the other critics

Sophia’s Is a ‘Clear Step-Up’ From Salt & Pepper; ‘Amazing’ Veg-Friendly Apps. Are Better Than the Entrees at Adobe Cafe

• While the menu at Cherry Hill’s Amici “seems to offer little in the way of differentiation from any other Italian BYOB,” Adam Erace says the restaurant’s “charms are less obvious.” Lumache (escargots) were “beautifully tender, and the extra sauce worked great for sopping up with Hudson Bakery bread,” while the mussels marinara’s tomato broth “was far more compelling than the bivalves it bathed; for every decent mussel, two were fishy, an easy layup gone awry.” The 14-ounce New York strip steak special was “so thoroughly caramelized and potently seasoned on the outside, so juicy and pink inside” it “accounts for a big chunk of Amici’s (favorable) rating.” [Courier-Post]

• Though a “clear step-up” from predecessor Salt & Pepper, Craig LaBan says Christopher Lee and Joe Massara’s Sophia’s still has “some lingering issues to improve.” Service is “well meaning and informed, but can be a little stiff”; the “limited” drink selection is “not exactly exciting”; and meals are “less impressive” when the star attraction, the aforementioned Lee, isn’t in the kitchen. Despite the “very good” two star rating, LaBan says the owners need to “push the ambition dial one notch higher” to “rise to the top of East Passyunk's hot list.” [Inquirer]

• Vegging checks out the veg-friendly fare at East Passyunk Avenue’s Adobe Cafe, and reports back that “you might be better off just ordering a drink and getting down with their amazing apps.” than going with the “not as good” vegetarian entrees. Guacamole brought on “full-fledged guac shock,” while the Texas Ranchero seitan wings, both the “best thing on the menu” and “best vegetarian hot wings that [he’s] ever had,” and “make the whole trip worthwhile.” [Phawker]

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