Thursday, January 05, 2012


Wade's Take:
We jaunted down Broad Street for the second month in a row to try Sbraga, a fairly new "modern American dining" spot.

The interior was fantastic. A large, open-space was coupled with high-ceilings and lean pillars made of a web of re-salvaged woods. The bar and kitchen prep area stretched the length of the restaurant, and pillars broke up the space to allow for more of a private dining feeling. Windows wrapped around for views of Broad Street in every direction.

Sbraga's primary offering is a four-course prix fixe menu for $45. Each area had some great choices, and here were mine.

My first course was a dose of sweetbreads. These delectable morsels were flash-fried and paired with tonnato and capers. Let's never forget how great capers can be... and tonight's dish did not disappoint. The tonnatos gave the dish a subtle sweetness. The capers added a mini bitter bite. To finish the dish were small pools of yogurt-like substances, and some arugula. It was a dish worth having.

Next up was the arctic char. The fish was cooked excellently - but the skin was unforgettable. Separated from the filet and (pan-fried?) densely crisped, it was like eating a fish potato chip - yet less greasy and only with the slight taste of fish. Dipping the crisp skin in the beet sauce dallops along its side was perfection for me. The caviar, dill and pickled onions that also came along for the ride only added to my enjoyment.

The third and final savory course was meatloaf. I picked the meatloaf with a potato puree and bacon marmalade. The meatloaf was nice, with overtones of your typical homemade meatloaf and undertones of things a bit more exotic, like sriracha and lemongrass. The potato puree was doused in a rich beef broth reduction. The bacon marmalade was subtle, which was nice. I was expecting something too rich with bacon... but Sbraga proved that bacon actually can be subtle.

Dessert was their tiramisu flavor combination of marscapone, coffee granita and chocolate. The texture of this dessert was a highlight of the meal. The crunch, creaminess of the marscapone and bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavorings hit the mark.

Sbraga, I'd love to see you again. 3 out of 4 capers.

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