Taste: Where Were Eating
Paesano’s Philly Style
In a nondescript building on an unassuming corner, Peter McAndrews — chef and owner of the nearby Italian BYO Modo Mio — is making what may just be the best sandwiches in the city. He opened Paesano’s takeout joint in December, and already his roast suckling pig with hot broccoli rabe and Italian long hots has unseated all other time-honored roast-pork champions. (Tony Luke? Who’s that?) Equally worthy of attention: the house-made lamb sausage with gorgonzola, and the slow-roasted beef, topped with sweet-and-sour cabbage, on a hoagie roll. Menu offerings may be few, but are executed with the same gluttonous gusto you’ll use for eating ’em. Insider tip: Each sandwich comes with a free soda.
We go on and on about our love for Tiffin and its spin-off Ekta, much to the dismay of suburbanites who don’t want to make the drive to still-sketchy Girard Avenue. But with this respectable Indian restaurant, Delaware County residents, at least, don’t have to. Once you’ve squeezed into the tight but charming dining room, dig into the tandoori lamb and chicken platters and the best South Indian biryanis and breads (naan, roti and kulcha) we’ve had locally, then wash it all down with a homemade salt lassi. Insider tip: Indians eat family-style, so don’t feel the need to order one entrée per person. It’s too much food and drives up your check unnecessarily.
Three blocks from BYO favorite Chabaa Thai Bistro, chef/owner Nongyao “Moon” Krapugthong is once again bringing Southeast Asian cuisine to our area, but this time with a small-plates twist. The offerings — inspired by popular Thai street-food dishes — are generously portioned (the $7 tangle of beef jerky is enough for three) and boldly seasoned (the traditional shrimp lettuce wraps burst with the flavor of fresh ginger and pan-roasted coconut). But on a recent visit, the sleek upstairs bar was out of the Thai beers we were hoping for. Insider tip: Ask for server recommendations to avoid the few lackluster plates, and make sure to get the memorable northern-style Thai sausage, house-made with pork, white rice, ginger and kaffir lime leaves.
Di Vino Wine Bar
Filiberto Magnati, former sommelier of Savona in Gulph Mills, has brought some classic charm to the former Valentino on the Square with his new resto-bar, where the wines are plentiful, the off-the-boat Italian waiters are adorable, and the piano music is live. Thankfully, he also brought Savona chefs Michael Kirk and Bridgitte Minich, whose surprisingly delicate food elevates this wine bar to romantic-restaurant status. Case in point: a light but robust mushroom bisque poured tableside, with a crispy white truffle croquette and pork belly cooked sous vide. Insider tip: Order the $44 tasting menu and $25 wine pairing — Filiberto’s exciting pairings and generous pours make this a good value.