To start off, I’m sort of a food asshole—a friend and I started a group called Elite Eating Club so that should pretty much tell you what you need to know. I’m also gluten intolerant, so I’m the worst kind of asshole. However, this day was big for me because I was really excited to throw my cares to the wind and eat some arancini. I regret everything.
When I walked into the newly opened Tredici Enoteca I was impressed first by the bar—maybe it was because my eyes immediately went to the Domaine Canton and the selection of craft liquors and the trendy couple sipping cocktails (clad head to toe in lululemon and Ralph Lauren). I was expecting great things.
The owners of Zavino opened their third restaurant in December, and as a huge fan of Zavino, I was sad to say that Tredici was not great. It won’t be causing any sexy dreams like Zavino’s gluten free flatbread (with ricotta) does.
Upon my arrival, there were some green olives put in front of me. The lack of bread was not a problem, but I could see where the carb minded would be upset. A quick glance at the beer and cocktail list, and I ordered the Ace Pear Cider ($5). The pear flavor was very pronounced, but upon further consumption it started to taste like the green jolly ranchers that always get left in the bag. I decided to order one thing off their small plate list, then two veggies.
The Saffron Arancini ($9) was covered in parmesan, and served over a tomato sauce. The sauce was the best part— super fresh and tomato–y. I cut into the ballz and was met with bright yellow, steaming arborio rice. I was excited to eat it.
My happiness ended when I put it in my mouth. (Ed. note: that's what she said.)
The Arborio rice was definitely overcooked. There was great saffron flavor—kind of like paella in a crunchy ball, which had so much potential but was ultimately very sad. I tried to love it, I really did. It all went downhill from there.
The Roasted Cauliflower ($9) was served in a wooden bowl and tossed with a honey chili oil and served with a lemon yogurt sauce. Lightly brown around the edges, they seemed to be cooked nicely.
Upon taking my first bite, I was surprised at how spicy the little vegetable was. My next feeling was anger towards the perfectly contoured waitress who didn’t warn me that the cauliflower was going to be so hot. I kept trying to change my own mind, but the spice was overwhelming and didn’t compliment the cauliflower at all.
I would love to report that the Cumin Carrots ($9) saved the day. They were so cute. But the carrots were lukewarm and bland, which was puzzling because cumin is such a flavorful spice. Not even the yogurt dip (which was suspiciously similar to the cauliflower’s dip) could save these. I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you!
I expected more from the sister restaurant, but since it is located directly next to Zavino, it was like a warm beckoning to immediately leave and go there.
TL;DR: We were sadly disappointed by the new sister restaurant to Zavino. It serves primarily small plates with an Italian/Mediterranean influence. Maybe you should go if you want to SABS/have a nice insta picture, but otherwise stick to Zavino.
Don’t Miss: Uh, the cocktail list?
Skip: The food (lol, sorry)
When to go: They open at 4p.m. Maybe go and sit at the bar around then.
Location: 13th and Sansom
Price Range: $$$