Updated on May 18, 2020
Right in the middle of this vibrant neighborhood is SOMO. Owned by James Morrisey, an award-winning interior designer in Philadelphia and the Mid-Atlantic region, with a long impressive list of restaurants, cafes, lounges, and other culinary projects under his belt, what else for Morrissey to do but open one of his own?
Being his first foray in the food industry as an owner, he wanted to make sure to create an excellent restaurant where people go every single day to enjoy excellent food and drinks whilst spending time with family, friends, and business associates. If you’re wondering what’s with the name SOMO, the namesake of the place is her daughter, SOphia MOrrissey which makes it an incredibly personal project for him. Morrisey and his design team were able to achieve their goal, a neighborhood destination that is trendy and fun offering patrons a super chill vibe. Simple yet upscale.
Step in and you’ll be welcomed by the interior’s industrial chic, rustic, and welcoming vibe. With bookshelves lining the walls, subdued lights, and cushy seats that remind you of The Godfather, the menu is not overly pub-esque. This quaint restaurant is the perfect place for a romantic dinner, enjoy a great family lunch, and a middle ground if you and your friends can’t decide on what to eat after work.
Since opening its doors in 2017, SOMO became known for its classic American comfort food with an urban twist and drinks list which are exceptionally good.
Talking of drinks, if you feel overwhelmed choosing from SOMO’s vast drink selection including 24 rotating craft beers on tap, sake, handcrafted cocktails, and wine, no fret since the restaurant’s beverage manager and head bartender, Ryan Landy, will be there together with his team to guide you with wine pairing and prepare the best cocktail to go with your bar food. Champagne with your oysters? Which beer goes with your cheesecake? Or maybe you want to know what drink can you pair with your savory and salty fries? SOMO’s team will be there to help you.
TV host and food geek Alton Brown hits the mark when he famously said that no level of food can save a bad service. We all know that good food and good customer service are the reasons why you’ll visit a restaurant again. One without the other won’t cut. Realistically though, one might come and try another food on the menu but will never come back if the issue is about the rude staff. Terrible customer service can overpower any delicious, carefully prepared food.
And if there’s one thing that SOMO has consistently been praised for is its amazing customer service thanks to a team that happily serves up with a pleasant and welcoming sincerity. From the front of the house to the back of the kitchen, the consistent level of high-quality service is evident.
Restaurant’s menu highlights are their slow-cooked sofrito pulled pork with herb aioli and arugula atop a grainy baguette, or you could try their pan-seared Mahi-Mahi with coconut rice, sweet pepper puree, and jalapeno pesto. You should also not miss their roasted chicken in au jus that comes with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables.
For vegetarians, there are lots of options on the menu including their delicious green pea burger – a chickpea and green pea patty with roasted peppers, provolone, and herb aioli in a brioche bun. For mains, you can order mushroom pappardelle which is roasted mushrooms with meyer lemon and ricotta. And if you’re into sweet endings, you have the option of bourbon banana bread pudding topped with caramel sauce and chantilly cream, apple fritters with caramel or beignets. They serve cheesecake too although seasonal.
If you’re only in SOMO for the bar food, the restaurant’s small plate starters will definitely make you satisfied. You can try the roasted brussels sprouts with shallot, parmesan, and apple cider vinegar, or go for their grass-fed meatballs with whipped ricotta and parmesan. Not to be missed is the house specialty SOMO Disco Fries – crispy French fries swimming in short rib gravy, topped with cheddar, bacon, and scallion. Take our word for it, order two if you’re with a friend!
If you and your friends are looking for a place to hang out after work, then SOMO is the best bar to go to for happy hours. Do you know that the term “happy hour” is a term popularly used by the marines in the early 1900s describing a period when the navy can have entertainment? Nowadays, it’s a marketing term when a venue offers discounts on drinks (with free or discounted appetizer, too). This is one marketing ploy we don’t mind having!