Best Mussels with red sauce
I have yet to get mussels with red sauce at any other restaurant than Marras in South Philly. What place in the city do you think does the best mussels with red sauce?
Royal Villa Cafe at 17th and Jackson is an old favorite. Criniti's on Broad St. around Shunk has good ones. There's a restaurant/bar in a Southwest Philly shopping strip near Lindbergh Blvd. that has good mussels:
Trio Bar and Restaurant
2900 S 70TH St, Philadelphia, PA 19142-2502
Tel: (215) 492-8400
It's a little hard to choose a favorite, but La Locanda del Ghiottone is certainly among the most plump, tender, and tasty. A word of caution: If you choose to share an order, when you get to the bottom of the bowl, you may find yourself fighting over the bread that has sopped up all of the luscious sauce.
I'm pretty sure Royal Villa on 17th & Jackson closed. They did have some great Italian food (mussels red, veal parm, pescatore), unpretentious atmosphere, and cheap wine. Chickie's & Pete's mussels red are pretty good; the sauce is rich and chunky with juicy hunks of peeled tomato in it. Monk's has a red-style mussels, according to their menu, with fennel, garlic, and herbs de provence. I've never had them, but I'm sure at Monk's they must be great.
Most casual places that offer mussels will probably be able to do them red if you ask (nicely). As a side note, New Zealand mussels are plumper and have a more buttery flavor than the standard PEIs were usually get down here. Had New Zealands in Palm Beach about a year ago and I still remember them...vividly. I know For Pete's Sake offers NZs (had a great lunch there today--creamy potato soup, Thai chicken wings, Allagash), anbody know anywhere else that reliably carries them?
Haven't tried the mussels in gravy yet, but N. 3rd has them and judging by the rest of the food I have had there I would assume they are probably pretty good.