Woo off to Square 1682. Located at 17th and Sansom this walk from the Palm wasn't bad at all. The best way to describe this place would be to use words like "trendy" or "hip". Perusing the website earlier that day, Square 1682 described themselves as "Modern American". To me that means dark lighting, weird menu items, and small portions. Dark lighting- check.
We had 8pm dinner reservations and got there right at 8. Our table wasn't ready for another 10 minutes so we sat at the bar and had a drink. Great bar. The space was fairly small- couldn't have had more than 15 tables in it plus the bar. Square is connected to Hotel Palomar so there were a lot of people sitting and eating at the bar. Once we sat down we got a look at the "Modern American" menu. Weird menu items- check. I remember thinking that I wish my dad was there to help me understand what everything meant. We kept googling the definition of things like watercress, cavatelli, and charred fennel. Maybe we should know what these things are but we are only slightly on our way to being foodies.
The service was sub par, I kind of felt a bit neglected. But after my 11oz chard at the Palm I didn't really care too much. I will attribute my stepping out of the box on my entree choice to that same glass of wine. Before I go into what meals we ordered, I have to start with our stable app: calamari. Earlier that day I was telling some of my coworkers about my plans for the night. One of them said: "Don't get calamari again". I know, it's over done. And I owe it to my blog followers to change it up a bit, but the woman I was sitting next to at the bar was RAVING about it. She may or may not have had too many vodka martinis but, it did look delicious, so we went with it. And it was delicious. More so because of the sweet chili aioli on the side. (Please ignore my 12 year old boyfriend's finger placement in the background of the picture)
Now on to entrees. We were pretty indecisive at this point in our night. We both thought we could go with anything really. So thats what we did. I ordered the Lamb Short Ribs and Brendan ordered the Spring Beef Ragu. Small portions- no check! I was expecting 2 tiny ribs and a small bowl of ragu, but we were happily disappointed! Also I should add that the food was a.m.a.z.i.n.g. My short ribs came in a stack of 4 overtop of Lancaster cheddar grits. On top of the ribs was a corn succotash and a bourbon BBQ glaze. The lamb was so tender it actually fell off the bone and I am not just saying that. My mouth is watering as I write this. Please if you go to Square, get the Lamb Short Ribs!
Brendan got the Spring Beef Ragu. Beef short ribs, cavatelli, & wild mushrooms. I was a little wary for him because when I think of beef short ribs, it brings back bad crock pot memories. When we would come home from school when I was younger and that crock pot smell hit our noses, we all let out "oh no not the crock pot!!!" (sorry, Mom). Luckily, these beef short ribs were nothing of the sort.
We would happily come back to Square 1682! Just a warning though, there are no bathrooms in the restaurant. You have to go up this back flight of steps into the hotel to get to the closest restroom. I might suggest bringing a buddy up those back steps because they are a little frightening. They slightly remind of an Law and Order SVU crime scene. Luckily I made it through my bathroom trip safe and sound and can now say I am a fan of modern american food!
46 to go!