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Monday, May 21, 2012

Alla Spina

Alla Spina
Price: $$-$$$
Forks: 8.5

1410 Mt. Vernon St.
Philadelphia, PA

HELlllloooooo PHillAY. I'm baaaack. For the next 6 weeks I'm back on campus for summer session. Now this is bittersweet. Its great because I finally have time to check out all the restaurants and markets that have been on my list, but its miserable because I'm taking classes, ew. Hopefully, the food will be able to compensate. I've also been assigned the "Head Chef" position at my house so be expecting many new recipes as well because my roommates are very hungree people. To kick off tha summer session right, I wanted to try a restaurant that has been on my list since it opened, Vetri's newest spot to join his other famed locations, Alla Spina. Serving up Italian style bar food, the restaurant has a great bar-feel atmosphere, enhanced by the spirited kitchen crew cooking up delicacies in the lovely open kitchen. I LOVE open kitchens. While we were waiting to be seated Cole and I sat at the bar of the open kitchen actually hovering over the chef's every move and asking a million questions. Ugh, heaven.

Now, I had done my research on the menu and knew I wanted to try a smattering of dishes. To start, we ordered the Soft Pretzels and Beer Cheese and the Poutine. Out came soft, doughy, and salty pretzel rounds accompanied by this creamy looking sauce. The cheese sauce. OMG. It carried the richness of the beer while still maintaining a cheesy undertone as well. It was sick.
 sultry mama

Poutine is a traditional Canadian *thank you Lulu* dish made up of french fries covered in cheese curds and a brown gravy. Vetri's take features crispy fries topped with a Guinea Hen Bolognese and creamy Mozzerella Curds. It was amazing. Super salty and luscious, all of us were happily licking our fingers as we (I mean I) licked the plate clean. The Bolognese was hearty and married perfectly with the texture of the curds, but I wish there were more of the Mozzerella, because I couldn't get enough.


For main courses, D and I split the Swordfish BLT and the Lousianna Gulf Prawns. The BLT was out of this world. The swordfish was crispy and light, and contrasted effortlessly with the smokiness the bacon had to offer. Served with a side of chips, you were given the option of BBQ and Salt and Vinegar and I wanted both so I asked for half and half. The BBQ were tangy, the Salt and Vinegar a little too subtle, but both were extremely addictive.


 The prawns were served in a citrus butter vinaigrette and were tender and delicious. The sauce was yummy and well seasoned, but was a little too heavy on the butter and could have used a hint of a lighter note.
 We also got the Cucumber with pepperonicno and mint, which was spicy and crunchy and was the perfect uplifting side, and the crispy sun chokes which were so salty and succulent I could have eaten three orders.

Kels, Cole, and Nick all got the Mortadella Hotdog with spicy pickles and cabbage relish. The pickles and cabbage seemed to lend somewhat of a Vietnamese flavor which unexpectedly totally worked with the hot dog. The classic hot dog was transformed in this dish to something light and refreshing, as it lacked the traditional grease and fatty flavor of a regular dog. They were all fans. Also, shoutout to Nick and his Hungree Girl debut. He now knows the "don't eat until I photograph" rule.


 Jill and Dev went the healthy route, hey someone's gotta do it, and got the Watercress Asparagus Salad with a pecorino vinaigrette and the Zucchini with oregano, basil, and lemon. The salad was peppery and delicate, while the zucchini was served rustic style in thick chunks, a true ode to the vegetable and its natural flavor.

 Our "For the Table" dish was the Maple Glazed Fried Chicken and fries. Like no we couldn't pass that up, and we were very pleased we didn't. The chicken was beyond crunchy crispy on the outside, yet moist and juicy on the inside. Coated in a slightly sweet and vinegary maple glaze that dripped all over the fries, the whole plate was a masterpiece of salty sticky goodness.

 AND dessert. A fiordilatte soft serve sundae filled with caramel pretzels and chocolate covered bacon. OKAY? For those of you who haven't tried the chocolate/bacon combo, don't be scared. The bacon adds a smoked saltiness to the chocolate that is completely complementary and gives your tastebuds a whole new experience. The sundae was amazing. The caramel pretzels were almost like a crunchy brittle that gave the ice cream the textured crunch it needed. Dipped with a piece of the chocolate bacon, and we were in heaven.


 Hungree People

OVERALL: I loved Alla Spina. The lively bar atmosphere made me feel cool and hip, and everything we ordered I loved. Don't come here and expect to eat light. NO, order a cold beer and everything unhealthy sounding because this is a heart stopping (literally) meal that is totally worth every bite.

Good2b back
xoxo
hungreegirl.

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