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Dining at the Navy Yard – Lo Spiedo

loIf you had told me a few years ago that there would be fine dining at the Navy Yard, I would have scoffed at you. Not because I don’t think that it’s a place in the city with great potential, because it actually has unlimited potential to be a destination spot for visitors and residents. But to me, the Navy Yard was where my husband used to work. On a ship. Which sat in the water. Sure, people work there, but the height of dining at the Navy Yard was going to the cafeteria at Urban Outfitters, or the occasional food truck day here and there. Then the new buildings came and the pharmaceutical companies followed. Then came the hotel. And now here we are, a Navy Yard that has a Marc Vetri restaurant. I’d been wanting to go to Lo Spiedo for awhile, but I couldn’t conceive of dragging the husband there. So when M asked to go out to dinner on a random weeknight, I suggested it on a whim. Funny thing is, she was thinking the same thing. So we hopped in the car and headed down good ‘ol Broad St. For those of you unfamiliar with the Navy Yard, Lo Spiedo is right where the front entrance is, just on the left. There is a little parking lot, but also plenty of parking on the street. It was truly bizarre going into the Navy Yard, after hours, without needing special employee access.  lodrinkIt was fairly early, and because it was an impromptu decision, we didn’t have a reservation. The place was fairly packed though, with a heavy happy hour crowd from the companies next door, but we luckily got a table. M ordered the Geisha cocktail, a freakishly strong mix of La Colombe Different Drum Rum, orange, and an actual little rose. I would have been passed out on the floor if I drank one of these. I had a house-made ginger beer which was tart yet delightful. lotartarI am fairly terrible when it comes to ordering food. Too many choices clouds my decisions. So one of my favorite things to do is ask our server for their favorites and their recommendations. This beef tartare with bagnetto verde was not one of her recommendations, but was the only thing that we ordered that wasn’t on her list. The idea of raw beef isn’t necessarily something that would have appealed to me in the past, but after going to Korea last year and eating some amazing raw sliced beef, now I’m totally up for trying some rawness. This was good, but not particularly exciting or interesting, so it’s not something I’d have to try again. This spot is a small plates restaurant, so we ended up getting a bunch of things and sharing, just the way I prefer to eat, where I get to try a lot of different things.  lopastaSo all of these items were recommended by our adorable tattooed server: the spit-roasted vegetables with romesco and sicilian olive oil, the spit-roasted octopus, and the rignette pasta with macellaio bolognese. Man, that girl knows what she’s talking about. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything with romesco sauce before, but damn, I loved it. It was savory and sweet at the same time and a perfect accompaniment for the roasted veggies. The octopus was perfectly cooked and didn’t need any flavoring at all. It was like a really well-cooked steak, meaty and substantive, really quite great. Those two dishes were actually cooked on the spit, as per the name of the restaurant, which means the spit. But my favorite dish of the night was the rignette pasta. I don’t know what rignette is, but it’s long and squiggly edged pasta, chewy, with plenty of surface area for whatever delicious sauce its cooked with, and this bolognese was really awesome. To me, truly a perfect dish on all levels. I cleaned the plate and could have eaten more. Overall, a great meal with a great friend. I’m excited to come back and try other dishes on the menu. Looks like I’ll be back at the Navy Yard some more!  

Lo Spiedo on Urbanspoon

Memorial Day Eats

On this past super hot memorial day, I went for a cookout at M’s mom’s house in Newtown Square. Wow, I hadn’t been there for such a long time. I have fond memories of playing in my “rock” band in high school and ruining their deck. Ah, teenage good times. Speaking of good times, we thoroughly enjoyed these mojitos, made with mint fresh from their garden.
P manned the grill and cooked up burgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs galore.
Somehow, it almost turned out to be a salad party. We had a multitude of bean, veggie, chicken, and potato salads. Also, one of the guests brought some deviled eggs, complete in deviled egg trays. Gadgets never fail to impress me. And this jar of pickles nearly killed us. P had stuck a bunch of scotch bonnets into this jar and did not warn anyone. So when you bit into this innocuous looking pickle, it lit your mouth on fire. I almost cried.
Dessert was just as fun. We had some strawberry shortcake with a homemade pound bundt cake that was super dense and amazing. There were brownies that I absolutely loved, even though they were out of a box. There were even two homemade ice creams. Plus, they have a kick ass back yard and deck and it was just lovely being out, even though it was beyond hot!

Al Fresco Barbuzzo Late Night Dining

We somehow lucked out and snagged an outside table at Barbuzzo at the last minute. It was a perfect night for outdoor dining. Since it was the night before memorial day, it wasn’t all that crazy. I had actually eaten a big dinner already so I was just here to hang out and have a drink… and perhaps get some dessert.
My sanguinello! It was tasty, but not very strong. Usually, I feel it within a sip or two of any drink. With this, I did not feel it at all. Oh well, it was still enjoyable.
The chicken liver and foie gras mousse, with brandied cherry, pistachio salt, and radish sprouts. It’s served with some bread and a shredded beet salad. So good! M thought it was pretty darn good. Not as good as homemade stuff she’s had before from a french person, but still up there.
I recommended that M order the fideua, since I’d tried it before and loved it. Here it is with smoked chourico sausage, calamari, shrimp, mussels, greens, roasted shrimp noodles, and aioli. It’s still great. And it’s a lot bigger than I remember it being. It’s a pretty huge serving considering this is a small plates place.
So even if I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t going to be at Barbuzzo and not get the salted caramel budino. Yeah, it’s still fantastically awesome. M hadn’t had it before and she was so surprised at how good it was! She wasn’t even hungry at this point but she helped me devour it. You can’t help but devour this dessert!
Barbuzzo on Urbanspoon

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