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After Work @ Alla Spina, Philadelphia

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Alla Spina, Philadelphia
 
Alla Spina is the new Marc Vetri Italian gastropub. It’s a great addition to the neighborhood. The loft style space is casual yet sophisticated. There are chalk drawn grafitti on the walls in strategic locations. It gives out a cool bad ass vibe.
 
The menu is inventive. It’s delightful to find not often used ingredients and different interpretations of the usual comfort food.
 
Alla Spina, PhiladelphiaCLOCKWISE: (1) The open kitchen faces the lounge area. (2) The bar area. (3) The chalk drawn porker I found on the back wall of the restaurant.
 

What I ordered:

 

1. Testina with salsa rossa

– fondly called pig sticks. It’s deep fried head cheese with a sweet and spicy dip. It’s a good intro if you haven’t tried head cheese before. Head cheese is the meat from the cow’s head. I wish there were choices of other dips with more heat.
 
Alla Spina, Philadelphia
 

2. Pig tails with fennel in agrodolce

– It’s deep fried pig tails with a sweet syrup crust. To truly enjoy this dish, you need to dig into and find the soft cartilage.
 
Alla Spina, Philadelphia
 

3. Crispy sunchokes with sea salt

– I’ve never had sunchokes before. It has a slight bitter taste but the ketchup dip that was offered masked the bitterness. Ketchup?
 
Alla Spina, Philadelphia
 

4. Lamb speck with horseradish butter

– This is superb. The subtle kick of the horseradish was perfect with the velvetly cured lamb.
 
Alla Spina, Philadelphia
 

5. Razor clams with salsa verde

– I thought the clams would be chewy and rubbery. To my surprise, it’s tender even after being grilled. This is proof that the calms were of the highest quality. However, the salsa verde needs a bit more freshness or a bit more kick.
 
Alla Spina, Philadelphia
 

6. Swordfish “blt” with basil and Italian bacon

– This is the best !! The freshness of the basil complements the swordfish perfectly. Even without the bacon, the sandwich can stand on its own merit.
 
Alla Spina, Philadelphia
 

6. Bacon Sundae

– A wonderful end to a delightful meal. The bacon was chocolate dipped and was cured just right, not too salty.
 
Alla Spina, Philadelphia
 

Verdict

– I like the menu but the dishes I had chosen were not all a hit. I live 2 blocks from the restaurant. If the menu continues to evolve and offer surprising dishes. I have no doubt that Alla Spina will become a neighborhood favorite. I can’t wait for brunch service to begin in June.
 
Alla Spina on Urbanspoon

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