East Passyunk Avenue hosted its first Restaurant Week, and I was fortunate enough to partake on its last day. Three price points for lunch & dinner were offered: $15, $25, and $35. I narrowed down my selection to the middle, and chose Birra because of its contemporary offerings. While others offered salad as a first course, Birra offered seared octopus; another place offered chicken pot pie, while Birra offered stuffed pork chop; and while others offered a choice of one dessert, Birra just gave you a smart sampling of three desserts.
Come to think of it, the Restaurant Week menu read more like a tasting menu to entice first-time diners like me to return. There was not a bad note in any of the dishes, and in fact, the flavors were bold without being too offensive. Two big flavor bursts were the garlic in the aoili and the peppers in the chocolate brownie. Aside from the interesting menu, there is a huge beer selection, and a decent wine and cocktails menu.
The place itself felt small because it was bursting at the seams with lively customers. Service was spotty but pleasant; dessert was brought out when I was still working on my entree, and we were always one silverware short. We got mixed messages because the waitress seemed to rush us, while the manager was very friendly and welcoming. Usually I like to linger when I am having dessert and drinking my coffee, but this place, due to its noise level and tightness, is not conducive for that.
I'll still come back for the food though, despite all that!
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