Charlie Was A Sinner

 For my birthday dinner, Alex and I went to  Charlie Was A Sinner.  It was our second time going, but we hadn't been in a couple years...

 For my birthday dinner, Alex and I went to Charlie Was A Sinner. It was our second time going, but we hadn't been in a couple years so we were anxious to get back. It's a small plate and specialty cocktail all-vegan restaurant in Center City on 13th street. I think it's a perfect place to go for a special occasion. They have a pretty diverse menu, which makes me feel like there's something on it for pretty much anyone.

If cocktails are in any way your thing, this is absolutely the place to get one. They even have a few mocktails on the menu for the sober crowd. All the cocktails were $12, so there was no hemming and hawing over whether or not one was worth a splurge of a few extra bucks. Whenever I'm in doubt, I like to go for a recommendation. I also was sort of unable to decipher the menu, because I'm usually a beer girl. The waitress was very knowledgable, asking me what I like, and what I don't, what flavor profile I was in the mood for, etc. I basically gave her "tequila" to work with, and she brought me back this:

This is the Days Like This, and it is made of cazadores blanco, del maguey vida, cynar, apricot shrub and lemon. It was super smokey from the mezcal-style tequila and I loved the name of it. This was one of many amazing highlights of my meal there.

 Alex got La Dame De Fer, which included Old Overholt, pamplemousse, ginger, mint, lemon and orange. I only had a sip, but I remember liking it. It was no match for my superior cocktail, though.

We ordered two plates from the Iterations section of the menu, one from the Solo section, and two from the Pasta section, and had absolutely no room left in our bodies for dessert. I fully intended to have room, I just knew it would have been extremely unpleasant to try and eat it while being so full. So, sadly, our five plates did not include the Meyer Lemon Cake, which would have been my pick. Anyway, the ricotta:

The Ricotta was served with toast, and topped with agave, black pepper and olive oil. It was very rich, creamy, tangy, salty, everything you want ricotta to be. We went through two rounds of toast, in case you were wondering.

 Also from the Iterations section, was the Caramelized Eggplant Bao Buns. I'd heard rave reviews about these buns, and was told they were a must-order so I went for them. Alex loved them, but for me, they were the weak link. Very soft, pillowy dough, but I just wasn't as into the filling.

We were warned when we ordered The Korean Style Fried Tofu that it was extremely spicy. Normally we wave away the warning and are usually underwhelmed with heat, but this time, the heat was undeniably present. It came with pickles, which helped keep the heat at bay. This was so amazingly good! I love when food has the power to hit you over the head like that. It reminded me a lot of Dirt Candy's Korean Fried Broccoli. Don't take their warning lightly, because the heat is no joke.

The gnocchi was my favorite dish of the night. I couldn't stop eating it. The sauce was a smoky, buttery tomato base, and there were these cipollini onions that just melted away in your mouth. The english peas were toothsome, which made me wonder if I'd ever had fresh peas before. This is a must-order for sure!

  The Pappardelle was the last to arrive at the table, and so the last thing we ate. The fresh ribbons of pasta were so doughy under the thick, sundried tomato sauce. It had a tiny bit of crunch from the pistachios, and the spinach gave it a good balance. I would have preferred to have eaten this in the middle of the meal, because I wouldn't have been so full! The flavor was so rich, and by that time, it would have liked something a little lighter, but there was no way that I wasn't ordering pasta that night. I mean, it was my birthday.

I can't wait to go back, especially since I now know that the recommendation of 3-4 plates per person is not accurate at all, I can order 4 to split between 2 people and then a dessert to share. I definitely want to go during their happy hour, Monday through Friday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, and maybe get (gasp) 2 cocktails. There's lot to order from the menu that I haven't tried!

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  1. This all sounds amazing! I'm especially intrigued by the smoky aspect of your cocktail. It's definitely on my list of restaurants I want to visit someday.

  2. I LOVE Charlie is a Sinner. I've been a few times, mostly once for a dinner with my hubs, and a few other times for just drinks and dessert. I love their cocktails, especially the wheatgrass one. You would think booze plus wheatgrass would be disgusting, but it really amazing. It's magic or something! Plus I love how the menu changes. What you have on your post is totally different from when I reviewed the place.