Friday, August 12, 2011

Dipping into the Philly wine bar scene at Tria

During my week to settle in before classes started, I met up with my cousin AB for drinks and bites at Tria, a highly acclaimed Center City wine bar that was close to both of our apartments. When I arrived, AB had snagged a sidewalk table, so we got to dine and people-watch at the same time. Score! That means I can't comment on the decor of the place inside (I literally haven't been in), but they do have a few sidewalk tables that are quite nice.

The menu at Tria is extensive and amusing. There's a solid selection of small plates as well as a long list of wines by the glass, beers, and cheeses, all divided into whimsical subsections (e.g., "stoic" vs. "racy" cheeses--?). We both chose glasses of prosecco, perfect and bubbly on a warm summer evening.

To eat, AB got the beet salad (a girl after my own heart, eh?). With a very generous portion of tender beets complemented by goat cheese, crushed almonds, thin red onion, and a tangy vinaigrette, this salad was very flavorful (I had a bite) and is definitely something I will return for.

Mound of cheese!

I got two cheeses to pair with my wine. From the "clean" section of the cheese menu, I got a wedge of Humboldt Fog goat cheese, which had a crumbly middle as well as an oozy layer just under the rind. It was very tasty, and I loved the interplay of textures, although it got a little salty by the end (or maybe I was just experiencing cheese overload at that point). I also got a hefty wedge of Malvarosa, an "approachable" cheese that our spunky server described as very salty, but in a good way. I actually didn't find this cheese all that salty at all (it was the Humboldt Fog that turned out to be the salt bomb); it was slightly chewy, kind of like a more crumbly Swiss cheese, with a mild emmenthal-like flavor. It was appealing but perhaps not something I would get again, simply because it wasn't especially special. Oh, and the cheese board also came with small ramekins of glazed almonds (for the Malvarosa) and some sort of compote (Humboldt Fog), which tasted slightly of beets to me, to be scooped by the tiniest and cutest spoons I've ever seen. The almonds were munchable on their own, while the compote actually did complement the Humboldt Fog quite well. The bread, planks of squishy, chewy, and almost stale baguette, was plentiful but utterly forgettable.

Really big portions of cheese, too

Overall, our first experience with Tria was a high-three-Offset-Spatula success. I hope to return soon to sample more of the wares-- from snacks to salads to bruschetta to more cheeses, the menu has quite a bit to offer...

18th Street and Sansom

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