Valley Forge Trattoria & Lounge, Phoenixville, PA – A Review

by artfuldiner on August 7, 2020

in Uncategorized

Valley Forge Trattoria & Lounge

1130 Valley Forge Road

Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

(610) 935-7579

If you just happen to be driving by, Valley Forge Trattoria & Lounge (formerly Valley Forge Pizza) looks pretty much like any other run-of-the-mill strip mall eatery. But, trust me, the attractive dining rooms and comfy bar area completely belie the restaurant’s utilitarian exterior… And the first-rate Italian cuisine continues to surprise and delight.

VF Pizza - Outdoor DiningHowever, if you’re a bit nervous about dining indoors – as I am – with Covid-19 still among us, I would strongly suggest that you make a reservation on the restaurant’s charming outdoor patio (pictured).  It’s cool, cozy, comfortable, and also covered, just in case Mother Nature decides to send a sudden shower your way – which she did during one of our recent visits.

VF Pizza - Garlic KnotsThe large menu runs the gamut… from a host of salads… to pizzas, strombolis and calzones… to classic pastas… to chicken, veal, beef, and seafood entrees… to a variety of sandwiches, croissants, wraps, grinders, and hoagies. Whatever your preferences on a given day, you will find the portion sizes quite generous. And you might also consider saving a bit of cash by skipping the appetizers, as a house salad and the restaurant’s irresistible Garlic Knots (pictured) are included with most entrées.

VF Pizza - Chicken ParmYou would think that with such an extensive menu, one might have a bit of trouble zeroing in on an entrée… Not so my permanent dining partner, who is something of a semi-regular, often meeting her girlfriend here for dinner. Never a doubt. She is totally addicted to the kitchen’s Chicken Parmesan, which she ordered on both of our two recent visits. And, as you can tell from the photograph, the portion size borders on gargantuan… But quality is quite evident as well. The breading is light and crisp, the chicken moist & tender, and the sauce just sweet enough backed by a solid acidity.

VF Pizza - Side of Veg w Chic ParmThe dish is normally served with a pasta of choice; but she prefers a vegetable side, which changes on a regular basis. Most recently, it consisted of an appetizing combo of broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, and red onion. Obviously freshly sautéed, all constituents were at the very peak of good health.

My own entrée choices were a bit more diverse. Veal, for example, is always a good indication of an Italian kitchen’s capabilities (or lack thereof), and usually my first selection at a restaurant I have not previously visited. So, the Veal Saltimbocca seemed like a good place to begin. This dish, both quick and elegant, is a mainstay in Roman trattorias and is comprised of basically three ingredients: veal cutlets, prosciutto, and fresh sage (and, as pictured, often with a topping of melted mozzarella cheese).

VF Pizza - Veal SaltimboccaAnd the rendition served up here is one of the most satisfying I have sampled anywhere. The veal was perfectly sautéed, firm to the bite yet tender, and all the other elements combined in a delightfully sensual gastronomic gestalt. And the simple sauce, made by deglazing the pan with a touch of marsala, added a slightly salty, sumptuous air to the proceedings. Kudos to the kitchen.

VF Pizza - Eggplant ParmOn my second visit, I opted for the Eggplant Parmesan. Once again, this is a relatively simple dish… but – as I have mentioned in several other reviews – one that is easily mucked up. Eggplant is a decidedly tricky item to deal with. It is very easily either under or overcooked. If the former, it can be hard as nails and lacking in flavor; if the latter, a mushy mess. And if slightly over-the-hill, the seeds become an all too prominent part of the equation.

Fortunately, Valley Forge’s kitchen does everything just right. The lengthwise slices are appetizingly thin, the crisp golden-brown exterior yielding to a deliciously creamy core. A topping of melted cheese and pillow of your pasta of choice (in this case, capellini) bathed in a first-rate marinara complete the package.

VF Pizza - Gourmet Turtle CheesecakeDessert offerings, although not made in-house, are still quite good and certainly worth saving room for. Of course, you have traditional items like Cannoli and Tiramisu… but the Italian Lemon Cream Cake, light and airy on the palate, makes a fabulous finish. Even better, though, especially if you’re looking for something with a bit more substance, is the Gourmet Turtle Cheesecake (pictured). The delightfully smooth and creamy New York-style cheesecake rests on a thick layer of fudge, is topped with caramel cream, and then sprinkled with a tiara of chopped pecans. Not-to-be-missed!

The restaurant has a serviceable selection of wines by the glass; and, as my dining partner can clearly attest, the bartender makes a damn good Cosmo as well.

Bon Appétit!

Be Safe


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