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best antipasto?

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I've traveled far and wide looking for the best traditional Italian antipasto and have yet to find one. I'm looking for more than just cold cuts on a plate. Does anyone know where I can find a great antipasto?

My ideal one would have edible lettuce (not the poor quality thrown on as a place setting for the tomatoes or added as garnish), quality salami and provolone, pepperoncini, celery, large green and black olives, and lots of marinated vegetables (giardinia?). And don't forget good anchovies (meaty and without all the loose little bones)...

Mileage no problem...

Has anyone found one they'd recommend?? I'm desperate!!

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    David De Silva

    Virg,
    The best antipasto that I have seen at a restaurant would have to be at La Veranda, Pier 3, Columbus Blvd. on the waterfront in Philadelphia. Haven't been there recently and they have recently changed hands, but a recent Inquirer review also mentioned their antipasto table. They have what you are looking for plus a significant amount more. La Veranda is also one of the more scenic restuarants I've been to (overlooking the Delaware and boats).

    On the other hand, it is not a cheap plce to eat and the waitstaff can have an attitude (like their doing you a favor). But, it's a place worth checking out. Mangia!

    1. Hi Virg:

      I'd recommend Ristorante San Carlo at 214 South Street (215-592-9777). Very cute little Italian/Continental restaurant that serves a delicious antipasto. Although it is not as "traditional" as what I think you described, they do have a wonderful selection of stuffed and pickled vegetables, and various other delicacies that they place in the window to tempt you inside. The food there is consistent, delicious and inexpensive by most standards. Most of the pastas are in the $10-$15 range (the veal lasagna is to die for!) and they have a BYOB policy on Sunday-Thursdays I think, which is very nice for those of us that like to choose our own beverages. I have hosted several large dinner functions there and the staff is always accomodating and everyone always loves it. This is actually one of my favorite little haunts so I'm glad you gave me the opportunity to let all the Chowhounds know about it as I've been meaning to mention it! Good luck on your search for the Antipasti Grail and keep us posted as to your progress.

      Buon Appetito!

      1. Virg,
        Clearly since you know what you want in your antipasto your best bet is to go to the Italian Market and buy the items you need to make your own antipasto.
        By the way, what time is dinner?

        1. thanks for the replies. I'll try them out, because like I said, I'm on a quest for the best!!