Tria, a wine, cheese and beer cafe, may be my new favorite place in Philadelphia. This upscale cafe that specializes in the best of the basics is a refreshing change from the mainstream Philadelphia pubs and restaurants.
Without the expected snobbery of such an establishment, Tria has an ambiance of casual sophistication while quenching your thirst for exceptional beer and wine, and feeding you absolutely delicious fare.
Their specialties are brilliantly simple – wine, beer, cheese, bread – all of which are surprisingly satisfying. Why have we been mixing it up in recent years? Really, I’d be happy to live on those four items the rest of my life. The monks had it right.
The wait staff was welcoming and knowledgeable. My waitress recommended everything I had. She chose the cheeses based on my preferred tastes (sharp) and textures (hard). She then encouraged me to branch out of my comfort zone with a recommendation of stinky, soft cheese. The two cheeses I tried were the Petit Ardi Gasna -- a French sheep cheese, and the Chevrotin – a French goat cheese.
I never knew something that smelled so bad could taste so good. (And believe me – the Chevrotin stinks. While holding my leftovers, I later stood in line at a convenience store and was appalled by the odor I thought was coming from the man in front of me. It wasn’t until later that I realized the man must have been thinking the same of me. And he was right.)
Both cheeses came with crusty artisan bread on a wooden board and were coupled with honey and a thin berry jam. While sipping on my Nero D’Avola, a Sicilian red wine that my waitress also recommended, I was in heaven. To my surprise the stinky goat cheese was my favorite.
The seemingly small portions of cheese were so rich and filling, I was unable to finish. I sipped on my wine and appreciated the casual and yet intimate environment the restaurant provides. It was nice to be able to drink and talk with friends without having blaring music or obnoxious crowds to disrupt.
The beer menu and wine menu left little to be desired. And if you cannot live on bread and cheese alone, the food menu is more than ample. With locations in Rittenhouse Square and Washington Square West, you have no excuse for missing out on this delicious experience.
I could have stayed all night.