Without pics - Booo! Ok, one pic thanks to the restaurant's website.
I am sorry but my stupid Blackberry will only hold a couple pics these days for some reason. Yet another reason to get an iPhone.
Anyway...this was an INSANE foodie weekend for me. I tried a new place and was at an old favorite for brunch.
On Saturday evening we went to L'Oca in Philadelphia. It is an Italian bistro right smack dab next to Eastern State Penitentiary. I love this section of Philly. I lived there for a year and just fell in love. It was fitting that we had this dinner with my old roomies who are now married with kids and living in Fairmount.
L'Oca is a BYO and we brought a lovely Malbec and our friends brought two reds as well. They were perfect for the windy, chilly evening. For starters P and I had the Gnocchetti Armenville -
Baked croquettes of semolina flour, Parmesan & Asiago cheeses, red peppers, mushrooms, asparagus and speck (smoked prosciutto), topped with brown butter & sage. There were six croquettes so it was a good one to split...and they suggest you do so. Each was a perfect pillow with the stuffing placed inside. The flavors were amazing together. For my main course I had the Trofie Con Funghi e Patate - Artisanal pasta braised with potatoes, arugula, exotic mushrooms and tossed with Toma cheese. I am a huge mushroom lover and this dish was absolutely amazing and perfect for someone that could live on mushrooms. The cheese and the mushrooms and the arugula were a simple combination but their layered flavors were heavenly. P had the Braised Goose with Pappardelle. It was named 'Best of Philly' for pasta in 2007 for this dish. P was going to get the steak but I convinced him that his love of duck made this a better choice. I was wrong that goose and duck were so similar but this dish was even better than mine and that was saying a lot. The ragu was succulent, rich and had a background sweetness that enhanced the overall flavor. The only place that fell a bit short was the dessert we had. We both chose a chocolate flourless cake that was described as 'close to a brownie consistency.' It was too dry for both of us but since we got nicely made cappuccinos we did a little dipping and it was quite nice. :) One of our friends got the lemon tart described as 'lemon meringue without the meringue.' It was quite tart but I noticed it was gone rather quickly as well. :)
What I found interesting was that what we chose went along excellently with the windy chilly day. It was as if it was a part of the meal. The restaurant became loud as it got more crowded but it still felt warm and cozy as we drank our wine, chatted, laughed and watched the trees get tossed in the wind. The large windows which can all be thrown open wide in nicer weather is just one of reasons I want to go back soon. The food will keep me going back in any season.
Next: Mother's Day Brunch review. I know what they say about brunch but this place is an exception...trust me.