This is for a series of posts for the Vetri family of restaurants including: Pizzeria Vetri , Pizzeria Vetri , Pizzeria Vetri , Alla Spina, Alla Spina , Amis, Vetri Ristorante , and Vetri Ristorante .
After loving The Dandelion, our friends had wanted to hit up another gastropub in Philly. I couldn't help but think of Alla Spina - coincidentally and conveniently located near us as well! More importantly, it's one of my favorite places to grab a drink or brunch.
Dimly lit at night, it's a great spot to pop a seat at the bar or grab a secluded table with some friends or a date.
Bluecoat gin, campari, sweet vermouth
Really smooth with a wonderfully prototypical bitter and citrus finish. The Negronis here are done right and on tap!
Prosecco, Tito's vodka, lemon sorbet
The sgroppino featured light effervescence, with a saccharine lemon foam brought on by the prosecco and lemon sorbet. Sweet enough to enjoy just one.
Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs [$1.50 pp]
We got a few of the deviled eggs which had nice buffalo chicken essence with a bit of spicy kick.
Crispy Pig Tails [$8]
I loved the gluttonous fatty bits, encasing the tender fall-apart pork from the tail bone. The sweet and sour agrodolce played well with the anise flavors of the fennel to bring forth some balance to the richness of the pork.
Fried Pickles [$8]
Julie's ranch dressing
I normally enjoy fried pickles best when they're shaved as thin chips. But these were well-battered - not overly thick, surprisingly crisp, and held onto the briny spears. The ranch dressing wasn't overwhelming and had a nice cooling essence that complemented the saltiness of the pickles.
Cauliflower Grits [$10]
Old bay, cheddar
Even for the vegetarians, there's a home for you at Alla Spina. The cauliflower was well-charred and tender. The grits were buttery, cheesy, and rich, with the Old Bay providing sharp hits of seasoning.
Black Bean Nachos [$14]
Beer cheese, pico de gallo
These black bean nachos are the perfect snack to complement a brew. The housemade tortilla chips were overloaded with cotija and thick black beans to create a homey and filling bite. The pickled jalapenos and scallions helped to brighten up each bite.
"The Angry Grandpa" Double Decker Burger [$14]
Guanciale, provolone, samurai ranch, fried pickle, LTO
For those in the know, the burger is clearly a reference to Chef Vetri's social media alter ego. Regardless, there's nothing but love here. Nicely crisped double patty's were straight from the flattop. Interspersed with thinly sliced onions, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and crisp guanciale, the spattering of samurai ranch tied each bite together. Somehow the sesame seeded bun housed it all in. The fried pickle spear on top? Heaven. My choice of sour cream n' onion chips were spot on - easily addictive and should supplement any drink you might have on hand.
Drunk a Roos [$6]
Cookies, whisky icing
An ode to a favorite childhood treat, these were cute in essence, but as you might expect, nothing to write home about. The whisky essence was a bit lost amidst the sweet icing, but I suppose that's not really the point, is it?
Key Lime Pie Twist [$6]
Graham cracker crumble
On the other hand, the key lime pie twist was a clear winner. This was essentially key lime pie ice cream, topped with plenty of Graham cracker crumbles. The tart essence of the key lime inundated each spoonful and was the perfect palate cleanser.