Saturday, May 5, 2018

Tavola Restaurant & Bar Review

This past week, we drove out to the burbs and enjoyed dinner at Tavola Restaurant & Bar. Located by the Springfield Country Club and golf course, the views are picturesque, yet the vibe is low-key and easily approachable. It was nice to be able to see the sun go down over the golf course while dining al fresco. 

Bread Service

Dinner started off with fresh-baked bread and an olive oil & garlic dip. 

French Onion Soup [$7]
Caramelized onions, beef broth, melted cheese, crostini

The french onion soup is a show stopper and sure to satisfy. All your cheese pull dreams will come true, with a broth that thankfully isn't overly seasoned and has plenty of caramelized onions. 

Crab Avocado Tower [$17]
Jumbo lump crab, avocado, salsa, shaved cucumber, radish 

Seeking a light starter? Look no further than the crab and avocado tower. A generous portion of jumbo lump crab provides the sweet and fresh flavors you're looking for, with the crisp cucumber and radish adding some texture to each bite. 

Crab Cake Sliders [$14]
Jumbo lump crab, Japanese mayo, corn salsa

Crab cake sliders are generously portioned, with sweet japanese mayo and corn salsa. Easily enjoyed with a side or two! 

Onion Rings [$7]

Sides you say? I'd definitely recommend the fresh-cut onion rings - deftly fried and abundant. A steal at $7! 

Burnt End Fried Rice [$25]
Plum BBQ brisket ends, carrots, edamame, snow peas, fried egg

We enjoyed the crisp texture on the rice, with sweet plum BBQ sauce and plenty of brisket interspersed throughout along with diced carrots, edamame, and snow peas. The perfectly fried egg will ooze on top, adding even more heft to each bite. 

So if you're in Springfield, PA or looking to enjoy brunch or dinner along with a round of golf, be sure to stop by Tavola. Pro-tip: check out Quizzo on Tuesdays and their live music as well! 

FTC Disclaimer: Thanks to Tavola Restaurant & Foodie Tribe for inviting us in. Regardless, my opinions are mine alone and, therefore, unbiased. 

Tavola Restaurant & Bar
400 W. Sproul Rd. 
Springfield, PA 19064
(610) 543-2100

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Amis Trattoria Review

It's been a few years since the GF & I were last at Amis. And that's completely on us - we no longer live at 10th and Spruce. Still, we fondly remember some of our best first dates at Amis, which were always coupled with great food and hospitality. Based on  a recent visit back, I'm happy to say that nothing's changed on that front. But it's clear I need to get my butt back out here more often. 

Clockwise from Top Left: Negroni Fresco [$12] | Sangiovese [$12] | House-baked Olive Oil Foccacia

After a fairly busy work-week, drinks were needed. The Negroni Fresco hit the spot for me, with the gin balanced by Atxa Blanco vermouth and the sweetness of Ramazotti amaro. The GF enjoyed a glass of Sangiovese. FYI - the wine list at Amis has always allowed us to find some real gems! House-baked olive oil foccacia was easily enjoyed while waiting for starters.

Baked Pecorino [$12]
Almond honey

Baked pecorino was pretty perfect - hitting the salty and sweet notes that were just right for the grilled bread. Nice texture from the almonds as well.

Bass Crudo [$14]
Fava beans, preserved Meyer lemon

Chef Brad Spence and company dropped the bass nicely with the crudo. Hits of salt and citrus made each bite, with the hearty heft of the favas incorporating bits of spring.

Charred Octopus [$12]
New potato, ramps

Octo was meaty and tender, with lovely charred bits that were accented nicely with garlicky ramps and creamy new potatoes.

Cacio e Pepe [$18]

Cacio e Pepe is always a must order. Perfect tonnarelli noods were tossed in plenty of butter and Pecorino Romano, with the hits of black pepper providing that bracing bite that makes the dish so memorable.

Pork Chop Parmigiana [$29]

Beast of Amis is what this restaurant is known for. With whole animal cookery in mind, there are a few dishes centered around a specific protein. On this particular night, the "Beast of Amis" was rabbit and normally that's the route I would have taken. But I couldn't help but opt for the massive pork chop parmigiana. Nicely pan-fried, this thick-cut pork chop was juicy on its own, but made even better dressed in tomato sauce, olive oil, ricotta, and plenty of basil. Delicious.

Creamy Polenta [$6]
Brown butter, sage

As a side, the glutton in me couldn't help but order the brown butter polenta. And by brown butter, I mean drowned in browned butter and crispy sage. Nutty, rich, and creamy, this was the perfect side for the belly of this pig.

The kitchen also sent out this delightful strawberry ice cream and chocolate sundae, knowing that we recently got engaged. A nice touch and a wonderful way to cap off a great meal.

Chef Brad Spence and his kitchen continue to knock it out of the park at Amis Trattoria. But the evening wouldn't have been as memorable without the exceptional service we received throughout the meal. Yes, potential blogger's bias to be sure, but this sentiment has held true since back to 2012. Already looking forward to returning for our next meal! 

FTC Disclaimer: Thanks to Amis Trattoria and Urbn Food & Beverage for inviting me in. Regardless, my opinions are mine alone and, therefore, unbiased.

Amis Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, April 27, 2018

Scarpetta Philadelphia Happy Hour

I had the pleasure of being able to stop by Scarpetta earlier this week and indulge in their latest creation. In collaboration with locally-distilled Stateside Vodka, the Executive Chef at Scarpetta is bringing forth the city's first boozy pizza. 

Clockwise from Top: Scarpetta x Stateside Vodka Pizza [$10] | Negroni Invecchiato [$15] | Palermo Old Fashioned [$15]

Not only is the dough vodka-infused, the creamy blush sauce, ricotta, and sun-dried tomato all have notes of Stateside Vodka as well. It's not overpowering at all and certainly apropos for the Happy Hour crowd. I appreciated the bright acidity from the sun-dried tomato, which helped to balance out the richness of the ricotta and blush sauce. Easily enjoyed with a cocktail or two. By the way, drinks are half-off during Happy Hour Sun - Fri from 4-7PM! 

Scarpetta's Bread Basket with Prosciutto & Broccoli Rabe Roll-Ups | Mushroom Arancini [$9] | Gorgonzola Crostini [$8]

The majority of Scarpetta's small bites are $6 during Happy Hour as well. The bread basket came with two favorites in particular - the broccoli rabe embodied South Philly flavors and a prosciutto roll-up offered up the salty savory flavors that satisfy with a proper drink in hand. The wild mushroom arancini were deftly fried, with al dente risotto within. There are several crostini on offer - we enjoyed a funky, yet sweet gorgonzola spread, with red-wine poached figs and crisp green apple on top. 

Crispy Fritto Misto [$13]
Calamari, shrimp, squash, eggplant, herbs

The fritto misto is a must. Not at all greasy, these were perfectly fried and allowed the calamari, shrimp, squash, and eggplant to shine. And the fried lemon slices? Really made each bite and easily enjoyed! 

Gnocchetti Fritti [$9]
Ricotta salata, fonduta, prosciutto

The fried gnocchi were light within, but great texture on the exterior. Each bite was well-seasoned as well, with a burst of salt from the prosciutto and ricotta salata, along with the richness of the fonduta.

Whether you're looking to grab a drink with your business partners or seeking out a sleek setting in the heart of Rittenhouse Square, be sure to check to stop by Scarpetta for Happy Hour. 

FTC Disclaimer: Thanks to Scarpetta Philadelphia & Cashman Associates for inviting me in. Regardless, my opinions are mine alone and, therefore, unbiased.