Restaurant Week: Bravo Salento
After reading all the negative comments abound regarding restaurant week, I felt compelled to add my take. Four of us dined last night (Tuesday) at Salento. First, I made the reservation on Sunday night with no problems. FYI, I also was able if I wanted to make a 5:30 reservation at Estia for the same night. I noticed some posters stating that it would be impossible get a late reservation at a good restaurant. I think both of these qualify as good restaurants. Anyway, we arrived at Salento at 6:15 for a 6:30 reservation and we were seated immediately by the owner or manager. He was really nice. He went through almost every item on the detail and even explained things about the Salento region of Italy. On to the food. We shared four apps including Calamari arugula salad, Mozzarella w/roasted eggplant and pepper, Pan seared artichokes, and delicious mussels. All were very good, I must say that the artichokes were the most memorable. Second course included three orders of the Gnocchi with wild mushrooms and one Orecchiette with braised duck. I had the duck and it was excellent. All others said Gnocchi was excellent as well. Third course included Marinated lamb skewers with arugula and a marscarpone potato cake, pork tenderloin with a pancetta and proscuitto stuffed potatocake, two orders of the grilled veal, lamb loin, beef shoulder with roasted potatoes. I had the three meat combo. It was very good especially the lamb and beef. The veal was a little dty and bland. My friend said that the pork dish was amazing and my wife loved the lamb skewers and potatoe cake. Dessert included two orders of key lime marscarpone cheesecake, one lime custard, and one chocolate trufle tort(all of these had a raspberry sauce). All desserts were excellent. The service was completely first rate. We had three different people and an excellent bus boy tending to our needs. Friendly and gracious hosts. All of this for $35 pp. I think it was an great deal! We have dined several times in Philly including Django (old owners), Matyson, Tria, and L'Angola, and this meal was completely up to those standards. Our last meal was at Branzino and I would rate this meal at least 3 times better. Bravo Salento, we will be back. Oh and one final comment regarding the fact that people are herded in and out during restaurant week, our total time in the restaurant was 2 hours and 15 minutes of a wonderful experience.
Dined at Salento last year for RW and had the same experience. A very good restaurant though personally I think the decor needs help. That being said, the creativity and quality of the food is excellent and we were not rushed whatsoever either. Not to beat a dead horse but, if you choose wisely during RW week it will be a very rewarding exsperience.