My wife and I, after picking up herbs and flowers at Greensgrow in Kensington on a late Friday afetrnoon, found ourselves at kind of an awkward hour looking for some dinner (5 p.m.). We were in Northern Liberties. Normally we'd stop and get some drinks and have some bar food but I wanted to sit down and have what I hoped would be a good meal. We went to Sovalo (702 N. 2nd Street). It turned out to be a great meal.
We were the first customers in the room, and I thought how nice it was for them to provide a full-service restaurant just for the two us. Red and gold are the colors of this restaurant, somewhat plush with a dark wood bar, and attractive dark wood and red cushioned chairs. I never went here when it was Pigalle, but from what I read the interior did not change much. From what appears to be a well-thought-out wine list dominated by California and Italian bottles, we ordered a bottle of Proseco.
As mentioned already the menu is small and changes often. We shared a cold asparagus with extra-virgin olive oil, oranges, and shavings of parmesan cheese. Simple and very good. We each followed that up with a half-order of pasta. I had the rock shrimp spaghettini in a saffron sauce, excellent homemade pasta in a light flavorful sauce. The rock shrimp had crispness to it. My wife had ravioli with ricotta and fontina cheese; what a great combination.
For our entrees, I had the lamb speidini, grilled leg of lamb and lamb sausage over fava beans and peas with a light au jus. The grilled lamb leg was tender and juicy, the sausage was full of flavor. My wife had the sautéed soft-shell crab: Crispy shell, sweet meat, savory finish, absolutely delicious. It came with red-pepper polenta, a great accompaniment.
For dessert we shared a strawberry pana cotta, which our server suggested. I thought it was a near-perfect but my wife found it too sweet.
The service was excellent throughout the meal. Our server was nice, friendly, talkative, attentive, professional, and detail-oriented.
Our bill including tax and before tipping was $107.79. Well worth it.