Radicchio Cafe

I’ve been torturing myself for the past two weeks staring at the pictures I took of the food at Radicchio.  Now it’s time for you to salivate as I tell you about this delicious little BYO on 4th & Vine in Old City, Philadelphia.

My friend from Penn State, Meredith and her husband Mike recently moved from NYC to Philly.  I couldn’t be more thrilled.  Mer & Mike are huge Penn State fans, they are so fun, and apparently (i now know…) love food!

Before I go into the details of our fab Italian meal, I have to tell you just one more thing about Mer & Mike.  They ARE Moho Creative.  They turn wedding videos into art.  I’m serious.  They make what used to be hours of boring video into a shorter 25-30 minute video (plus a 3-5 min highlight reel, perfect for sharing), using creative shot composition, music, fun editing, etc.  I watch every single one of their videos, not knowing the bride, groom, or anyone at the wedding… and LOVE THEM!  Please check it out, you will love it too!

So, it was Mer and Mike, and two of their friends that took me on as a 5th wheel to Radicchio Cafe.  My boyfriend, Dave really missed out this time!

Radicchio is a BYO, so we of course came equipped with two bottles of white wine.  After sitting down, we were served “on the house” Bruschetta.  Since I’m new to tomatoes, it was a nice treat for me.

The table decided to order the Ceasar Salad w/ Prosciutto and the appetizer special which was Calamari.

Both were delicious.  I love prosciutto and loved the idea of having it over Caesar.  MMM!  My friends had never tried grilled calamari (and if you can see they were huge pieces too) so they were a little intimidated, but enjoyed it.  Grilled calamari is one of my favorite appetizers and this one was cooked perfectly.  The fresh tomatoes and capers were a nice touch too.

I couldn’t resist ordering one of the nightly specials for my entree.  Homemade papardelle pasta with lamb ragu.  OMG.  It was so yummy.

Ragu ❤

Everyone else ordered:

Paccheri al Telefono (Homemade wide rigatoni w/ pieces of meatballs, tomato sauce, and melted mozzarella)

Farfalle Toto (Bow tie pasta served in a vodka pink cream sauce, shallots, and prosciutto)

&

Chicken Sorrentina (their version of Chicken Parm w/ linguine)

Left: Paccheri al Telefono , Top: Farfalle Toto , Bottom: Chicken Sorrentina

As if free Bruschetta isn’t already enough, Radicchio serves a small little bite of dessert at the end of the meal.  It seemed like it was a little biscotti… what a nice surprise!

Everyone was very pleased with what they ordered.  I thought that Radicchio’s prices were really very fair for the quality of food as well as quantity.  The service was top-notch and I also really liked the decor- one entire wall was covered in wine corks!  It’s hard to find such a good BYO in the city and I’ll definitely be coming back to this one.

Now, do yourself a favor and check out one of Moho’s Wedding Highlights!

Manayunk Tavern

I never get to do Happy Hour!  I pretty much exercise every day after work is over, so getting to a bar for cheap drinks and food never seems to happen for me.  EW!

I briefly mentioned on Monday, that this past Friday I had enough of this… and made a point to get out of work and get down to Happy Hour!  My boyfriend Dave and our friend Adam and I headed over to the artsy, adorable, bar-infested area of Philadelphia called Manayunk.  It couldn’t have been more of a beautiful day and we were determined to get a table outside.

For all of you NON-Philadelphians… it’s pronounced Man-EE-Yunk!

I’m loving fresh Margarita’s this season!

After the boys had a beer and I had a Margarita at Derek’s, we were able to get a PRIME seat at the Manayunk Tavern.  Our table was the first one outside of the restaurant, which was the perfect spot for people watching.  SO FUN!

I was pretty pumped because they had my favorite beer on tap!  Have you ever tried it?  It sounds really weird… and it is… but it’s SO GOOD!  It’s the 21st Amendment Brewery’s “Hell or High Watermelon“.  It’s a wheat beer, and yes, it’s flavored with watermelon.  It has a really refreshing flavor and surprisingly it works really well.  I know I’ve had it before from Wegmans, if you’re looking for it.

YUM!

I’ve been to Manayunk Tavern for dinner before, and I absolutely love their soups.  They are always made fresh and really creative.  They have a spectacular butternut squash soup in the fall… i am craving it now!  It was too hot outside to get soup, so the three of us decided to try out the Calamari.

Great calamari!

You know how sometimes you order fried Calamari out at a restaurant, and it just sucks?  There are so many ways to screw it up, and I always feel such disappointment!  It can be soggy, too breaded, not seasoned well, not hot enough, etc…. ew!  Well let me tell you, this Calamari was fantastic!  It was fried to a crisp and was tossed with enough fried Jalapeno slices to give it a nice hot kick!  Easy A!

For dinner, I had to go against my attempt to “quit” cheese and order a really decadent burger.  It sounded so interesting I couldn’t resist… and I don’t even like bacon on burgers… but I had to do it!  I ordered the “Smokey” Burger, complete with a Smoked Paprika Dry Rub (on a burger?!?! right!?), Applewood Bacon, Smoked Mozz, Chipotle Remoulade, Lettuce, Toms, and Onions.  WOW!  It was awesome.  I chose the Sweet Potato Fries as my side, but they were a little too greasy so I didn’t eat that many.

The boys ordered a Filet sandwich which was loaded with good stuff… I’m sorry I don’t have a picture, but we all dug into our food so fast I didn’t get a chance!  lol.

Afterwards, we saw The Avengers.  Has anyone else seen it?  Thoughts?  I enjoyed it but was pretty unimpressed.  (although it did inspire Dave and I to watch Captain America on Saturday!)

Pod on Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day this year, I asked to go to a fun, romantic dinner, just the two of us.  Dave and I decided on POD, a Stephen Starr classic, featuring Dim Sum, Sushi, Pan-Asian dishes, and something I had never heard of:  Robata…but more on that later.

 

There is one thing I have to order EVERY time I go to ANY Stephen Starr restaurant:  Calamari Salad.  This salad happens to have been featured on Best Thing I Ever Ate, and let me tell you, it’s so true

 

Delish Calamari Salad

The Calamari Salad at POD differs from some of the other restaurants because it is served tossed in a Lemongrass Dressing.  It’s very light but flavorful and the spicy/citrus tang of the lemongrass pairs perfectly with the lightly breaded calamari. 

 

Unsure of what else to order besides a sushi roll, I asked our server what he recommended.  He told me about the Robata menu.  Robata, for those of you who don’t know (we didn’t!) is a Japanese grill that reaches up to 1000 degrees, double that of a normal charcoal grill.  The meat or veggies are grilled on skewers, lightly charring the outside but keeping the inside juicy and tender.  He also let me know that POD is the only restaurant in Philly that has a Robata grill.  Ding ding ding!  The alarm immediately went off in my head, we HAD to get this! 

 

We changed our order around (which ended up saving some money too!) and selected the Short Rib Robata served on two skewers with Truffle Miso sauce.  O-M-G.  I would go back to POD any day and order just this dish.  It was perfect, I can’t even find the right words to describe it.  YUM!

 

One of the best beef dishes I've ever eaten!

Dave and I agreed on ordering the Spicy Crunchy Yellowtail Roll, since it was one of the smaller ones.  And- if you know anything about us you will understand why it just wasn’t an option when you hear that there was jalapeno and mango inside!  MMM!  The sushi was very fresh and thankfully didn’t have very much spicy sauce or crunchy on it. 

 

You can even see the fresh mango!

Since we were ordering the Robata AND the sushi roll, we decided to order a side dish and a veggie instead of two entrees, saving us almost $50!  We ordered the Crab Fried Rice (Jasmine Rice and Jumbo Lump Crabmeat) & Wok Roasted Baby Bok Choy served with Garlic Sauce. 

 

Dave almost couldn't wait to dig in!

The rice was amazing.  Crabmeat was mixed throughout and every bite had crab in it.  Using the jasmine rice makes it have a unique taste and it also lightened it up a little. 

 

I was surprised to see the Bok Choy arrive at our table, I couldn’t believe how much was in one $6 serving!  They were so yummy and we were happy this was all the food we ordered, because we were STUFFED!

 

gorgeous color green baby bok choy

Of course not too stuffed to order an unbelievable, creative dessert!  We chose the Fluffernutter Spring Rolls.  Just the name of the dessert is enough to swoon over.  These spring rolls are stuffed with marshmallow fluff and peanut butter, served with a dark chocolate dipping sauce described by our server as “mandatory, not optional”.  These rolls were heavenly as expected, and we were both REALLY stuffed afterwards. 

 

PB&Fluff Spring Rolls

Take a peek inside! MMM!

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Valentine’s Day with Dahv!