With its proximity to the stadiums and arenas of South Philly, you’d probably expect SOMO SoPhi, 3101 S. 13th St., to be just another sports bar with a restaurant as a distant second in priority. Well, read on, intrepid foodies.
The new sibling of the SOMO restaurant in Manayunk, the two-story restaurant is located on the corner of a quiet residential street and a main drag (on Packer Ave.) And while there is a bar on the ground level with large flat screens tuned to the sports networks, the upstairs space is modern, cozy and classy — designed for comfort and dining.
The menu vacillates between comfort food and upscale modern American bistro. A small plate such as the eggplant dip ($8) coexists with the unabashed caloric glory of disco fries ($12). The dip had a lovely texture and a unique balance of refined flavors. The disco fries impressively managed to achieve balance between the fries and the toppings, which didn’t bury the perfectly fried spuds under daunting layers. The cheese sauce was pleasantly mild and creamy, making it a fine vehicle for the tender pieces of short rib and bacon that punctuated the dish.
Back on the lighter, more responsible side of things, the frisée salad ($12) was an impressive composition, thanks to crisp roasted potatoes that brought an interesting contrast to the cool, bright flavors of the salad.
The main dishes are comprised of solid offerings, with attention to detail. The crab cake sandwich ($16) was crisp with a respectable level of spice. The lobster mac and cheese ($19) was served up steaming hot in a cast-iron skillet with generous pieces of lobster swimming in the luscious cream sauce.
SOMO SoPhi might be a South Philly establishment, but with its overall vibe and menu quality, could easily hold its own downtown. If you find yourself on your way to a sporting event or a concert, SoPhi is an ideal spot to kick off your evening.
If you go
3101 S. 13th St.
Mon.-Tue.: 5 p.m.-1 a.m.
Wed.-Thur.: 10:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
Fri.-Sat.: 10:30 a.m.-1 a.m.
Sun.: 10:30am.-1 a.m.