Roberta's BYOB 21st & South
The Bride and I just came back from a very nice diner at Roberta's on their 3rd night of operation. The sign outside is arriving next week.
For appetizers I had an arugula and warm goat cheese salad with pignoli (pine nuts) and hearts of palm. This was one of several specials. The Bride had a delicious bruschetta of warm canneloni bean on grilled bread with great carmelized onions.
My main course was another special, homemade spinach fettucini with porcini mushrooms, scallops, and shrimp. The seafood had a good grilled flavor and the sauce was a nice white wine and butter. And my favorite, at least two whole roasted/grilled cloves of garlic.
The Bride had fusilli with zucchini. The zucchini was very thinly sliced with a roasted flavor and the pasta was cooked perfectly.
For dessert my homemade tiramisu was a classic, with a good strong espresso base and the proper marscapone & lady fingers. The bottom half was perhaps unintentionally "semi-freddo" but I enjoyed it that way. The Bride had a frozen yogurt-raspberry Bindi (premade) dessert.
Prices were reasonable. My special was $22, with lots of seafood. The Bride's pasta was $13.50.
All in all good quality, fresh ingredients, nice size portions, and we'll be back. Service was good but we ate very early on a Saturday night and there were few other customers yet (but everyone walking past was taking a menu!).
geez, we all walked by and grabbed a menu this weekend. I was trolling the city looking for this:
to no avail.
Also, I grabbed a menu from Apamate and think I need to stop by there as well.
As for Roberto's, yeah, they seemed like nice people and a cool space. Not sure I feel like we needed another Italian BYO, but you can't have too many GOOD Italian BYO's.
The Bride & I were joking that Italian BYOs in Philadelphia are getting like Starbucks. There's one every few blocks, and the city can support the density because you go to whichever one is most convenient.
Joking aside, Roberto's (or Roberta's) was pretty good, and it happens to be closer than Melograno or Caffe Casta Diva for us. I don't know if they will take reservations or eventually start getting too crowded to get into on a spur of the moment "let's eat out".
Went to Radicchio last night and mentioned this place asking the affiliation, since the menu was pretty much an exact copy and put it this way- they were NONE TOO HAPPY about it!!! There is NO affiliation and many a burnt bridge in this new venture on 21st and South Sts.... Roberto, who waited on me many times at the original, seems to have just opened his own place with the exact same menu as his former employer... quite an Italian soap opera! Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal last night, as I always do...
What we had: Special salad of arugula, warm goat cheese and pine nuts- simple and easily one of the finest salads in the city, grilled calamari with tomatoes, capers, and kalamata olives- exceptional and a must order... And we finished with entrees of grilled salmon topped with asparagus and tomato- so simple, so overdone in so many restaurants, yet so very, very good here... while my lovely lady dined on the dover sole (special) which is absolutely fantastic- another must order for any new-comer or regular who has not yet been lucky enough to try it- so light, so unbelievably tasty dressed with a splash of white wine and lemon! Radicchio Cafe definitely has come into its own and defined itself as a true classic BYOB in Philadelphia... beware of imposters!!
The Bride & I returned to Roberto's on Saturday night for our 2nd visit. In short, still excellent and we both enjoyed our dishes. I had a grilled calamari appetizer, and a special (veal rollatini, with asparagus, prociutto, and some cheese on the inside, in a tomato-cream sauce. The Bride had a modified version of the special, 'chocolate papadelle' with grape tomatoes, fresh spinach, garlic, olive oil. The Tiramisu was good yet again, and The Bride had a fresh-filled cannoli which she really enjoyed.
They still don't have a sign outside, but put an easel board with the specials out on the sidewalk.