Where We’re Eating: Fraschetta

If I were opening an Italian restaurant, I probably wouldn’t give it a name that’s one letter away from a mid-range frozen pizza brand. But that’s not the real problem at Fraschetta, a Main Line newcomer that debuted a few months back. And the problem isn’t bad service or food, either (though we did have to send back the “special” steak for being ridiculously undercooked and terribly underseasoned). The problem, simply, is noise. Some restaurants are loud. Some restaurants are so unbelievably effing loud that the loudness almost ruins the evening by turning every conversation into a shouting match. Such is the case at this spot from the owners of Center City’s Melograno. After my friends and I yelled at each other across our plates of generally good food, and then paid the sizable check (more than $200 for four of us, BYO) with cash, since Fraschetta annoyingly doesn’t take plastic, we all just decided never to go back.

816 West Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr

First appeared in the October, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

Viewing Parties for Bourdain’s Philly Episode of “The Layover”

Anthony Bourdain’s new(ish) show, “The Layover” follows the famed foodie as he travels through the US, Asia and Europe where he only has 24-48 hours to reveal the story of a place’s culture, food and people. Well, it looks like his next layover has landed him in Philly, and the episode is premiering the night of Monday, December 3rd. To celebrate Bourdain’s tasty trek through our fair city, several spots are hosting viewing parties.

Where to go drinking with Tony

Appetite for Awareness, a Gluten Free Festival, Hits Philly This Sunday

Appetite for Awareness, the signature event of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, is coming to Philadelphia on Sunday September 23rd from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Strawbridge Building. The event is in its eighth year and continually brings together physicians and chefs from the area’s top restaurants to serve up information and gluten-free dishes.

Participating Restaurants »

Three Bells for ‘Magic’ Melograno


Ding ding ding! That’s the sound of Craig LaBan bestowing three rapturous bells on one of his old favorites, Melograno, which has apparently survived its relocation to Sansom Street with its mojo intact. The C-Dawg concludes:

“This restaurant has built a following on its gift for making a familiar Philly concept, the Italian BYOB, as good as it can be. I’m just thrilled to know this little gem survived the move to larger quarters, and that [chef-owner] Gianluca Demontis didn’t forget to pack his pinch of magic.”

There are more references to magic, plus much waxing poetic on snail soup, re-imagined spaghetti carbonara and house-cured pancetta.

Melograno [Inquirer]

Mémé Opens Today

Meme Hanging Utensils
Mémé, David Katz’s replacement to Melograno at 22nd and Spruce opens tonight.

The menu is broken down into Small-ish, Larg-er and For Two categories. Among the highlights are a foie gras tart and duck breast with spiced quince.

The liquor license has not arrived so it’s BYOB for the time being. The restaurant will keep half the restaurant and outdoor seating available to walk-ups.

Check out the pictures Drew Lazor snapped on his Clog post.

It’s always sunny at Mémé [The Clog]
Mémé [Official Site]

Quick Bites

Cooper’s Brick Oven Wine Bar, the wine bar by Jake’s owner Bruce Cooper is looking to open within a month in Manayunk. [Food and Drinq]

Ristorante Valentino at Pine and Juniper has taken on a new partner, Nicholas Maldonado who was the original GM at Bar Ferdinand. The place has been revamped and a liquor license is in their future. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

Privé is just days away and Michael klein has a sneak preview of the lounge and menu. [Food and Drinq]

O’Neals Pub on 3rd has revamped their outdoor patio into a bit of a beer garden. There will even be a TV for sports in the great outdoors. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]

The M-Room is adding dinner to its menu. Stuffed clams with chorizo, London Broil with sherry mushroom Espagnole sauce, Texas BBQ pulled pork Po-Bo and New York Strip are among the highlights of a menu that tops out at $15.95. [The Clog]

Twenty21 calls it quits after Friday night. What was going to be a renovation has become a closure as financing for the overhaul fell through. [Food and Drinq]

Elsewhere in the last call department tomorrow night is the last for Melograno at their 22nd and Spruce location. They’re moving to 2010 Sansom Street and Mémé is moving in to the Melograno space. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer] July 27th, not June 27th.