Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Philadelphia: Tria

123 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 972-8742

Sorry I haven't updated in a while: I've been on Spring Break! But you can expect a steady stream of "in retrospect" reviews. I'll try to limit myself to comestibles and potables, since I had so many fun experiences in two short days visiting my brother in Philadelphia that I'm not sure I'll be able to restrain myself from giving a detailed play-by-play otherwise.

Even before my sister and I had arrived in Philadelphia, plans were afoot to go at least once to Tria, which is basically my idea of heaven. Tria is a sophisticated little bar that offers wines, cheeses, and beers (and some food, too). But not just any wines, beers, and cheeses! Tria prides itself on offering the off-the-beaten path experience, and at very fair prices, I am happy to say.

I loved the atmosphere. If you go to their website, they have a lovely photo that really captures it. Smooth lines but not a lot of space: it feels like what I think a "European" wine bar would be like (I haven't had the pleasure of that experience yet). It's pleasantly cramped in both the bar and table areas, which somehow just makes the whole experience more charming.

We went on a Sunday evening (in order to take advantage of their "Sunday School" half-off special, featuring a Greek red wine ($5.50/glass), a Gorgonzola ($3 for 3 oz.), and a Victory Brewing Co. beer (though I can't recall the name of it) ($2.50)). The lighting was a little dim, but not too dark so as to make it difficult to appreciate the color of our beverages (color is important in wine and beer!).

It took me about 15 minutes to finish perusing the menu for what I wanted. We opted not to try the Sunday School specials, at least not right away. The Greek red wine ran out, sadly, so the special changed to a Carmenere, which I tried later on. We tried so many wonderful wines, cheeses and beers (for under $100 between the four of us, not including tip!). Unfortunately, I didn't take notes while there, so I'm not going to try to recall all the beautiful things I smelled and tasted. But seriously, you have to visit this place to believe it! Below are a few of the things I remember trying; the menu changes often, so some of the things I had are no longer available online for me to refresh my memory!

I only wish that I could remember what the red wine from Cahors, France, was that Jeremy ordered: that wine was so perfect! I miss it.

One last note: Tria serves each 5 oz. serving of wine in simple, classic crystal Bordeaux-style stemware. Thank you for caring about the swirling and the sniffing, Tria!!!

Things I remember trying (and loving!):
1. Chinon Les Graves Gasnier (2006) from the Loire Valley, France [Cabernet Franc]: $8.50

2. Viogner, Renwood (2005) from Lodi, California [Viogner]: $7.50/glass

3. Tete De Moine (Cow cheese from Switzerland): $6 for 3 oz., served shaved (and shaped into a carnation!!) with hot pepper jelly

4. Cashel Blue (Cow cheese from County Tipperary, Ireland): $7 for 3 oz. served with chocolate pate

5. Allagash White (Belgian style wheat beer from Portland, Maine) $5 for 16 oz. draft

6. Reed’s Spiced Apple Ginger Brew: $2.50/bottle