Why? Spice Kitchen and Bar!

Last night, Mom and I had a wonderful girls’ night out in Gordon Square. Originally we planned on dinner and a movie, but upon realizing that Les Miserables is nearly 3 hours long, we switched the order to an earlier movie, then dinner. Yup, we’re old!

We saw Les Mis at the Capitol Theatre, which was exactly the right setting for something that felt more like a stage production that was filmed, rather than a movie musical (I’m stealing that description from my friend Andrea because it is spot on). I’m a sucker for musicals and I have a massive girl crush on Anne Hathaway, so take my opinion with those grains of salt, but I truly enjoyed the film.

From there, we headed down the street to Spice Kitchen and Bar. I had been to Spice for events (Emerging Chefs, Holla Days 2011, and the Near West Theatre after-party) but never for a sit-down, order-off-the-menu meal. We started, as all girls’ night out meals should, with cocktails: the Kombucha Mama (with kombucha made in-house) for Mom and the Pear and Pomegranate Sparkler for me.

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We also shared the heavenly mushroom beignets, which are fried puffs of dough and mushrooms served with a honey goat cheese creme fraiche.

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Mom declared she would eat the creme fraiche off cardboard and I would have to agree, although I certainly prefer eating it off the beignets!

For my entree, I chose the pumpkin risotto, topped with shaved Parmesan and mushroom salad.

photo 3I loved the sweetness and texture of the chunks of pumpkin in this dish. The mushrooms added a nice balance to the flavors, but I could have used more of them.

Mom had the beef brisket special, served on top parsnip puree with pan gravy and wilted greens.

photo 4Everything about this dish was warm and satisfying and perfect for the season.

I took some risotto home, both to bring Matthew something and to leave room for dessert. I had the peppermint pot de creme, served with housemade shortbread.

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This is like a crazy York Peppermint Patty in heaven. Seriously delicious and Christmas-y. I love me a pot de creme.

Mom had the apple and bourbon crisp, which I had the pleasure of sampling at the Emerging Chefs Harvest Moon event.

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Topped with salted caramel ice cream, this is a wonderful blend of salty, sweet, and a hint of spice.

Chef Ben Bebenroth at Spice has created a small, intensely seasonal menu that had me wanting multiple entrees. For a chance to check out a variety of Spice cuisine, head there for the five-course New Year’s Eve dinner. Price is $75 (or $100 for drink pairings with your courses) and there are seatings at 6:30 and 9:30.

All in all, it was a lovely girls’ night out and I may have a new Gordon Square favorite. Where do you love to go for a film and a bite?

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