Last week, Swallow, the Northern Liberties bistro, made a startlingly bold move and completely reimagined their entire concept and menu. In the blink of an eye, they went from a well-received neighborhood bistro to a macaroni and cheese venture.
This move was most likely motivated by the recession, since the prices have also been refashioned: with the new menu, one diner would be hard pressed to spend more than $15, and that would mean ordering a lot of food. So what does the menu entail now? Most basically, mix-ins. You choose a size, choose your cheeses, and a variety of meats, veggies, spices.
The important issue though, is what sort of reception the drastically transformed restaurant has been getting. So on that note:
• Joy Manning misses the old menu, pointing to the fact that Swallow has “a lot of culinary talent to dedicate to the mixing of pasta and cheese.” The new fare is no match perfectly roast chicken that she had on one of her early visits, and reduced portions would have been preferable to this extreme makeover, restaurant edition. [Taste Daily]
• Foodaphilia has a more positive reaction, although the general sentiment is still one of lamenting the “old” Swallow. The trouble is two-fold: A Full Plate Cafe and North Bowl are preferred mac and cheese destinations, and the fact remains that the bistro food will be missed. [Foodaphilia]
If that’s not enough, there is a fair amount of babble over on Chowhound about the whole metamorphosis. Business as usual, really.
[Photo: mac and cheese via bookgirl/Flickr]