Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Sep 12, 2007 10:35 AM

BYOB on Saturday night

My husband and I are looking forward to trying somewhere new on Saturday night that is preferably byo. We were given some recommendations and I'd love some feedback from CH. Here's the list- L'Angolo, Butcher's Cafe, Cucina Forte, August, and Tre Scalini. Are there others that I'm missing that are better? Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd recommend L'Angolo from that list. Avoid the Butcher's Cafe like the plague! August is OK, I had a decent meal there but nothing spectacular, and the service wasn't that great. Never been to Cucina Forte or the new Tre Scalini.

    Ever been to Mr. Martino's?

    1. I love L'Anogolo, a perfect Roman-style trattoria. Expect simple but good dishes - go for the grilled calarmari to start and try their pastas.

      Cucina Forte has excellent homemade gnocchi - try the gorgonzola sauce.

      If you don't necessarily need South Philly but a very good BYO, my staple fave Italian is Caffe Casta Diva, which is what I think one of the BEST Italians in the city. A charming BYO, the owner Stephen Vassaluzzo is the most humble chef I ever met, perhaps b/c he is self-taught. The homemade pastas are terrific (try the gnochhi with seared tuna in a wasabi cream sauce if they are serving it), as is the veal chop (ask the chef to prepare it however he wants to off-menu) and the fish; the homemade gelatos and tiramisu are also terrific. It is located on 227 S. 20th St and Locust.

      1. I'd recommend L'angelo's but you might have a hard time getting a reservation. Cucina Forte is not bad. How about Pesto on Broad and Mifflin.

        1. August is very good but perhaps not on a Saturday. The last time we were there on a Saturday, we had reservations and waited at least 1/2 hour for a table. There is no place to wait and we were squeezed, along with other waiting people, against tables of diners. Very uncomfortable.

          5 Replies
          1. re: JanR

            I second the recommendation of Caffe Casta Diva. Honestly, all of the restaurants in your list are pleasant establishments, but their dishes don't have that certain "je ne sais quoi" that Chef Stephen does have in his cuisine.

            1. re: JanR

              Thanks for all of the helpful input! We've been to Pesto before and really liked it. I tried Casta Diva, but they are on vacation until Saturday. Next I called L'Angolo and, lucky me, they had a cancellation for Saturday night at the exact time I needed! I'm looking forward to it and will be sure to report back.

                1. re: arizonagirl

                  What is the dress? Are jeans ok? Thanks!

                  1. re: cjc519

                    it's very casual. Jeans are perfect. Enjoy. I have reservations for next Sunday and I can't wait.