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PASTA PASTA PASTA! where should we go?

  • p

My husband runs long distances weekly, so the night before the run he likes to eat pasta. So, I take this as an opportunity to try out many great places (as well as cooking up new & exciting dishes). Looking for suggestions in both the city & the burbs. Not looking for all expensive places, as weekly it could get out of hand- so a variety of price ranges. I eat anything, not just pasta. TIA

went to From the Boot last week, and have been to Fellini in Berwyn (mediocre IMO, but did fit the pasta criteria for him for sure)

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  1. For my pasta fixes I like:
    La Laconda - eat outside if possible, poor ventilation

    2 Replies
    1. re: joluvscards

      I'll add Cucina Forte on 8th street to that list. Not inspiring, but solid. Very good gnocchi, and cheese ravioli. Go with the red sauce. Friendly.

      1. re: joluvscards

        Went to Tre Scalini & had a wonderful meal! And it was a great place to have young kids along, they were so friendly & accommodating (probably since the owners have a 15 month old). We had a great (special) appetizer- calamari & white bean bruchetta with mussels. Entrees were the black pasta with shrimp & crab, and veal with mushrooms, and spaghetti bolognese for my son.

      2. The pastas at Paradiso are very good. The pappardelle with wild mushroom ragout is my favorite.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Philly Ray

          The Saloon is a Philadelphia institution. (personally, I expect Signor Soprano to come along any second!)

        2. The pasta at San Marco in Springhouse is excellent.

          1. this is a great start- but I know there must be more places for us to try!

            7 Replies
              1. re: saturninus

                I know, but he's running the marathon late fall, so that leaves a lot more than 9 pasta nights!
                Also, was hoping for a few more non city suggestions, but I guess there really isn't that much in the burbs. I'll have to leave those nights for cooking.

                1. re: pamd

                  sadly, from the boot and fellini in berwyn are the best pastas i have had in the suburbs.

                  also HEARD good things about modo mio in fishtown. pasta and bread are homemade (not bought fresh but made in restaurant). haven't tried them yet.

                  1. re: saturninus

                    I think San Nicola, like two doors down, is a xillion times better than San Nicola.

                    Also - try Pesto in South Philly (it's in town, I know, sorry!). Fresh homemade pasta, great service, reasonable, BYOB, loved the food. I just went there for the first time and the cavatelli, stuffed pasta, and I-forget-what-else are all handmade on the premises. The chef/owner, John, is from Italy and is a cleanliness zealot (in a good way!), and has just about the most *sincere* restaurant, menu and staff you could possibly find. They also make their own prosciutto, braesola, and bread. And ice cream. Can you tell I liked this place?

                    Ristorante Pesto
                    1915 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148
                    (215) 336-8380

                    1. re: Mawrter

                      Mawrter- help me out with the typo of your 1st sentence...unless of course the 2 places have the same name:) what is the better place?

                      1. re: pamd

                        Hoooboy. Posting while sleep-deprived and all that - thanks, PAMD.

                        What I meant to say was "I think San Nicola, like two doors down, is a xillion times better than _Fellini's_."

                  2. re: pamd

                    Lombardi's in Horsham


                    BYOB and ridiculously cheap prices

              2. The Lobster Ravioli and homemade gnocchi at L'Angolo are amazing. Ask to get the gnocchi with bolognese- unbelievable. Also, they run daily homemade ravioli and past specials.

                1. The gnocchi at the eponymous Gnocchi off of South Street. (5th? 6th?) Not for the low-carb set.

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: clairvaux

                      We had a wonderful meal at Gnocchi. For a party of 6, they offered to serve us family style and we had enough food for at least a few more people. All of the pastas we had were excellent.

                    2. We just had incredible pastas at Melograno, at 22nd and Spruce. Informal, BYOB, I don't think they take reservations, wonderful food. Not expensive.

                      1. I love the pasta dishes at Fellini Cafe, in Media. Pesto, on Broad and Mifflin, is another great pasta option.

                        Does it have to be Italian pasta? Banana Leaf, in Chinatown, has some wonderful noodle dishes.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: jessicheese

                          i can't dig fellini.

                          modo mio as mentioned is wonderful, but the plates aren't quite of marathon proportions. of course, the prices are cheap enough that you could probably just order 2 plates. the chef there is very friendly.

                          il cantuccio in northern liberties serves up massive tasty pasta dishes.

                          i should really stop reading this board when i am hungry at almost 3 in the morning.

                          1. re: rabidog

                            I second Paradiso loud and clear

                        2. I like the pasta at La Viola and its sister restaurant, located on 16th near Spruce in Philadelphia. They have standards and also have a pasta special daily.

                          I also like DiBruno for takeout or very casual fare. We had a great pasta dish with smoked gouda last week. I can't remember the name but it was definitely sit-down restaurant quality.

                              1. re: Buckethead

                                Sorry, I hate Maggiano's. The only decent thing I've had there is a martini. But I do thank you for a suggestion.

                                1. re: pamd

                                  I second the motion on Maggiano's! As a guest at a birthday party with 10 tables each of which sat 10 people, family style platters arrived at our table with enough food for only 4 people. When I happened to request an additional bowl of 'gravy', stuff right out of a can, the waiter brought it, looked me in the eye and placed it 180 degrees across the table. I won't go there again, especially having to pay the bill myself for that arrogance.

                            1. For great homemade pasta, I love Ristorante Castello in North Wales. Their gnocci is amazing. It is a little price-y but very good.

                              For my fix of old school red gravy, not necessarily homemade pasta but good hearty food, the best by far is Momma D's in Pipersville. Try their spagetti and meatballs. They use fresh (not house made) tagietelle, meatballs the size of a tennis ball, garlick-y tomato sauce. And they also have homemade old school italian wine and this killer olive soup that I dream about (but that is a whole other topic). Prices very reasonable. I think the spagetti and meatballs is only $12.95 for a huge portion (take leftovers home for at least two lunches) and soup/salad.

                              1. Definatly recommend Lombardi's in Horsham - and then more burb's would be Annabella's in Bristol right off Mill Street. The best pasta in the burbs - great service and prices - it's BYOB

                                1. I just had some AMAZING homemade gnocci at Mercato. I would absolutely recommend it.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: AmblerGirl

                                    Vetri (small portion alert) for lobster spagetti or Dante and Luigi's....weird atmosphere, but good....it's right outta good fellas

                                  2. I've always liked the pasta dishes at Porcini, on Sansom in the 20s