Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cinnamon & Spice

Recently I went to Kanella.

While a number of magically delicious things happened to me there, there was also a string of tragically suspicious happenings... The jury is out.

On the 'Yay' side of the spectrum:

1. The Food - It was undeniably delicious. We ordered a bunch of small plates to share including the noteworthy Dips of the day with grilled Pita bread (Double yay for extreme, but not overpowering, use of garlic here. The dips vary by day. They were flavorful and filling and, for 7 bones, quite a bargain). The Beetroot with yogurt and scallions (simple cubed beets tossed in yogurt with red onions) was also superb. The food was light and fresh and healthy... just the way I like it.

2. The Coveted Cuisine - I'm told it's one of the only (if not the only) places in the city to get Cypriot cuisine (influences from Greece, Turkey, France and Italy). That in itself is a plus.

3. The Chef's Peepers - Konstantinos Pitsillides' blue eye/olive skin combo imparts a pleasing sense of the Med even when set against his cold-patriarchal-Mediterranean-man-attitude.

4. The Name - Kanella is Greek for cinnamon. For some reason I really like that.

5. The Ambiance - The cool blues and whites, the pillows and rustic wooden tables, impart a sense of vacationing in the isles.

On the 'Nay' side of the spectrum:

1. Bread - Our bread was burnt. There were two of us. We were served four pieces while our two neighbors were served 6 pieces (which were not burnt). Do I really want or need the extra two pieces? No. Do I feel cheated when I see that they got more bread then us? Yes.

(OK. Maybe I'm exaggerating with that image but you get the idea.)

2. Temperatures - Some things were served too cold. The tahini served with the bread, the dips, and the dessert (date and almond torte) were all just-out-of-the-refrigerator cold. It was weird. I'm not saying they should have been warm but the temperature imparted a - made earlier, stored in the refrigerator, just plopped on a plate - feeling... it was a major turn off.

3. Timing - ... is everything. Even though we were one of the few diners in the restaurant we were rushed at every step along the way. Word to the wise...
A. Don't ever put more plates on my table then can fit. Unless I force you to at gun point.
B. Don't ever ask me if I am done with a plate that I'm still eating off of... just don't.
C. Don't bring the dessert menu OR even bring up the word "dessert" until after the dinner dishes have been cleared.
D. Don't bring my check without asking if I still have half a bottle of wine left, and then tell me that your shift is ending soon... Cause I don't give a fuck. I'm still dining. Thanks. That shit might fly at Ruby Tuesday but when you start working at an establishment that surpasses the $20/plate mark you are in it to win it so sit back and relax.

So, the choice is your own. I'd say weigh your yays against your nays and try 'er out if you see fit.

Good luck and god speed.

Kanella - 1001 Spruce St Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-1773

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