Vetri’s Italian Gastropub (Philly)

Half the fun of discovering a new restaurant is sharing it with people you know will enjoy it. As Rachael Ray’s resident restaurant guru, here’s an inside look at what I report back to Rach about some of my favorite restaurant finds and food experiences!

From: Kappy

To: Rachael

Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2012 11:15am

Subject: Vetri’s Italian Gastropub (Philly)

Hey Rach – I just got back from Philly after your last QVC appearance. The night before I was there, I ate at Marc Vetri’s newest restaurant, alla SPINA. They say it’s their version of an Italian gastropub. It was a pretty cool concept, but very casual compared to some of his others. We started with the Shaved Vegetables with Bagna Cauda [pictured above] (for those of you reading this email on my blog, bagna cauda is traditionally made with olive oil, butter, garlic, anchovies and herbs). I wouldn’t let the staff clear this from the table because I kept going back for more! We also snacked on the Porcini Deviled Eggs. These looked like traditional deviled eggs, but there was a porcini puree on half of them. Along with those we ordered the Homemade Pretzels with Beer Cheese – I mean, how could we not order them?! But as another – lighter! – option we added the Cucumber Salad with Pepperoncini. This was really good, but I think they had substituted the pepperoncini with Fresno peppers (which I was okay with).

Now, I’ll try just about anything once or twice, including various pig parts, such as pig tail. I don’t recall ever having it before, but they had Crispy Pig Tails with Fennel Agro Dolce on the menu and beyond just being something different to try, quite frankly, it was the best dish we had! The meat was tender, yet super crisp, and had a sweet and sour-y fennel sauce. We also popped a couple fried snails, which were served with a garlic and parsley tarter sauce.

Moving down to the sandwich portion of the menu, we split the Mortadella Hot Dog served with spicy pickles and a red cabbage slaw, all on a brioche bun. This was pretty tasty and reminded me of a lighter bratwurst. We also had a few bites of the Veal Milanese Hoagie on a sesame seed bun. The server said this is what Chef would eat if he were there, and I could see why. Not that we needed it, but to finish we ordered the sundae: fiordilatte soft serve, dark chocolate covered bacon plus and caramel covered pretzels. It was good and all, but a few bites were all I needed!

I know you’re a big Italian food fan, so if you have a dinner available in Philly, you’ll definitely dig this place.

alla SPINA

1410 Mt. Vernon St

Philadelphia, PA 19130

(215) 600-0017

And that’s what’s on my plate!

~ Kappy

Andrew “Kappy” Kaplan loves food. A professionally trained chef, by day he runs Yum-o!, Rachael Ray’s charity focused on kids and cooking, and keeps special projects running smoothly for her. By night he hops course to course, place to place, all across the country. He’s Rach’s own personal dining guide! You can also follow Kappy on Twitter to see what’s On Kappy’s Plate in real-time!

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