronomical palace, Will BYOB, and commencing the East Passyunk Avenue Restaurant Renaissance, chef-owner Christopher Kearse got out of South Philly, ran into the waiting arms of Old City, opened the sensuous French-inspired Forsythia and never looked back.


In 2019, for the opening of Forsythia, Kearse told me, “I’m different, and the way people eat is different in 2019 than it was in 2012. I want to do something approachable that’s still very much me, not dumbed down, with detailed components, but streamlined. There are ways of doing that, and I’m able to do that.” Usually, he does as much at Forsythia courtesy of dramatic plating and a hearty yet delicate menu featuring au courant items such as a Serrano Ham Tartine with Fromage Blanc and pickled black plums appetizers and large mains such as Cod en Croute with artichoke barigoule.

This Monday, June 7, however, Kearse and Co. fly even further out of Forsythia’s comfort zone with FRENCH AF (As Fuck, for you with less sensitive ears), a happy-hour-til-10-pm DJ Franco disco party/roller boogie affair featuring booze from New Liberty Distillery, Love City Brewing, and the release of Liberty Belle Amer Picon, an American take on the traditional bittersweet French aperitif with an orange flavor from Robert Cassell and New Liberty Distillery. If you are looking for the unique Philly tie-in, you can pair Amer Picon with a citrusy low bitter American IPA (e.g. Love City’s Unity IPA) in what the entire FRENCH AF team titles “the French citywide.”

To that disco, drink menu, Kearse’s Forsythia will highlight its small plate menu – because it is hard to dance and hold an entire rack of lamb, and look good doing it. This includes Forsythia’s Foie Gras Mousse with Blueberry and Hazelnut; Wagyu Beef Tartar, Onion Confit and Cured Egg Yolk on Rye; Escargot à La Provençal; and Milk Chocolate Pot de Crème with Coconut and Cocoa Nib Caramel.

During the French AF evening, a phalanx of drag queens will act as your servers, disco balls will hang, sequins and glitter will flitter, lasers will burn and Philly-based, French-native DJ Romaine will spin the finest Francophile discothèque classics, old and new. 


“After the last year of living in lockdown and pandemic life, it’s about time we all had a little fun,” says Kearse of the June 7 boogie affair. 


Images: Goldenberg Photography

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