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Hidden, Amazing BYO Italian in Philly?

p
poppasmiths Aug 11, 2009 05:11 AM

Hello everyone. I just moved to the area and already have some friends from out of town coming into visit.

I am looking for a very small, hidden, authentic Italian BYO somewhere in downtown Philly. Essentially, I want to impress my friends by taking them to a "mom and pop" restaurant without pretension, but with tremendous food and an intimate atmosphere. I remember visiting a restaurant once in South Philly that was basically an expanded dining room in an Italian family's house with no sign on the wall - but had the best food I've ever tasted. Anyone have any ideas? Or can post me to another thread that discussed this topic?

Thank you for your help!

  1. b
    brightman Aug 11, 2009 06:24 AM

    Mr. Martino's Trattoria on Passyunk Ave sounds like a good fit for your friends, or you can get a reservation at L'Angolo, Pesto or Scannichio's on South Broad...

    1 Reply
    1. re: brightman
      b
      becky315 Aug 11, 2009 11:08 AM

      Mr. Martino's is GREAT! Real "mom and pop" - Pop will wait on you while Mom cooks! It's very small, maybe 10 tables, in what looks like the living/dining room of a south philly row home. And the food is amazing. The red pepper "spaghetti sauce" (not sure what it's actually called on the menu) is terrific...we've been trying to get the receipe for years, they won't budge :)

    2. hollyd Aug 11, 2009 06:59 AM

      also not in CC but L'Angolo on Porter and Rosemont (? I think), So good. Very small, quaint. Basically you walk through the kitchen to get to the dining room.

      1. b
        Bigley9 Aug 11, 2009 09:52 AM

        I would second (or third) both L'Angolo and Mr. Martino's

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bigley9
          b
          barryg Aug 11, 2009 11:01 AM

          None of these places are in Center City. Salento is by the same owners as L'Angolo; it's at 23nd and Walnut. It kind of feels hidden, I guess, because it's at the edge of town and currently obscured by scaffolding due to nearby construction.

          1. re: barryg
            e
            EpicurBurbs Aug 12, 2009 04:58 AM

            Another vote for L'Angolo!

            1. re: barryg
              l
              lmfraiche Aug 12, 2009 08:15 PM

              I second Salento -- just had dinner there tonight and it is lovely. Right now on Tu-Th and Su they also have a fixed price menu ($27 for a choice of appetizer, entree and dessert).

          2. j
            jessicheese Aug 11, 2009 01:42 PM

            What about La Viola? I had a fantastic dinner there and I think it fits what you're looking for.

            1. m
              mazza3 Aug 12, 2009 08:37 AM

              you won't find too many mom and pop-esque italian joints in center city. it would be treasonous! all of the recs so far are accessible via the broad street line, and of course by taxo, so they should be fine for you, especially l'angolo.

              1. l
                lawgirl3278 Aug 13, 2009 08:36 AM

                Definitely not hidden, but Melograno is fantastic.

                In South Philly, I recommend Scannichio's, L'Angolo, Pesto and Tre Scalini.

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