Although it’s located in always-busy Old City, Forsythia, the modern French restaurant, has a slow-paced, casual atmosphere. There’s a long bar in the entry where couples share beef tartare and a handful of friends trying to pronounce “Cinsault” while scanning the endless wine list. With lots of plants, black and white tile flooring, and hanging globe lighting, it feels like dining in a West Elm showroom—everything is staged for cool vibes, but you can’t forget you’re sitting in a mall. And while the dishes are just as elaborately arranged, they taste, well—remarkably ordinary.
The menu includes small, large, and vegetable sections. It has classics with creative twists, like a duck confit omelet, foie gras mousse with lemon poppy seed brioche, and escargot in a chartreuse-almond butter. Unfortunately, between the bland flavors and generally overcooked small plates, it’s essentially the dinner version of a bad French accent. It works for a date night when you’ve already had a few dishes elsewhere, or a casual dinner when you’re not in a rush (service can be slower than those escargot before the pot). If you do find yourself here for dinner, go straight for the mains like their tender and savory coulotte steak or juicy Pocono trout, grab a few glasses of wine, and leave reasonably satisfied.