Hey you! How is January treating you? Having a blast so far, I hope. (And by having a blast, I mean, counting down the days left in the month, because when January is over that means it's February, which means we're one step closer to March, which is when Spring starts so it's basically margaritas and outdoor concerts season soon, right? A boy can dream.)
Yes, the winter doldrums have totally begun to set in - which is why I'm so glad that Philly has its act together enough to take two weeks out of this month every year to devote to Restaurant Week. AKA, go and try all of those amazing places you always wanted to, but never had the funds/reason/excuse to before. Last evening, I kicked off #CCDRW with friends at Valanni Social.
For those not familiar, Restaurant Week typically entails a limited menu of the restaurant's specialties, served in courses at a fixed price. I know. No wonder it's so popular. I could get used to this. Some dear friends of mine and I braved the cold, walked into Valanni, and promptly took a seat at the bar, while we waited for some other members of our party to arrive. Starting the evening off with a champagne cocktail (because it's always champagne-o-clock) I started to browse the menu.
I will say, Valanni had quite a wide array of options, especially since it bills itself as "Medi-Latin Tapas" - and I didn't quite know what to pick. However, after much internal justifying and I went fully hearty and committed. Roasted brussels sprouts with apples and balsamic reduction to start. Obviously delicious.
Now, I don't know if you're like me at all... but when you have the urge for a particular food, your craving will stop at nothing until it has been satisfied. That was me last night. Which is why I got a cheeseburger. Yes. I'm the person who went to the tapas bar and ordered a burger. I couldn't help myself, ok? And I wasn't disappointed. It had boursin on it, so it was kind of fancy, so it wasn't so bad of me, right? Whatever, I was satisfied.
I'm always a fan of ordering a restaurant specialty, and I had heard tell of their famous Oreo Beignet for some time now. And, being the central PA native that I am, I am no stranger to a deep fried Oreo at the county fair every summer. Let me tell you. It did not disappoint.
As far as the meal itself, despite it being a bit unorthodox - which I fully acknowledge as my own doing - I was satisfied. Truly my only raised-eyebrow-sideward-glance-moment was in the decor and vibe of the restaurant. There's a purpley glow (which I tried to edit out in my photos, to no avail) that feels very club-like, coupled with a massive DJ booth present in the corner of the bar area. I'm not sure what I expected from a restaurant with "social" in its name, but something just feels a bit off to me about a restaurant that serves balsamic reduction roasted brussels, and bumps Rihanna out of a DJ booth at the bar. You feel me? Overall, a great time with friends, and an experience I was happy to have. 7/10.
Be sure to follow me on Snapchat @mogblog for the rest of my restaurant week adventures in the week to come! Cheers! x