PHLReview

photo credit: PHOTO CREDIT: GAB BONGHI

Lark review image
9.0

Lark

$$$$

615 Righters Ferry Rd, Bala Cynwyd
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A romantic gesture could include bringing home flowers, making a slow jams playlist, or even getting a cute couple's photo framed. While any of these things might get you a little extra love and attention, they can’t compare to bringing your person to the city’s ideal date night spot: Lark. It’s a bit outside Philly proper in Bala Cynwyd, and you might momentarily get lost trying to find it since it’s located in a building that looks similar to the Marriott next door. But once you take the elevator up to the rooftop, you’re in for a Mediterranean meal that’s going to be one of the best you can have in the whole Philly area. 

Gab Bonghi

Lark review image

Everything about this restaurant makes you actively feel as special as Nick Foles anytime he comes back to Philly. You’ll find cozy booths near fireplaces, a long 20-seat bar, big arched mirrors, chandeliers, and more lit candles than there are in the ballroom scene of Beauty and the Beast. The atmosphere inside is what makes it perfect for date night, but the balcony elevates it to the most romantic spot in the city. There’s a great view of the Schuylkill River, and while you can't have a full meal out there, you can still lounge at one of their outdoor fire pits and drink a cocktail. You'll feel like you’re in a supercut of Titanic (before the iceberg), and it's the perfect setup for dinner.

Gab Bonghi

Lark review image

The menu changes often, but all of the bigger plates work great split between two people. Most of the mains are expertly executed, and even the sides are given an equal amount of time to shine. Just take the steak for example—you’ll probably want to have those crispy potatoes or green beans coated in savory truffle oil at every holiday dinner going forward. They change up the preparation of the mains most often, but nothing has ever disappointed us (we do miss you though, juicy green grapes and almond flakes that came with the trout). Make sure to order things from every section of the menu, including a few plates of pasta and definitely a large entree—the grilled trout and strip steak are favorites.

PHOTO CREDIT: GAB BONGHI

Lark review image

After you eat here a couple of times, you’ll start to think about Lark every time you’re in an elevator, see a roaring fireplace, or even when you walk past the candle section of Target. So hopefully the next time your anniversary rolls around, you can ditch the lame Hallmark card and just book a table at Lark instead.

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Food Rundown

PHOTO CREDIT: GAB BONGHI

Lark review image

Grilled Octopus

This is the perfect blend of chewy octopus, soft garbanzo beans, and a creamy and tomato romesco mix. It gets some nuttiness from the almond flakes that are sprinkled all over, and like basically everything at Lark, you should order this.

Escargot

Each order of snails comes with a baguette (enough for everyone at the table), which is great because you’ll want to dip everything into the earthy potato confit and vichyssoise butter puree. You might even sop up everything in the bowl and almost forget about the escargot. This is something that you shouldn’t do because snails are tender and the best in the city.

PHOTO CREDIT: GAB BONGHI

Lark review image

Blue Crab and Pink Peppercorn Strozzapreti

Topped with Old Bay bread crumbs, red chilies, and pink peppercorns mixed into the pasta dough, each bite has a hint of pepperiness and a subtly sweet flavor. It’s one of those rare seafood dishes where you don’t have to search for the crab with a magnifying glass as there are tons of chunky hunks all throughout. Plus, for tableside entertainment, the servers will give you the background of this dish better than the History Channel could. Let’s just say strozzapreti translates to “priest chokers.”

PHOTO CREDIT: GAB BONGHI

Lark review image

Roasted Beet Mezzalune

Roasted beets is not something you see stuffed into pasta very often. And these doughy pouches are executed beautifully. It’s a light dish that gets a ton of flavor from toasted pistachio bits, brown butter, and ricotta salata. It all comes together to have a nutty and earthy balance that will never disappoint.

PHOTO CREDIT: GAB BONGHI

Lark review image

Grilled Trout

This is the best fish dish here. The grilled trout gets a juicy boost from the mix of labneh, cucumber, and asparagus and a smoky one from the harissa-pine nut emulsion coating the plate.

PHOTO CREDIT: GAB BONGHI

Lark review image

Roasted 14-Ounce Strip Steak

This steak dish is the epitome of Lark. The truffle green beans and potatoes are just as tasty as the tender cut of meat topped with salmoriglio (which is the main attraction). This is as good of a steak as anything you’ll find in a steakhouse.

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