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Which Bocelli's is better, Chestnut Hill or Ambler (in the train station)?

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I am staying in the Plymouth Meeting area for a few wks and need a very good but casual Italian restaurant nearby for a dinner tomorrow evening. Someone recommended Bocelli, but I see there are two locations, one in a former train station in Ambler (Gwynedd Valley) in a former train station, and one that is apparently newer called Bocelli 2 in Chestnut Hill. I am told they serve the same menu.

I have seen posts online saying the serevice at the original one is not friendly, and that once the one in Chestnut Hill opened people expected the original one to fold.

Which Bocelli is better for service, atmosphere, food?

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  1. I have only been to the one on Chestnut HIll, and I reccomend you go to From The Boot in Lafayette Hill, 517 Germantown Pike, just down from Plymouth Meeting. If you do want to drive into Chestnut Hill, keep going down Germantown into West Mt Airy and hit Umbria. Please note that all three, including Bocelli's, are BYOB, so pick up a bottle of fabulous wine and enjoy. I know people that love Bocelli's, but I have been there twice and not had great experiences for what I think is an overpriced and pretty standard menu. Fun, excellent food, casual, and great for friends to hang out - From the Boot gets my vote!

    1 Reply
    1. re: doxiemom

      Thank you, I had heard about From the Boot but tomorrow is Friday and they don't take reservations. I called them and they said the wait can be an hr or more on Friday nights...I need a place that takes reservations.

    2. I have been to the Gwynedd Valley Bocelli's only once. Food was very good - atmosphere so-so. It also gets very hot in there when it's crowded as it's a small space and the cooking is done close to the dining area (basically IN the dining area) They were very nice and gave us homemade limoncello after our meal, but, again, very small. I would recommend my current favorite Mina Cucina Rustica on Bethlehem Pike in Spring House. Great food - BYOB. Otherwise, have heard good reports about Maria's on Ridge Pike in Whitemarsh which is close to Plymouth Meeting or you could try Osteria in Worcester. Not sure of the address, but they are close to Evansburg Road. Bon appetit wherever you decide to go :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: curly girl

        Also try Arpeggio, another very good BYOB Italian on Bethlehem Pike in Springhouse. (It's actual address is 909 Sumneytown Pike--in the shopping center at the intersection of Bethlehem and Sumneytown.)

      2. Just thought of one more for you emdrus - Pepperoncini's in Conshohocken. They are on Poplar St. in Conshohocken - about 10 minutes from Plymouth Meeting. Great food, service and ambience.

        1. No reservations at From the Boot is a negative for me also, but I do like the feel and the food. I have found Bocelli to be hit or miss and agree with the comments regarding the Gywnedd Valley location, small, loud, hot. While you may find mixed review here for Mina Cucina I have alway enjoyed the food and found service to be uneven, great to fair depending. Specifically to your questions: my choice of Bocelli would be Chestnut Hill.

          7 Replies
          1. re: ilovesummer

            Hi ilovesummer. Have you heard about the new place that opened where Houlihan's used to be in Montgomeryville? It's an upscale diner that advertises homemade food and apparently the chef used to be at Melodia Grill in Souderton. Mixed reviews for the opening weeks, so I plan to wait a little bit before heading over that way. You can view their menu at www.metrodinerbar.com

            1. re: curly girl

              thanks....haven't tried it yet...but will await your review:) have you gone to parkside recently?

              1. re: ilovesummer

                Haven't been to Parkside in a few months. Been a busy Summer. Will report back if we do go. Thought of another one I need to get back to also - Arielle's Country Inn in Sellersville. The owners are so nice and lovely ambience. May wait until the weather is a little cooler so we can enjoy the fireplace.

                1. re: curly girl

                  I went to Arielle's a couple of months ago and was less than impressed. I was a regular at his place in Doylestown and this was my first venture to the Country Inn. I thought the food was, at best, average, the service was good and the ambiance "Eh". I don't plan to go back.

                  As for Bocelli's, I have had some very nice meals at the Plymouth Road restaurant, both inside and out (that's an interesting experience on a windy day!). Have not been to the Chestnut Hill location. I also found the service to be good. It's always one of my "go to" places when I hit that don't want to cook tonight what's close-by and good stage.

                  1. re: bucksguy14

                    LOL bucksguy14 about the windy day experience. Bocelli's really is a cute place. I just found the inside a little warm since it was full on a Saturday night and the table next to us was a group of "younger" people who were using the f-bomb for every other word. Certainly did not add to the ambience. The food and service were good and the complimentary limoncello after dinner drink was a nice touch. I'll report back on Arielle's if we go there. Funny - my husband doesn't like it as much as I do. Perhaps it's a man/woman thing. I have always enjoyed it there. Did you eat in the back room by the fireplace or up front? I prefer the back room with the stone walls myself.

                    1. re: curly girl

                      Curly girl - I was in the front room at a side window. I'm never too concerned with seating except for 2 places - I don't want to be near the front door or the kitchen door. I was just unimpressed with the food. Bad night? Maybe. Perhaps when Allentown road is a straight drive again, I'll give it another shot, but I'm sure not in a hurry to rush back.

                      1. re: bucksguy14

                        I was not impressed with the Plymouth road location the past 2 times we went. I know there are many fans out here, but we won't be returning any time soon.

          2. I frequent the Gwynedd Valley location quite often and always have a great experience. I will say this - I do think that it does pay if you are a frequent diner there. I usually have no trouble getting a table. But - that being said - I was a newcomer a while back and they turned me in to a long timer with their excellent food and service.
            Report back on your experience!