Tag Archives: Cuban food

alma de cuba, dark horse, and fall.

23 Sep

Last week I had the pleasure of spending the evening with my friend, K, who I am getting to know better.  We had plans to eat at Alma de Cuba on Walnut Street with her boyfriend, my fiancé, and a few of our mutual friends.  Our reservation of six soon became a reservation for two because of the crazy work/life schedules of everyone.  Although the atmosphere at Alma de Cuba is very romantic (we saw a plate scrolled with “I love you” in dark sauce on the way to our own candle-lit table), I was glad to have a girls’ night.  Living in DC for the last two years, I didn’t have access to any girlfriends and worked too much to make any.

      I’d been wanting to dine here since I passed it’s facade a few weeks ago on my way to a different group dinner.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  Especially situated beside typical brick buildings.  The inside was not a disappointment!  The lower level is a lounge with low, plush white couches, red candles, and a glowing bar that serves mojitos with real sugarcanes as stirs.  The upper level is the dining room, also with white furniture, candlelight, and those fantastic windows you can see in the photo.

The food was obviously delicious, too, or else I wouldn’t even bother posting about the restaurant!  We had the fixed three-course menu for Restaurant Week.  I started with the goat cheese salad. which consisted of arugula and fried goat cheese balls.  I like goat cheese, but fried goat cheese? LOVE.  I wish I could remember the kind of steak that I had, which was amazing with black beans, rice and tomato sides.  All I can remember is it was thin and came apart easily and when I requested ‘medium rare’ I was told it only came ‘very well-done’.  So I assume that is a trademark of the steak and anyone familiar with Cuban food probably can tell what I ate.  Last was carrot-cake with almond-sunflower-seed-brittle on top.  Loved the brittle.

The evening was also remarkable because with it came the first signs of Fall.  Crisp air, romance, golden sun, mystery, fresh apples and grapes, Halloween and the beginning of the holiday season.  What’s not to love about Fall?!  I embarrassingly found myself in dress shorts as the temperature dropped to the 50’s.  But I’ll take it, I am so relieved for the weather to cool down, especially since I’ve been walking to class every week, and I hate to arrive sweaty!

Several days later K and I were able to pin down our men long enough to go out to dinner and drinks Saturday night.  This time we changed gears and went to the Irish Pub, Dark Horse, on 2nd Street near Society Hill.  After we wound our way through the interior maze of rooms and finally found a dining room (there are several bars both up- and down-stairs) we had a great time, despite the bachelorette party in the general vicinity.  The menu was diverse, but luckily they had the Irish staples: bangers and mash, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie…It was hard for me to narrow it down (I hate making decisions), so with A’s help I decided on shepherd’s pie.

These restaurant outings are so noteworthy for me because I consider it one of the primary reasons to live so close to the city.  Finally we have access to a little culture and variety!  Not to mention a social life again.  What I hope to add to the list of activities is wine or beer school.  I would prefer wine, but let’s be honest, I would do either if I can ensure A and friends will come with me.

First I need some recommendations for wine schools in Philly.  Any ideas?

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