South Philly’s Ristorante Pesto Wins Rachael Ray’s Pasta Showdown

Giovanni and Maria Varallo of Ristorante Pesto on the Rachael Ray Show

Giovanni and Maria Varallo of Ristorante Pesto on the Rachael Ray Show

Giovanni Varallo and his daughter Maria of South Philly’s Ristorante Pesto competed this morning on the Rachael Ray Show for Rae’s Little Italy Showdown title for best pasta. The restaurateurs put their signature cavatelli topped with lobster, crab, and shrimp against teams from New York and San Francisco.
And the winner is »

Pizzeria Felici Adds Lunch

pizzeria-felici-940Brian Sirhal and chef Tim Spinner have opened Pizzeria Felici in Horsham, PA earlier this month. And now they’ve started serving lunch at their pizzeria and wine bar. . The pair are branching out from their Mexican fare at Cantina Feliz, La Calaca Feliz and Taqueria Feliz, with an Italian pizzeria and wine bar. PA. And starting today, Pizzeria Felici is now open for lunch on weekdays.

In addition to a selection of Neapolitan pizzas, the menu also includes well-crafted starters/antipasti and handmade pastas, large seasonal salads, and generous entrees.

Pizzeria Felici is open daily and lunch is served weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served seven days a week, starting at 4 p.m. Happy hour runs from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm daily with $4 house wines, $3 draft beers and $2 off of sangria and specialty cocktails.

Pizzeria Felici [Foobooz]

Brigantessa Introduces New Chef de Cuisine

Julia Robinson, chef de cuisine at Brigantessa

Julia Robinson, chef de cuisine at Brigantessa

Chef/Owner Joe Cicala and Brigantessa are officially welcoming Julia Robinson as chef de cuisine to the East Passyunk restaurant with a  wine dinner. Robinson started at Brigantessa in June after two years as chef de cuisine at the White Dog Cafe in University City and a six-year run at Vivere, a third-generation family-owned Italian restaurant in Chicago.

The Delaware native is showing off her work with a chef’s tasting menu with unusual Italian wine pairings on Wednesday, September 16th. The four-course, three wine and one digestivo dinner is $75 per person.

Summer additions and wine dinner menu »

Spotted: Santucci’s Coming to North Broad


Santucci’s at Broad and Wallace | Photo via a Tipster

A tipster let us in on this juicy tidbit. There’s a Santucci’s (expansion of the South Philly brand) coming to North Broad Street. Signs in the window show that the pizzeria is going in at 655 N Broad Street, the former home of Alessandro’s Pizza.

In addition to another eatery on North Broad, the location also means the neighborhoods of Fairmount, Spring Garden, Callowhill and Poplar will have access to Santucci’s excellent square pizzas via delivery.

Santucci’s – North Broad [Foobooz]

Hipsters and Grandpas: Triangle Tavern Reviewed

Spaghetti and Meatballs at Triangle Tavern | Photo by Jeffrey Towne

Spaghetti and Meatballs at Triangle Tavern | Photo by Jeffrey Towne

There’s only so much you can tell about a restaurant from its staff’s sartorial choices. But Triangle Tavern’s bar — whose bulbous edge gleams darkly with decades’ worth of varnish — offered a fascinating study in contrasts as I settled in amid drifting speckles of disco-ball light. A bullet casing swung from my bartender’s pale white neck as she stirred Dubonnet into gin. Nearby, a slender crucifix tagged its owner as a South Philadelphian of a more iconic stripe. And passing between them was a young black man rocking a Portland Trail Blazers jersey. Read more »

For One Night, Kanella Returns to Spruce Street


Kanella chef de cuisine Evan Butkovsky at COOK.

The Washington Square West neighborhood has missed Kanella since the Cypriot restaurant closed to move to Queen Village at the end of May. Chef/owner Konstantinos Pitsillides should open the new location within four weeks or so. But, WashWest is getting a taste of Kanella once again.

Kanella’s chef de cuisine Evan Butkovsky is joining up with Mercato’s Ryan McQuillan for a collaborative dinner on Tuesday, July, 28th. The Greek/Cypriot and Italian inspired tasting dinner (one sea, one people) will be held at Mercato, and will consist of three courses for $30.

Read more »

Act Two: Parlor Reviewed


Trio of pizzas at the Parlor | Photo by Danya Henninger

Confession of a city critic: Whenever I have to schlep out to the suburbs, I can’t help but grit my teeth. Expectations drop beyond the county line. For every Junto, there are three Saint Jameses, and there goes an hour’s worth of unleaded into the ledger of our atmospheric doom.

But I exaggerate. The Saint James’s awfulness lay far beyond the reach of replication, much less in triplicate. Yet trepidation nevertheless filled the family wagon as we made our way to its replacement in Ardmore’s Suburban Square. Owner Rob Wasserman rebooted the ill-starred concept in March as a pizzeria called Parlor, where pies bearing somewhat distressing names such as Buffy and Beastmode awaited us. Read more »

Little Nonna’s Offering Pick Up for National Cannoli Day

cannoli-day-little-nonnas-400Little Nonna’s is celebrating National Cannoli Day on Tuesday, June 16th. The red gravy Italian restaurant from Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney is offering four non-traditional cannoli for pickup during the day for $3 each. You can also pre-order eight-packs containing two of each flavor for $20 online.

Cannoli will be available for purchase beginning at 10 a.m. until they are sold out. Pre-orders will be available until 2 p.m.

The flavors include »

Coming Up: Little Nonna’s Spaghetti and Crab Nights

Crab and spaghetti at Little Nonna's

Crab and spaghetti at Little Nonna’s

While the music of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin plays, Little Nonna’s will be serving up dinner of spaghetti and crabs. The $35 per person menu is being served up on Sunday, June 7th and Monday, June 8th. The dinner kicks off with a summer salad with Italian Romano beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and basil. For the main course, you can choose between red and white sauce for their spaghetti and crabs.

For an additional $20 per carafe, you can accompany your meal with wine, sangria or thyme lemonade with vodka.

Check out the full menu »

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