Nowhere else do bitter and festive mix quite as delightfully as they do at North Third. The two emotions permeate the air of the Northern Liberties hideaway to create the perfect atmosphere for the love-day loner. An enormous eagle hovers over the front room bar, which is packed with 20 and 30-somethings wearing the thick black-framed glasses you feigned partial blindness just to wear. An eclectic mix of Margaritaville, Christmas and Nightmare Before Christmas lights frame the bar, while pictures of Chucky, Lite-Brite-inspired images of bleeding hearts and red candlelight create a surprisingly comforting feel in the main dining room. Past the oddly placed Lord of the Rings pinball machine, the back dining room/lounge is home to more fascinating decor. Nude tapestries, gargoyles, metallic streamers and paintings of large breasts blend unassumingly into the cozy setting.

Settle in at a side table and take in the quality music selection (Think Geto boys, Pixies, Talking Heads, Stevie Wonder and Prince), or if you'd rather mingle than mull, take your meal at the back bar. The menu features a wide selection of comfort food and innovative cuisine with a variety of daily specials. Appetizers and burgers make for a satisfying under $10 meal, while entrees range from quesadillas ($8.50) to spicy BBQ baby back ribs ($19). Try the steamed mussels in warm white wine and garlic broth ($9) paired with the seasonal mulled wine, or the perfectly crisped, guacamole-adorned chicken sandwich (both $9) with a 25 oz. Belgian brew. Dessert is altogether unnecessary when you can have your beer made with dried fruits and caramel, or sugar, raisins and Bavarian oak.

Even the loneliest of bastards is bound to take solace in the warm gastropub feel of the restaurant. Whether you seek a good buzz and food for the soul, or simply a locale bizarre enough for you to sink into the surroundings and bask in your solitude, North Third awaits you.


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