Swift Half Gets Two Bells
Craig LaBan has been driven to haiku and song over the Good Dog so it was sure to be interesting to see what he had to say on the Swift Half, the sibling bar whose environs are almost sterile in comparison. And guess what, he likes it, finding nothing generic about the food.
Granted, there may not be any lightning bolts of bar-food brilliance on the level of that cheese-stuffed burger. But this menu is full of good ingredients and satisfying flavors, with a shade more culinary ambition and a lighter touch than the Good Dog’s comfort-food ruminations.
For starters, there is a pair of thick-cut lamb chops edged in a garlicky green marinade of mint chimichurri, fairly priced at $14. It’s easy to recall O’Donnell’s Striped Bass experience in the menu’s deft seafood items, like those gorgeous Jersey scallops with zucchini ribbons and cherry tomatoes. A simply grilled whole branzino was as plump and juicy as any I’ve had recently around town for $21. A $24 steak-frites is relatively pricey for Northern Liberties. But as meat goes, this tender strip steak glazed in jalapeÃ±o butter with good house-cut fries and a side of grilled corn was worth the cost.
Two Bells – Very Good