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Speaking of italian...

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Any recommmendations for good hearty old schol italian in the montco burbs, or surrounding area? A good red gravy type place with cheap to reasonable prices, a good old school italian vibe, with good cheap red wine (or BYO). I've been searching high and low and it seems montco is void of that kind of place. Dolce Vita in Bridgeport is really good, but their prices have gone up a bit lately.

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  1. I went to one in Norristown that was good, just can't think of the name....it was bought by a couple, but the name stayed the same. They still use the recipes from the Italian family, but added some of their own specialties - the new owner's wife is Mexican & made an amazing ceviche. There is a room that looks like a house kitchen for one table to dine - someone must know what I'm talking about...

    From the Boot in Lafayette Hill is very good

    1. PamD-It's Dolce Vita. I went to Dolce Vita and, while the food was good, I had sticker shock at the end of the meal. I had thought that a restaurant in Bridgeport would be a bit cheaper than one in Philly, and their menu isn't at all the same as the one on Menupages.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Main Line Tracey

        really, oops! I just don't recall the name then. The nice thing was that the owner was so friendly & brought us things to try for free, so I guess that balanced out the cost. I enjoyed the roasted peppers served with the bread too. but I do agree that you'd think it'd be less that Philly places.

      2. I often turn my nose up when I think of good anything in the suburbs that compares to the city. But for basic pastas I really like Fellini in Berwyn (not Ardmore). It's quite good.

        I also like From the Boot.

        2 Replies
        1. re: saturninus

          Maybe it was just an off night, but I was at Fellini's in Berwyn this summer and it sucked. My dh said the (also new) one in Paoli is better - or was it the other way aorund? The one in Media has slipped, too. Anyway, I don't really bother with them anymore. Too bad, since they should be a great, convenient, inexpensive option.

          1. re: Mawrter

            Oh my gosh I'm so glad you said that! I've been to both the Fellini's in Newtown Square (numerous times) and the Fellini's in Paoli, and both were far superior to the one in Berywn (though in all fairness there seems to be a rather strange relationship between all of the locations meaning I don't necessarily expect them to be exactly the same). But, I had some of the worst gnocchi I've ever had at the Berwyn location of Fellini's. I've only been there once, so I would be willing to give it another shot, but it definitely isn't a place that I long to re-visit.

        2. I'm not a big fan of Scoogi's in Flourtown but since you're in Ambler and it's close by you may want to try it if you haven't and decide for yourself. I think it would qualify as a red sauce place with cheap wine.

          http://www.scoogis.com/

          1. Tottaro's in Conshy is good

            1 Reply
            1. re: productionjon

              Totaro's in Conshy (on Hecotr) is definitely not a red sauce Italian place. IMO it's highly over rated and over priced. However, his brother Vince's place on Spring Mill has takeout that could go to the red sauce Italian type

            2. We wound up going to Dolce Vita and really enjoyed it. It was really nice because they had the fireplace going. We started with a big fresh antipasta platter, big enough for three to share. Plus they start you out with delicous and garlick-y fresh roasted peppers and crusty bread. I had chicken rollatini (stuffed with ham, cheese, and asparagus). My table also ordered chicken primavera and veal pizzaiola. All were very good. Our only complaints were that they used canned mushrooms in the sauce. Would have been much better fresh. We ended with a big tartuffo with chocolate and vanilla ice cream and rasberry sauce and cappucinos. We spent only $75 for three people, including tip. Considering the amount of food, it was a pretty good bargain. Service was great. I was sad to see that it was pretty empty for a Friday night, it is a good place and I'd like to see it do well. This is a great authentic place in the midst of nothing but chain restaurants.

              1. Try Castello's in North Wales, not far from the mall. While it is not an old school red gravy joint by any means, it serves the best Italian in the 'burbs in my opinion (along with Il Melograno in Doylestown). It is BYOB and quite nice inside. Reservations are a must though.

                1. I've heard many mixed reviews of Castello. Habib who used to work at San Marco is the guy who runs it but I don't think it's anywhere near the dining experience of San Marco.