Thursday, December 2, 2010
I've know about Bistro Romano (120 Lombard Street) for a long time, because I've always said one day I'd go to experience the corny mystery dinner theater -"Crime of Your Life" is playing now. In our youth (early 20's) my sister LeVonne and I used to enjoy going to one in Lahaska, back when we ate, slept and breathed Community Theater. However, reliving my penchant for mediocre theatrics was not my intention for choosing Bistro Romano, rather several restaurant sites named it as one of the 10 most romantic dining atmosphere's in Philadelphia.
And that it is, a beautifully historic building (click HERE to read about the restaurant's history) where the main dining room is located in the cozy wine cellar with open beam ceilings and exposed brick, plus we were lucky enough to be seated in a secluded little booth made for two.
Who is we? you may ask. Well, back in May I wrote a post on the tapas restaurant Amada, the background story being that my good friends, HH & FC came from New York to cheer me up after I was unceremoniously dumped by my boyfriend, Matt. Everyone knows nothing works wonders for improving my mood like a good meal, so being treated to a fabulous mix of charcuterie, cheeses, olives and such, helped to set me in the direction of getting over my heartbreak.
Cut to 7 months later and once again the promise of a good meal and charming ambiance, put me in a mood to accept a date with Matt. And it was rather hard to stay aloof over candle light, a full-bodied Malbec and a cute waiter making Bistro Romano's excellent, authentic Caesar Salad right at your table.
I started feeling some warmth at Matt's compliments on my beauty and charm; but I melted hearing the special was Rainbow Trout stuffed with crabmeat.
We decided to share both entrees. I would have preferred to try what they've name - Our Award Winning Bistro Duck crispy roasted half duckling, accompanied by our original Barolo wine, garlic and peppercorn sauce. Or my old standby favorite that's normally very good at any Italian restaurant -Lobster Ravioli Black Ravioli stuffed with lobster and ricotta cheese in a sherry cream sauce.
But I didn't want to completely take over the ordering of the meal, so I let Matt choose - Chicken Scala tender breast of chicken sautéed with fresh peppers, Italian sausage and organic basil.
I truly enjoyed the meal, because I'd forgotten what good company Matt can be; but neither of our entrees were rave worthy. Nothing really to commend or condemn. Perhaps the chicken was a bit rubbery and my side dish of potatoes and sauteed vegetables resembled left overs thrown together. Still, what may have been lacking in culinary inspiration was made up for by a very good waitress. I like a server who talks about food like a good eater. And she was helpful in my wine choice as well.
During our shared meal, Matt shared a lot about why he had needed to bail on me. I always knew that difficulties with his unfocused 18 year-old daughter had played a part, nothing to do with me, but in terms of needing time to devote to her. Between that and allowing me to choose a pumpkin bread pudding for dessert, when later I found out he doesn't like pumpkin, shows he's really not a bad guy at all.
Our real dessert came next... get your minds out of the gutter. We headed to Mahogany's Cigar bar (1524 Walnut Street) on top of Holt's Cigar Shop. OMG I could live here! I've been a few times over the years, and it's still one of my favorite things to do. Nothing more indulgent than a fine cigar, a good scotch, dark, masculine decor, elegant service.. and oh my, kisses are like sin perfected when lips and tongues have tasted the same decadence.
No, I have not lost my head or heart. The holidays bring out the romantic in most of us. It was a good night. Nothing more, nothing less. But I'll keep you posted!