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Mar 4, 2010 08:03 AM

Need Italian Restaurant Recommendation

Traveling to Philly this weekend and wanted to find a great local Italian spot. We are staying at the Sofitel Hotel so anything close would be perfect but a short drive is ok. Price doesn't really matter. Just want a nice date night out away from kids. I have heard that most Italian spots in Philly are BYOB...Is this true? Are there any good retail wine shops close by? Thanks.

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  1. Very close to the Sofitel is one of our favorites, Branzino. It's on 17th Street, just north of Spruce. It is BYOB and someone else will have to advise you on where to buy wine.

    Call and try to get a reservation. This is a lovely place and gets filled on a weekend evening.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sylviag

      All retail wine shops are owned by the state, your closest "state store" would be on the 1900 block of Chestnut.

      For non-BYOBs I would recommend Amis and Osteria, although Open Table isn't showing available tables this weekend.

      Two other Italian BYOBs that get a lot of love on this board are La Viola (16th) and Caffe Casta Diva (20th), both not too far from your hotel. If you want to go to South Philly, I recently went to Le Virtu on Passyunk and found the house cured meats and homemade pastas divine. They also have a bar. It's a cab-ride away, though.

    2. modo mio on front and girard is fantastic and very reasonable, four courses for $33.

      1. You are also near Melograno and Porcini, both on the block of Sansom between 20th and 21st. Osteria and Vetri are also very good, non-byo choices.

        You have a ton of great options. I haven't been to some of the other recommended restaurants - I've been meaning to get to Branzino in particular. Modo Mio is great, but not too close to you. They have the most amazing bread I've ever eaten though!

        1. If you don't want to go BYOB, check out Cichetteria 19...great Venetian-style Italian, very close to your hotel and just off Rittenhouse Square. Good wine selection and they make some excellent Italian mixed drinks like a Spritz or Cafe Corretto. There's also Le Castagne, which I've only been to once a number of years ago but I remember it being a very good meal.

          Otherwise for BYOB I would recommend Branzino and Melograno in the area. Check out the various menus on line and see what appeals most to you. Caffe Casta Diva is also very good. I have mixed feelings about Porcini...the room is very small, cramped, and dated in decor (unless they've finally gotten it out of the 80s since my last visit a couple years ago.) Food there was very good but also rather limited in selections, more simple and traditional.

          1. D'Angelo's - 20th and Rittenhouse if you're looking for (what I consider) traditional Italian food - spaghetti and meatballs, variety of pastas, veal / chicken dishes. They have a bar so no need to pick up a bottle on your way. It would be a short walk from the Sofitel perhaps 5-10 minutes. Also VERY close to Sofitel is Davio's which is considered an Italian steakhouse. Excellent food and service, definitely should make a reservation. Enjoy your visit!