News for People’s Who Like Bad News

Kildare’s King of Prussia location will be shutting its doors this Sunday as Dave Magrogan was unable to secure a new lease. [The Insider]

Chef Steve Gonzalez is out at Zavino. His pastas were praised as much as any of his pizzas. [Meal Ticket]

Susan Schlisman’s (Devil’s Alley, Smokin’ Betty’s, Sam’s in Wynnewood) Sam’s Grill in Jenkintown has closed. [The Insider]

Privé has closed in Old City. Nama, a sushi spot is set to replace the Mediterranean restaurant and lounge. Michael Klein has details on the eviction. [Meal Ticket | The Insider]


Zavino is now offering food and beverage pairings Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30pm. Tonight get Fried Green Tomato with olive tapenade and Mozzarella paired with a Troegs Sunshine Pilsner for $8.

Good Pizza in Philadelphia

Drew Lazor takes umbrage to the premise that you cannot get good pizza in Philadelphia in his cover story in today’s City Paper. Lazor winds his way through Philadelphia’s best pizza haunts collecting opinions and theories galore on pizza in Philadelphia.

Waiting for Good Dough [City Paper]

Around the Web

Kelly White-Phillips gets into Adsum early and enjoys several of the cocktails and the Kool-Aid pickled watermelon. [Living on the Vedge]

Two Eat Philly also gets to Adsum for an early look-see. [Two Eat Philly]

It’s the height of summer veggie season and Zavino has the specials to prove it. And the 13th and Sansom pizza and wine bar is also offering homemade sodas. [The Secret is Salt]

Midtown Lunch says the King of Falafel cart really is just that. [Midtown Lunch]

An Empty Fridge finds Fat Salmon is a pleasant surprise. [An Empty Fridge]

Table Matters heads north and finds perfection at Tierra Colombiana. [Table Matters]

Fidel Gastro raves about the lobster burger that’s currently being served up at P.Y.T. [Fidel Gastro]

Down to Earth wine snob Maria Valetta finds her perfect beer bar, the Coffee Bar inside the Warwick. [SipsBitesandSites]

House-made Sodas at Zavino

Zavino Sodas - Michael Persico

Photo by Michael Persico

Zavino chef Steve Gonzalez has added a selection of house-made sodas to its offerings.

Flavors include:

  • Vanilla, steeped with real vanilla beans
  • Lemon-Lime, a bright citrus-y concoction
  • Blood Orange, slightly sweet and full-flavored
  • Rhubarb, an unusual, tart soda

Sodas are made to order with fruit juice (or house-made vanilla extract), sugar and sparkling water and served in a one-liter milk jug for $4.


Pizza, Pizza, Pizza


Photo of La Rosa Pizza by Philly Phoodie

Pizzeria Stella’s expansion is due to open today. The former pilates studio has been transformed into a bar area plus additional seating for the popular 2nd and Lombard pizzeria. All-tolled it’s an additional 40 seats available. [The Insider]

Tonight at Rocket Cat Café its the opening of “Give Pizza a Chance,” an entirely pizza themed art exhibit. [Meal Ticket]

Living on the Vedge eats the Kennet pizza at Zavino. [Living on the Vedge]

La Rosa Pizza gets another devotee as Philly Phoodie discovers the wonders of these square pies, one topped with pepperoni, onions and mushrooms, the second a split between their famous potato pie and half sausage and green pepper. [Philly Phoodie]

Midtown Lunch has been profiling pizza on Thursdays. Last week they even tried Mama Angelina’s at 13th and Locust sober! [Midtown Lunch: Philly]

We can’t say we’re about to sprint over to Columbus, New Jersey to try pizza from Columbus Pizza, but we guess, everyone’s entitled to their opinion. [Phoodie]

Zavino Gets Two Bells


Craig LaBan finds the nightly specials to be the real treat at Zavino but what does he say about the pizza?

But I’m not on the Zavino-as-Pizza-King bandwagon quite yet. In my ever-evolving scale of micro-ratings between the “good” and the “great,” Zavino’s pies are still not quite on par with those at Stella or Osteria. They have a pliantly soft Neapolitan-style puff that could benefit from a hint more crusty snap. The array of toppings, while built on such quality elements as Claudio’s mozzarella and Kennett Square mushrooms, is limited and predictable. The bright Stanislaus tomato sauce is milled a bit too chunky for my tastes, then ladled on too thick.

The mushroom pie with béchamel was surprisingly bland. The minimalist “Rosa” was overwhelmed by too many singed leaves of whole oregano. The “polpettini” pizza was easily Zavino’s best, with soft veal meatballs rolling amid molten clouds of fresh mozzarella in a zesty variation on the basil-topped Margherita (which was also great).

Zavino [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Zavino [Official Site]

How Many Bells for Zavino?

Craig LaBan tries another of Philadelphia’s new better pizza spots. How will the Inquirer rate the Washington Square West’s Zavino.

How Many Bells for Zavino?

  • 2 Bells - Very Good (53%, 100 Votes)
  • 3 Bells - Excellent (26%, 50 Votes)
  • 1 Bell - Hit-or-Miss (16%, 30 Votes)
  • 0 Bells - Poor (3%, 5 Votes)
  • 4 Bells - Superior (2%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 189

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It’s the Pasta at Zavino


The ‘za might only rank be third in the list of reasons to head to Zavino. It’s the pasta that has Trey Popp praising.

First, though, let’s qualify that praise. There’s nothing precious or fussy about these $8 and $9 plates — which are smaller than your standard entrée, but definitely bigger than a snack — so don’t come in expecting to find shredded scallop meat reconstituted into post-modern “spaghetti.” That doesn’t play in a bar kitchen that boasts a whopping six burners. But Gonzalez has turned that limitation into a virtue, drawing on his whole-animal cooking philosophy to turn out some of the best down-home noodle dishes in town.

Pie Piper [City Paper]
Zavino [Official Site]

Erace Digs Zavino


Adam Erace reviews Zavino, Midtown Village’s new pizza trattoria and he finds some Philadelphia’s best pizza plus some other surprises like house-made headcheese ravioli. But it’s the pizza you’ll come for.

My pies sported leopard-spotted bottoms and sooty edges that gave way to Claudio’s provolone dotted with ricotta-leavened veal meatballs (the Polpettini); earthy local mushrooms sunk into béchamel (the Kennett); and every so often, a delicate blistered air bubble. Gonzalez’s favorite pie—and mine—is also Zavino’s simplest: the Rosa, a layer of crushed tomatoes embellished with nothing more than grated Parmiggiano, fruity extra-virgin and fresh oregano. In Italian, “rosa” means “pink,” and it tickled me that way.

Zavino [Philadelphia Weekly]
Zavino [Official Site]

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