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At La Terrasse, food is art.

This, mind you, is coming from a person who loves to scoff at those establishments that serve you meager amounts of food decorated with superfluous frills, all while charging you an arm and a leg.

But at La Terrasse, you get what you pay for - which in this case was simply a superb culinary experience.

The restaurant itself sits on the 3400 block of Sansom Street, easy to access for most Penn students. When I arrived, I was led to a lower dining area which offered quiet seating. The decorations aren't too flashy or obtrusive here, which, along with a live tree growing in the center of the room, helped maintain a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.

More importantly, the seating was spacious. Too often in Philadelphia, you find yourself practically sitting in your neighbor's soup, but La Terrasse offers plenty of personal space - perfect for group dinners or family meals.

After helping myself to some warm slices of bread, I started with a Caesar Salad, which came in a carefully prepared pattern of greens, dressing, and croutons. Crisp slices of lettuce soaked in savory dressing hit all the right taste buds, and by the end I realized that I had never wolfed down a salad so fast in my entire life.

Next was the Mediterranean pasta which came with pieces of shrimp and sausage. The portions were fairly large, and I found myself taking some breaks halfway through to make sure I could savor every bite. The succulent bits of sausage and shrimp complemented the sauce very nicely.

I finished with a slice of cake. Called the chocolate decadence, the tasty combination of chips, icing, cake, and whipped cream provided me with a great way to finish off my meal - and satisfy my sweet tooth.

You can probably tell by my choices (Caesar salad, pasta, and chocolate cake) that I'm not much of an experimenter. I find foods and I stick with them.

That doesn't mean you should though. La Terrasse offers a wide spread of appetizers (the hand-crusted calamari caught my attention) and entrees, covering a variety of French and American dishes.

In short, the portions are large, the food is delicious, and the service is quick and extremely friendly.

And that's enough to leave a cynic like me practically speechless.

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