Review: Twisted Tail Introduces Fall Menu Items and Prix Fixe Option

Roasted Duck Breast at The Twisted Tail in Philadelphia, PA
Roasted Duck Breast at The Twisted Tail in Philadelphia, PA

The Twisted Tail – a Southern-inspired restaurant, juke joint and bar located in Philadelphia’s Headhouse Square since 2011 – is updating its Fall schedule with a new prix fixe option to go with its always evolving menu, bar program and live blues bookings. Glamorosi Magazine's husband and wife team of A.D. Amorosi and Reese Amorosi recently stopped in to review The Twisted Tail's autumnal offerings.

The Twisted Tail, run by owner George Reilly and Executive Chef Leo Forneas, is one of Philly’s most underrated dining and drinking experiences. Their inventive menus, filled with Cajun and Southern influences, are always bursting with seasonal flavor. Even their take on a snack – popcorn with rosemary and bacon fat in place of butter – has a distinctive flair.

House infused spirits at The Twisted Tail
House infused spirits at The Twisted Tail
We started our meal with cocktails made with this season's in-house infusions. The maple pecan-infused bourbon with whiskey barrel bitters and cider was a potent concoction made slightly sweet by a hint of cinnamon sugar on its rim. The clementine-infused gin cocktail with St-Germain and champagne was perfectly balanced so that no one ingredient stood out amongst the others.

For the first of our four courses, we started with the “Charcoal Grill” section of the menu: the Shrimp with Avocado and Grapefruit Segments, and the Octopus with Potato, Sumac and Paprika. The shrimp was huge and benefited greatly from the bitter taste and texture of the grapefruit; the octopus was plentiful, a long, dense piece given just the right amount of heat from the paprika.

Burrata and Roasted Butternut Squash
Burrata and Roasted Butternut Squash
For the appetizer, we shared two specials. The Smoked Trout was notable for its freshness, its crispy skin, and the way that it was perfectly smoked. It was outstanding served with thin chips of dried Honeycrisp apple and tart apple strips dressed with apple cider vinaigrette. The Roasted Butternut Squash and Burrata cheese was a dream. The squash, prepared with butter and honey, was tender and just slightly sweet. Cutting its sweetness was the generously sized burrata, a salty, creamy mound sourced from Lioni Latticini Inc. from Union, NJ. Chef Forneas changes the specials frequently – if you're offered either of these dishes, we highly recommend both.

Using the word “generous” twice in this review might seem excessive, but it was true of all of our selections, and especially the entrées' large portions. The Braised Short Rib, served in a bowl of its own juices with coconut-squash and crisp Brussels sprouts, was tender and succulent. Our other entrée – Roasted Duck Breast – is a meat that can often be too gamey or too greasy. Not for Forneas, though, who served an exquisite roast duck on a bed of sweet potato puree surrounded by figs, then topped with pistachios and poured fois gras gravy. Decadent.

Ricotta Beignets with Caramel Sauce
As for dessert, the Ricotta Beignets with Caramel Sauce – an ongoing Twisted Tail favorite – were rich and light; the Pecan Chocolate Tart (tinged with orange) served with house-made bacon ice cream was way more subtle than it sounded. We were full from the previous three courses, but we still devoured every bite of our desserts.

The Twisted Tail is located in Philadelphia's Headhouse Square at 509 S 2nd St. (right off of 2nd and South Street). Their new four-course prix fixe menu is $39.95 per person, plus tax and gratuity, beverages are separate. For more information call 215.558.2471 or visit

Octopus at The Twisted Tail in Philadelphia's Headhouse Square.
Octopus with potatoes at The Twisted Tail in Philadelphia's Headhouse Square
All photos ©Reese Amorosi 2014

Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2014