The dishes at Zeppoli may appear simple, but Trey Popp finds that chef/owner Joey Baldino manages to make every dish transcendent.
Those silken tangles of tagliatelle, for example, conjure fantasies of an orchard at the edge of a fishermen’s colony—the lemon zest and juice melding with the cured roe’s briny umami wallop, melding in turn with sparingly buttered starches that shine with citrus but cloak its acidity. A late-summer panzanella was textbook but transporting: offering superior tomatoes, oversize croutons derived from house-made bread, and white anchovy fillets both mellow and pure. Baldino’s whole fishes—bronzino one night, orata on a luckier one—were as flawless as the grilled zucchini and artichoke hearts astride them; his Sicilian stew was a dark melody of shellfish stock and saffron, shrimp and crisp-edged swordfish.
Three Stars – Excellent
Zeppoli: The Hard Sell [Philadelphia magazine]
Photograph by Courtney Apple