It takes some navigating to find Spasso; it’s not in heart of Old City, but situated between Chestnut and Market on Front Street. The inside of the restaurant is surprisingly large and basic, with two large rooms. There’s also an open kitchen of sorts in the first dining room, ready to tantalize your olfactory nerves with the good old smell of marinara.
The menu reads extensive and is, for the most part, affordable. On the appetizer end, the grilled calamari ($10) and the escargot ($9) are definitely worth checking out. The grilled calamari is very basic, but has that distinct fresh taste, as spices, seasonings, or oil don’t overwhelm. The escargot lies on the other end of the spectrum, smothered in a delicious sauce of sun dried tomatoes, spinach and garlic.
For dinner, there are many pasta, seafood, and chicken options. The grilled jumbo shrimp ($21) are coated with a lemon butter sauce and served atop a sizable bed of spinach. The fettuccine and shrimp ($17) is a cheaper shrimp/pasta option with a creamy sauce tinged with pesto and served with sweet, tender rock shrimp. The chicken dish that steals the show however, is the pollo balsamico ($17), and that name pretty much explains the dish in essence. The balsamico is two sizeable chicken breasts, infused with balsamic, topped with red onions, portabello mushrooms, and served on a balsamic reduction. It’s definitely something to check out should you venture to Spasso’s.
There’s an assortment of decent-sounding desserts on the menu as well. The custard cr�me vanilla cr�me brulee ($5) is known for being one of the best in the city. Spasso also offers New York cheesecake, sorbet, and chocolate chip ricotta cannolis ($5) as well.
If you're venturing down to Old City for a night of decadence or bar hopping, take a detour at Spasso’s Italian Grill first, and see firsthand why the hype is justified.
Spasso Italian Grill
34 South Front Street