Part of the balancing act in life is ensuring you take time out to spend with friends. It is so important to connect socially, and what better way to do it than over food?
Fat Salmon719 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (215) 928-8881 http://www.fatsalmonsushi.com/
Don’t let the trendy atmosphere of Fat Salmon dissuade you from trying it out. I’ll admit, when I walked in the atmosphere and too-hip-for-you decor put me off a little. As I get older (ugh), I find I’m more put off by this style but this may be the ramblings of someone who is slowly turning into a curmudgeon. Anyways, my fears of the trendy were put to rest almost instantaneously by the friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Our party of three went here last Thursday evening and my only quibble is that they did not have our reservation. I made it myself through their website and even received a confirmation email. They did have a table for us though and the hostess apologized for the problem. Because of this, my suggestion is to pick up the phone and give them an old fashioned ring.
Onto the food!
We ordered two big platters of sushi, 8 rolls total that included a variety of basic and vegetable rolls, and a couple of their specialty rolls. They were all fresh tasting and beautifully displayed. The flavors were balanced in each roll without any one thing overpowering all the other flavors. One thing that stuck out here was that their vegetable rolls, for my vegetarian and vegan friends, were better than I have tasted in my sushi adventures thus far. They made us a sweet potato roll, too, even though it is not on their menu.
This place is not BYOB. On one hand, I love BYOBs. On the other, Philadelphia is so inundated with them that sometimes I don’t want to have to remember to go to one of the government sanctioned liquor stores. Sometimes, it is nice to be able to point to the menu and have someone bring you a nice, cool sake. The menu has many options for beer and more importantly, sake! We weren’t in the mood for drinks that night but rest assured, we will be ordering sake on a future visit.
Overall, we would definitely return for the food, especially the vegetable rolls, but will call to make our reservation.
Bacio311 W Mt Pleasant Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119 (215) 248-2740 Bacio’s Yelp Page
When you eat at Bacio, it feels like you are eating dinner at a friend’s house. That is the best way to explain it. There is even a very well-behaved dog, Maddy (I think), who roams around and picks up crumbs off the floor. The atmosphere is cozy, and the owner has a passion for food and a flare for reading off the specials that I haven’t seen any where else. He makes you excited for the food.
A group of six of us showed up here to celebrate me and my friend’s birthday because they happen in the same week. It is BYOB and don’t worry, we never forget to bring the B. This is great because it saves on the bill. We ordered three appetizers, baked gnocchi, bruschetta, and mussels with sausage. I didn’t have the mussels because I don’t eat sausage but everyone said they were wonderful. The gnocchi was tasty and cheesy, and the bruschetta was fresh.
For main courses, several at our table ordered the special mahi-mahi with prosciutto and a special chipotle sauce. My husband ordered it without the prosciutto and both versions tasted fresh and had a just-enough-hint of chipotle flavor. I ordered “Grandma’s Lasagna” which was gigantic. I was only able to eat half. The marinara sauce was light and fresh and although the lasagna was loaded with cheese, it didn’t feel heavy. It was just what I had wanted. Something traditional. Something hearty. Another person ordered the whole fish with kalamata olives and some kind of sauce. It was staring at me, but she insisted it was very tasty.
For dessert, the owner brought over about four slices of cheesecake on the house. This was totally unexpected, but I did not try it initially because I do not like cheesecake. I know. Anyways, the owner noticed I didn’t have any, and he said “Oh, come on. They didn’t even leave you any! I’ll bring you another piece!” I relented and tried it despite my hatred for cheesecake. And here’s the thing: I loved it. It is made with ricotta instead of the typical cream cheese. It was delicious.
I love this place. It is very cozy and tucked away in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Here’s what to do: Make a reservation. Bring some wine. And do not rush.
This is a place to savor.
(I apologize for the quality of photos. I only had my phone at both of these restaurants and was so busy socializing that I forgot to take more pictures of food! I’m a bad blogger.)