Food & Drink

Because your own fried pig tails never come out right

Deviating from the norm is a great way to rejuvenate yourself creatively, discover something new, and, if you're George Wendt, avoid typecasting. For a casual Italian beer hall from a man well-groomed in finer dining, hit up Alla Spina.

Opening today from Iron Chef-pwning empire-builder Marc Vetri (Osteria, Amis), Alla's housed in the back half of the old Wilkie dealership, which's now a steel-beamed hall sporting an aggro-loft feel, with mismatched seating, a bar made of crushed beer bottles, and a ton of wall (and ceiling) space coated in graffiti -- a truly rare find, considering the pristine nature of North Broad.

The food ledger is fluctuating, but will offer eats you can't find elsewhere, including crudos of pesce, carne & verdura, sandwiches made with rye beer bread, crispy goods like pig tails 'n fried snails, and biggies like poutine w/ guinea hen leg bolognese, or a four-person serving of roasted pork shoulder, also what happens when Anthony Miller doesn't apply sunscreen thoroughly.

They've got 22 drafts, pouring Italians like Del Borgo's Genziana and L'Olmaia's Karkade spiced ale, plus a host of local taps including a pair of manually pumped casks from Yards and Stoudt's. Non-beers'll run traditionally Italian with Bellinis and Negronis, but there'll also be brew-fueled shandys like the Peroni/mango juice Birmosa and the Innis & Gunn/Lancaster milk stout Bourbon Milkshake, which should bring all the (good ol') boys to the yard.

Because you can't do Italian without spray tanner pasta, Alla's also got a smattering of noodle plates like a lasagna verde alla bolognese and a ricotta mac -- order both and, assuming you plan to finish, you may need someone to Cheers you on.