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Jun 30, 2012 11:30 AM

Philly Mag's 30 Best Italian Restaurants in Philadelphia

I can't post the link because it won't open on my smartphone, but you can see the list on their website.

Here's another argument starter type of list and here are my comments...

I suppose you have to include suburban restaurants, but why not just call it Best in Philadelphia Area? Small point, but worth mentioning to me.

How can you include a chain like Davio's but leave off Paradiso?

Lots of love for Peter McAndrews, but Popolino isn't even 6 months old. Can it really be included in a "best" list? Is it really that good?

Please ignore the fact that Mr. Joe's is on the list. We don't need that secret getting out.

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  1. PRay: Are these substantive reviews or advertising? Philly Mag also puts out "reviews" on top physicians, private schools, etc. Caveat emptor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chefpaulo

      It's their list of the 30 "best" Italian restaurants in (and around) Philly with a little blurb about each one. Typical Philly Mag stuff.

    2. Here's the link:

      I was surprised to see Branzino, Tre Scalini and Dante & Luigi's on here.. recently had lackluster meals at all three, and the prices at D&L were way out of whack. And Victor Cafe... a place worth visiting for the experience but I didn't think anyone thought the food was great.

      2 Replies
      1. re: barryg

        Barryg: As Philly Ray said, "Typical Philly Mag stuff."
        Considering the traditionally enigmatic positioning of Philly Mag's review subjects, let's just say a well-greased palm can make any sow's ear into a purse.

        1. re: Chefpaulo

          "...a well-greased palm can make any sow's ear into a purse."


      2. I would love to hear opinions from Hound's on their 3 Best (from the list or not) :as I need to catch up on my Italian restaurants.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Bacchus101

          In descending order, Osteria, Le Virtu, and Barbuzzo.

            1. re: Bacchus101

              Difficult to narrow it down to 3, but any of the Vetri places are great (Vetri/Osteria/Amis), Le Virtu, Dante & Luigi's (for red "gravy" Italian), L'Angolo, Zavino (esp. for pizza). I also had a decent meal recently at Mercato, but my entree was vile. My dining companion enjoyed his though, so ymmv.

              1. re: Bacchus101

                Thanks Hounds, very helpful in culling the herd!

                1. re: Bacchus101

                  Vetri, Zeppoli, and Modo Mio, going to Le Virtu with high hopes.

                2. I was very suprised to see Marrone's in Ardmore on this list. I do not get the hoopla over their pizzas or anything else that they serve. I had their triple cheese and was not impressed. Great atmosphere and good service, but the food is questionable. If I could replace them on the list, I would put Fellini's of Media in there.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: paychecktoday

                    No Zavino? While their menu may be a bit limited to pizzas and a few small plates, what they serve is great. For the suburbanites, Sovana Bistro was a no-show as well, although I have not been there for a while.

                    Philly Ray, is Mr. Joe's really that good?

                    1. re: bluehensfan

                      Mr. Joe's is really good and really cheap and you get a shitload of food. For example, you can get a pasta dish (enough to take home unless you are really hungry) for around $15 and it includes a small green salad and dessert (made across the street at Termini's). Last time we had a choice of strawberry shortcake, an eclair, and one other item.

                      The problem (or maybe the saving grace) is that they close at 5 on Mon-Thu and 6 on Fri-Sat, so lunch is your best bet and it will probably be the only meal you eat that day.

                      1. re: Philly Ray

               if it's that much food I should wait until it gets a litlle cooler outside. It sounds really good.

                    1. re: Philly Ray

                      It proves that you can sell a place on a lineage... but the cat eventually will get out of the bag.

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        I went to Popolino and found it was not entriely a disaster. The tavolo calda was spectacular, the calamari very good, and the entrees and deserrts were above average. Maybe I got lucky? It did seem kinda salty and very pricy though, and of course they don't take credit cards. Thankfully no visits from the chef...

                        1. re: bluehensfan

                          We tried Popolino early on, based on McAndrews' involvement. It was okay but I definitely prefer Modo Mio. I even prefer Monsu.