Trend Alert: Must-Try Polenta Dishes Around Philly

April 7, 2014
by Danya Henninger

Polenta specials seems like they’re all over Philly right now. Street Food Philly recently offered creamy polenta with a Lancaster dry-aged meatball, and Brad Spence and David Ansill are doing lamb and sheep's milk ricotta meatballs over polenta for their April 24 collab dinner at Bar Ferdinand. Adam Erace of Green Aisle has been freaking out over the polenta from Culton Organics - not yet available to the general public - he says you need no butter, cream or cheese to make it creamy when cooking.

On Saturday we ended up in Brooklyn for brunch. At 606 R&D in Prospect Heights, the polenta was a perfect consistency, and the poach on the eggs was also spot on, so that the two soft-textured items were distinct in each bite.

You don’t have to go 90 miles north for the cheery-comfort of a polenta morning. Alla Spina serves eggs and boneless pork ribs over polenta ($15) while Amis goes sweet with a pecan-raisin polenta pancake ($10). At Mica in Chestnut Hill, the beef short ribs and polenta make up a “steak and eggs” dish, and Fork offers Castle Valley Mills polenta as a brunch side for $5.

Dinner brings even more cornmeal bounty, like the bowl dressed with pickled mushrooms and balsamic vinegar at In Riva in East Falls ($11). Braised short ribs at Garces Trading Company come with mascarpone polenta ($24) and Marcie Turney has her beef-veal-pork meatballs over the corn porridge on the nightly menu at Little Nonna’s for $11.

Have you swirled your fork through any great polenta lately?

brad spence
alla spina