Three Bells for Il Pittore

Chris Painter finally has a stage to call his own and Craig LaBan likes what he sees at Il Pittore.

The octopus was both tender and delicately crisped over arugula puree and the zesty pickle of baby peppers. The meaty orata fillet with minced olives and fregola sarda was like tasting the Mediterranean. The rosemary-scented lamb shank came over mashed potatoes tweaked with subtle hazelnut warmth. But the other braised meats were the real showstoppers: amazingly tender veal cheeks over earthy buckwheat polenta topped with marrow butter and blood-orange marmalade; and a slow-cooked suckling pig and Tuscan kale and pear mostarda, the meat practically melting beneath its cracker-crisp skin and eliciting an actual “wow.”

Three Bells – Excellent

Il Pittore [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Il Pittore [Official Site]

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  • Kevin (the other one)

    “With unrelenting high markups, though, it’s worth buying some top-dollar bottles (like La Spinetta Barbaresco, on the list for $200) for a third the price at the nearby State Store, and paying Il Pittore’s $35 corkage fee.”

    Amazing that Laban doesn’t seem to understand accepted BYO etiquette. That $35 corkage fee is intended to allow their customers the chance to bring a special bottle to dinner, not to create a loophole for cheapskates around their wine list prices (which are undoubtedly a major profit center). Among wine lovers (and restaurants), it is widely considered very bad form to BYO a bottle of wine that already appears on the restaurant’s own wine list. Some restaurants explicitly ban this, but most just assume their customers already know this.

    That said, with so many outstanding BYOs in Philly (with little or no corkage), I can’t say that I’m all that eager to try Il Pittore and their wine markups.