2/21/2013 01:52:00 PM

New Winter Bites at Circles, Le Virtu and Oyster House

The weather has been a roller coaster lately, but it’s definitely still winter, since the highs don’t top 60 and the lows are pretty darn low. Here are a trio of restaurants that have introduced new dishes to finish out the cold season.

Circles
Though it never gets anywhere near freezing in Thailand, the noodle soups of Thai cuisine are perfect for warming up. Chef-owner Alex Boonphaya has introduced three new versions, including tom yum (chicken), geaw teaw (beef) and geaw teaw rua, which has beef blood in the mix. Along with the chili, garlic and fish sauce that you can add in, that’s sure to get your own pulse flowing. The soups are available at the Northern Liberties location for $8 (267-687-1309).

Le Virtu
Though Abruzzo is in the southern part of Italy, it is mountainous and gets plenty of snow (there are quite a few ski resorts there). Chef Joe Cicala has added several hearty Abruzzese dishes to the menu at this East Passyunk spot. Try a minestrone-inspired bowl with chickpeas and farro in rabbit broth; gnocchi with juniper-wood-smoked lamb sausage; and bollito misto - a stew with four kinds of pork (215-271-5626).

Oyster House
Think a roast is just a hunk of meat? Think again. The Sansom Street seafooder is now serving the fish house classic known as oyster pan roast. It’s actually a crème-fraîche-filled broth with poached oysters sitting beneath a crostini covered in shrimp butter. Color us intrigued ($13; 215-567-7683).

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