Archive for Category

tapas

Barbuzzo – Birthday Dinner

When people ask me for restaurant recommendations, one place I regularly mention is Barbuzzo. It’s just great. And I can’t possibly imagine anyone not liking it. The food is superb, the place itself is adorable, and it’s just a lovely experience. My only reservation would be for large groups. Barbuzzo is just too small to be good for big groups. But it’d be perfect for a romantic date, girls night out, or dinner with the parents. Anyhoo, my last visit there was for my birthday. The cheese board! As a self-proclaimed cheese wuss, I’m sometimes reticent to go for cheese plates. But hey, it’s a new year, a new me, and I’m going to be more experimental, especially with cheese. With nothing overly of the blue variety on the plate, I enjoyed everything. I want more cheese boards!
I’m a sucker for octopus, so whenever I see it on a menu, there’s a good chance I’m getting it. This is the grilled mediterranean octopus salad with sopressata, fingerling potato, taggiasca olive, roasted peppers, cucumbers, herbs, and lemon. Whoo hoo! When cooked well, especially grilled, octopus is super tender. It gets a bad “rubbery” rap because of how many times it can be cooked poorly. This octopus was tender and smoky, slightly tart from the lemon, and rich with the roasted peppers and herbs. 
We thought it would be fun to try one of the pizzas, so we picked one of the very few that had meat! Here’s the prosciutto pizza with roasted grapes, gorgonzola, walnuts, arugula, and vin cotto. Perhaps the sound of grapes and walnuts and arugula on a pizza sounds odd, but to the tastebuds, it’s great.  
I don’t recall this exact dish, but it’s a strozzapretti pasta with duck, I think? This was my favorite dish of the night. It looks so simple… just some pasta with some shreads of meat in it. But dang, I could not stop eating it. The pasta was chewy and buttery and the duck was tender, fatty, and had a nice mild flavor. Oh it was so darn good!
And you have to end every Barbuzzo meal (heck, every meal!) with the salted caramel budino. It’s famous for a reason. So just be sure to order it. You’ll be glad you did!

Stateside

Stateside is a small plate spot that opened off East Passyunk. It’s small, cool, has a big focus on wine and whiskey, and serves up some delicious locally-sourced bites. E and I dined there a gazillion months ago and I’m finally blogging about it!
I’m pretty much of a weenie when it comes to cheese. I didn’t really grow up eating it (did they even have cheese in South Korea in the 70’s and 80’s?) so while I love mac & cheese and baked brie, I’m not someone who would be sad if cheese disappeared from the earth. But I’m trying to be better about it. We got cheese! Here is the bayley hazen blue cheese with smoked bacon caramel and the harbison with almond puree. Stinky cheeses are really not my thing, so while I tasted the blue, I was much more of a fan of the smoked bacon caramel. Smoked bacon caramel! Yep, just what it is – delicious caramel with a hint of bacon. They need to bottle this stuff. The harbison was great, smooth and mild.
An adorable mason jar of cauliflower and raisin pickles! I love fresh pickles. And considering that cauliflower is pretty boring plain, the pickling gave em just the right amount of flavor. The raisins were a surprisingly sweet touch.
E and I both love beets, so whenever we eat together, there’s a good chance that if beets are on the menu, we’re ordering it! This one had red and golden beets, plus shredded pear. And those little sprouty things I love.
Mmm… pork belly… crispy on the outside… with apples on top…
It ain’t no fluke that we ordered fluke! Ok, I’ll stop now. I’ve noticed that whenever E and I go eat, we also order fluke. So fluke and beets seem to be a common theme.
I rarely get to eat dessert when I eat out because I’m usually way too stuffed. That’s why I love small plates so much, as it’s easier to leave room for it. The chocolate torte! So small and cubic, but so rich and chocolatey.
But what I ordered is the dessert that everyone was talking about – the apple stuffed doughnut with vanilla bean caramel and candied bacon. It was dreamy, it truly was. I love apple stuffed anything, so I liked the donut as it was. But the caramel with candied bacon? Yes, please! We thoroughly enjoyed our meal here, and the service was great and friendly. We’re definitely going back to try some more small plates!

Stateside on Urbanspoon

Latest Sampan Happy Hour

I was getting a little bit of the afternoon doldrums so I made an executive decision to go to happy hour at Sampan. You know what actually truly triggered it? Twitter, yeah, seriously. Sampan actually tweeted that it was going to be happy hour soon and I totally fell for it. It’s cool though, because their happy hour is totally happiness-inducing. We sat at the kitchen bar because as you know, I love seeing my food being cooked.
The vietnamese spring roll with shrimp, pork, and mushrooms. Delightful.
The duck egg rolls with cucumber, scallion, and lime. These were chock full of hot ass duck. When I say hot, I mean hot, some fell on my chin and burned me. I didn’t mind, they were great.
The adorable kobe slider wtih soy and swiss cheese.
The kobe hot dog, sans mustard. I love that they cut it into thirds for you and that the bun is also toasted.
The filet satay with apricot soy, and mirin and the korean bbq beef satay with short rib, kimchi, and ginger. Excellent, as usual.

Surprisingly, my favorite dish of the day was the crispy brussel sprouts with fish sauce, pulled rice, and chilli. These were so unbelievably awesome! Slightly crunchy, super savory, just great. Whoever does not like brussel sprouts needs to try these!
Lastly, here’s the kim chee fried rice with shrimp, shallot, and sunny side egg. This was a giant bowl of food. It wasn’t quite spicy or kimchi enough for me, and the shrimp just seemed unnecessary, but it’s still a decent dish. These little popcorn shrimp are fairly tasteless and benign anyway, so I didn’t see the point of them. As usual, this was so much fun. It’s beyond a good deal and it’s cool to get to try so many different dishes. We ordered way too much food, which can be easy to do here with these small dishes. It sounds like since they’re so small it wouldn’t add up to much, but damn, we were beyond stuffed! I love the happy hour here!
Sampan on Urbanspoon

Related Posts with Thumbnails