Bocelli's @ the Gwynedd Train station, PA
This is a wonderful restaurant.
I think it's a BYOB.
Prices are a little more for eat in , but probably no more than any other BYOB and the food quality is great! These guys make a marvelous marinara.
The atmosphere is very nice. They seem to sometimes have kids in their sometimes not so they are family friendly. They have a quiet table upstairs if you want privacy.
The food is incredible, we've had their meat lasagna, their lobster ravioli, and their chicken parmesan. The service is very good and i think it's the owner who usually is working.
They also usually give you a small appetizer with your meal and salad.
They also have a great take out menu - very reasonable.
I've asked for different things at times and they have been very flexible.
I could not agree more about Bocelli. I've eaten there at least a dozen times, the upstairs table is very private (though the air conditioner can be a little loud in the summer months) and you get a nice view into the kitchen and overlooking the quaint dining room.
They are VERY prompt once you sit down to open your wine and pour you a glass to get started. I've had the lamb shank special on a few occasions and it was really melt in your mouth fantastico. Wild mushroom ravioli were superb, the barramundi in lemon and caper sauce with spinach was perfectly cooked and oh so tasty. Prices are pretty reasonable and they are always generous with a filled pasta appetizer for the table and then a shot of house made limoncello (or orangecello if you are LUCKY) to cap off the meal.
The place is small and can be a little noisy, but the food is really wonderful and its charm keeps me coming back!
Ohh - you got the Orangecello! I've had it once and it is awesome! I keep bugging Raphael to make some more!
This is just a great place. They make a tuna steak with a rose leek sauce - a little spicy but I want to lick the plate afterwards!
And the complimentary stuffed crepe with a smoked salmon filling is to die for! I wish they would put it on their menu!
Bocelli's is one of my favorites! The management is great and I always feel most at home there! Food is excellent and you can't beat the homemade limoncello at the end of the meal.
My only hope is that word doesn't get around as I always want an available table when I decide to go on a whim!
My take on the restaurants mentioned:
San Marco: I have eaten there a few times but not in quite a few years. The last time I ate there the food was very good but it took almost an hour and a half to get our entrees. It was a busy night and these things do happen. Frankly, I wasn’t that upset about the delay. What did upset me was that the owner didn’t have the common decency to apologise or send over a drink. I’ll never go back.
Trinacria: The food was about as good as San Marco and around the same prices.
Castello: I think that the food is not as good as San Marco. I did not have a good experience there as they overcooked two orders of a very expensive fish (possibly Dover sole). When brought to the attention of the partner / manager he said to me “it happens”. Well, it won’t happen twice to me and I live around the corner from this restaurant.
Bocelli’s: The food is good and the people are very nice.
My favorite is Mina’s Cucina Rustica in Springhouse. I believe that Mina’s is the most authentic Italian restaurant in the area. If you look at Castello, San Marco and Bocelli’s you will notice that there is nothing on the menu that you will not see at every upscale Italian restaurant in the area. At Mina’s you will find real good olive oil on the table (with the label on the bottle), farfalle, cavatelli and bucatini as pasta choices, an appetizer of prosciutto and ricotta etc.
In the case of Castello and Bocelli you cannot blame the ownership for the commonplace menu items because the management is not Italian. I am not saying that non-Italians cannot cook superior Italian food, they absolutely can. They need to master the techniques and have all of the necessary ingredients. Both Bocelli and Castello cook quite well. But, it is not possible for them to cook from their hearts because the Italian culture is not natural to them. This is my opinion and I am sure that many will take issue with it.
I spent many years in India and have been cooking Indian food for twenty years but it still does not come naturally to me. I don’t need to follow recipes for many dishes but I cannot cook Indian food on instinct alone. On the other hand I grew up eating and cooking Italian and it comes so easy to me.
Just had to post my thoughts. We held a birthday party here a few weeks ago. Lunchtime on a Saturday, when they are usually closed. Everything was terrific. The managers could not have been nicer. Food was outstanding. Our count kept changing, but they worked with us. We ended up with about 30 adults and 10 kids and people are still raving about the food, the atmosphere and the service.
I would put Castello's as better than San Marco (in fact the owner Habib and the chef are both from San Marco) and a WHOLE LOT cheaper for sure. It is also BYOB and has live music (guitar or piano) on the weekends. Il Melograno in Doylestown is also very good. San Marco is overrated, over priced, and snobbish in my opinion.
IMO San Marco is the best fine dining restaurant in our area of the burbs. It's not cheap but I've always had great meals there. My office is right down the street and I go there several times a year. Leo the owner is a character.
I just had lunch there on Friday with a business associate. We had
-Antipasti misto with proscuitto and melon, olives and grilled potabellos
-A misto of gnochi and tortoloni, marinara sauce, cream sauce and wild mushroom sauce
-Pollo San Marco
-bottle of Vino Nobile di Motepulciano
The meal was awesome!