Little Nonna's - InteriorFrom Wednesday, December 18 – Monday, December 23, 2019, Little Nonna’s, 1234 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will be serving the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

From the Chef – Olive Oil Poached & Smoked Salmon Crostone: Fermented Long Hot Crème Fraiche, Cucumber, Farm Radishes, Dill, Capers, Horseradish

First Course Family Style – Swordfish Spiedini: Charred Radicchio, Lemon, Olive Oil, Rosemary White Beans… Fritto Misto: Fried Cod, Calamari, Artichoke, Zucchini, Preserved Lemon Aioli, Parmesan

Second Course Family Style – Grilled Octopus: Seared Fingerling Potato, Oven Dried Tomato-Pine Nut Pesto, Crispy Gabagool, Smoked Garlic Aioli… Shrimp Scampi: Baccala, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, Lemon, Grilled Country Bread

Third Course Family Style – Cockles & Spaghetti: Garlic Scape Butter, Fennel Sausage, Rapini… Branzino Piccata: Seared Cauliflower, Capers, Garlic, Pickled Raisins, White Wine-Herb Sauce

The price of the Feast of the Seven Fishes is $50.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call Little Nonna’s, (215) 546-2100.

 Bon Appétit!



Davio's KOP - Interior, BarOn Tuesday, December 24, 2019, 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Town Center, 200 Main Street, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, will celebrate the Feast of Seven Fishes, an Italian Christmas Eve tradition.

Primo: Fritto Misto, Rock Shrimp, Oysters, Calamari, Calabrian Chili Aioli

Secondo: Squid Ink Conchiglie, Clams, Prosecco, Basil, Meyer Lemon, Butter

Piatto della Viglia: Halibut, Scallops, Crab, Asparagus, Salmoriglio

The price of the Feast of Seven Fishes menu is $75.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). The restaurant’s regular dinner menu will also be available.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call Davio’s, (610) 337-4810.

 Bon Appétit!



Amani’s BYOB Hosts Feast of the Seven Fishes

by artfuldiner on December 9, 2019

in Uncategorized

Amani - InteriorOn Tuesday, December 17 and Wednesday, December 18, 2019, Amani’s BYOB Restaurant, 105 East Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, Pennsylvania, will be hosting their Feast of the Seven Fishes annual dinner.

First Course – Baccala Fritter: Herbs, Potato, Black Garlic Aioli

Second Course – Shrimp Gnocchi: Shrimp Fumet, Baby Shrimp, Kale

Third Course – Puttanesca Bruschetta: Anchovies, Olives, Tomato, Pine Nuts, Bacon, Capers, Grilled Sourdough

Fourth Course – Grilled Calamari: Arugula, Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette, Cucumber, Roasted Peppers

Fifth Course – Manila Clams and Mussels: Bucatini, Guanciale, Parsley, White Wine Broth, Preserved Lemon

Sixth Course – Lobster Tail Franchaise: Saffron Velouté, Squid Ink Infused Polenta, Braised Kale, Pine Nuts

Seventh Course – Limoncello Panna Cotta: Pomegranate Syrup

The price of the seven course Feast of the Seven Fishes is $75.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call Amani’s at (484) 237-8179. Amani’s is a BYOB restaurant.

Bon Appétit!



Trattoria San Nicola

4 Manor Road

Paoli, Pennsylvania

(610) 695-8990

San Nicola - InteriorTrattoria San Nicola was first reviewed in October 2008. In the interim, the physical plant has changed not at all. The interior boasts distressed stone/brick walls, colorful murals & original works of art, a piazza replete with bubbling fountain, a chef’s room for special parties, and a comfortable bar area.

San Nicola - prosciutto w arugula saladDuring my initial visit, over ten years ago – and even more recently – I found the lusty Italian fare generally well-prepared, attractively presented, reasonably priced, and properly proportioned. A highlight included a starter of Prosciutto con Rucola, arugula tossed with a light balsamic vinaigrette set on a bed of lean, wafer-thin slices of imported prosciutto, with accompanying wedges of sharp provolone cheese providing a feast for both the eye and palate.

The main course was equally satisfying… Branzino (Mediterranean Sea bass) was baked en casserole and simply complemented with olive oil, white wine, and lemon juice. A bevy of sautéed mixed vegetables added a welcome splash of color and contrasting texture.

I did have a number of negative comments during my initial visits, two of which remain something of a problem. First of all, the restaurant has many hard surfaces, so it is quite noisy when filled… which appears to be most of the time. Secondly, the quality of the service remains very much the luck of the draw. On one occasion, it could be spot on; on another, a bit non compos mentis.

Food-wise, pasta continues to be the restaurant’s strong suit. The Penne Gorgonzola, for example, penne pasta sautéed with a cream-tomato sauce garnished with smoked salmon and capers is rich, rich, rich – but, oh, so delicious… And the same may be said for the Spaghetti di Farina Integrale con Polpette, whole wheat spaghetti served up with meatballs braised in tomato sauce.

San Nicola - Veal Pounded ThinInterestingly enough, I found veal to be the restaurant’s Achilles’ heel. The most recent faux pas was a nightly special, veal pounded thin and sautéed with a variety of herbs. Unfortunately, the herbs were entirely too strong and too liberally applied, leaving a rather bitter taste in the mouth. In addition, while the veal was pounded thin, it wasn’t done so uniformly… As a result, when sautéed, some parts were overcooked, others the next thing to raw. A relatively simply dish knocked into a cocked hat.

San Nicola - Involtini di MelanzaneAnd I also wasn’t terribly pleased with the Involtini di Melanzane as well. This starter consisted of lightly battered eggplant rolled around provolone cheese, asparagus, basil, and capers in a garlic tomato sauce. During one of my previous dinners, our party had considered the Melanzane a table favorite. This time around, however, it seemed a mere shadow of its former self and totally lacking in flavor. Go figure.

The problems that plague San Nicola, rather than being rectified, seem to have become exacerbated with time. You may dine well here… you may also dine not so well. The kitchen, in my view, lacks consistency. Among the starters, your best bets are undoubtedly the salads; and arugula appears to be the greenery of choice… go with it and you probably will not be disappointed. Entrée-wise, ordering one of the pastas, in my opinion, puts the odds of success firmly in your favor.

As for the service… hope for the best, but expect…?

 Bon Appétit!



plukemin2On Saturday, December 7, 2019, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., the Pluckemin Inn, 359 Route 202-206 South, Bedminster, New Jersey, will host their Annual Holiday Wine Tasting.

The tasting will feature a sampling of 40-50 wines that are perfect for holiday entertaining and gift giving. Once again, there will be focus on Bubblies for the season, as well as a wide range of wines, from everyday affordable to cellar-worthy classics.

Guests will also be treated to hors d’oeuvres from the Pluckemin Inn culinary team throughout the afternoon; and the Plucky Tavern will open immediately following the event.

For more information, or to make reservations for the holiday tasting, please call (908) 658-9292.

 Bon Appétit!



Pomod’oro Pizza & Italian Restaurant

200 Chestnut Street

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

(610) 873-0405

Pomodoro - ExteriorPomod’oro, the younger sibling of Anthony’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant in Malvern, PA, is owned by Croce “Tony” Cataldo, who hails from Carini in the city of Palermo, Sicily. Anthony’s was opened for business in 1993; and it was such a success that Mr. Cataldo and his wife, Claudia, decided to open a second restaurant, Pomod’oro, in Downingtown in 2015.

Like Anthony’s, Pomod’oro is a BYOB majoring in Italian comfort food and sporting princely portions at downright paltry prices. And, also like its elder brother, it has proved to be exceedingly popular. The restaurant does take reservations at lunch but not at dinner. So, forewarned is forearmed. If you’re planning an evening visit, and don’t want to cool your heels waiting for a table, my advice is to come early.

Pomodoro - Cobb SaladThe menu – which ranges from pizza, sandwiches, stromboli, and calzones through entrées and homemade desserts – is very similar to Anthony’s, so there certainly should be no surprises. Among the starters, the Artichoke Casserole baked in butter and garlic and topped with mozzarella cheese has a great deal to recommend it… ditto the Baked Stuffed Mushrooms with crabmeat. But since a house salad and a well-stocked breadbasket are included with your entrée, you might want to save some money. On the other hand, on one occasion, my dining partner and I decided to splurge and share a small Cobb Salad crowned with perfectly grilled chicken (pictured). We found it generous to a fault, definitely worth the additional $8.95, and a giant step above the generic house version.

As you would expect, entrées round up the usual suspects – but all are carefully prepared and sure to satisfy the most voracious of appetites. Take the Spaghetti Bolognese, for example. It is simply… mountainous. Like most other items served up here, a doggie bag will undoubtedly be de rigueur. My portion was so large that it provided me with two ample dinners at home in addition to what I consumed in the restaurant… But we’re not just talking quantity here. The meat sauce is beautifully seasoned and classic in every sense of the word, and the pasta is just the right side of al dente.

Pomodoro - Chicken Piccata 2Other presentations aren’t quite as gargantuan in scope, but it’s still a cinch that no one is going to leave hungry. The restaurant’s signature dishes – Marsala, Piccata, Pomod’oro, Parmigiana, and Cacciatora are all served with either chicken or veal and come with a side of spaghetti. The Chicken Piccata (pictured) is particularly noteworthy. The boneless breast filets are sautéed in a lemon/white wine/caper sauce, garnished with artichoke hearts, and served up with a vegetable medley.

Pomodoro - Lasagna“Baked” entrées include a first-rate Lasagna (pictured), Manicotti, Baked Ziti, Eggplant Parmigiana, and a fabulous Crespelle Ripiene, fresh crepes stuffed with ricotta and spinach and topped with marinara and mozzarella.

Seafood also holds a prominent place on the restaurant’s menu, tempting diners with a plethora of old favorites… Linguini con Vongole, clams in a choice of red or white sauce… Seafood Alfredo, shrimp, scallops and crabmeat in Alfredo sauce over linguine… Seafood Ravioli, lobster stuffed ravioli with crabmeat in a Rosa sauce… Shrimp Scampi, rock & jumbo shrimp in a white wine & garlic sauce over linguine… and Fish of the Day, prepared according to the chef’s whim.

Pomodoro - Cannoli CakeAnother big draw here is that Pomod’oro now makes all its own desserts… and they are worth saving room for. They run the gamut… from traditional denouements such as Rice Pudding, Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Cake, and New York Cheesecake… to Italian favorites like Tiramisu, Limoncello Cake, and Cannoli. And, when it is available, be sure to try their special Cannoli Cake (pictured), which is part creamy cannoli filling, part moist yellow cake, and completely and decadently delicious.

Like its elder sibling in Malvern, Pomod’oro isn’t about to set any new culinary standards. It does, however, given its extraordinarily reasonable price point, serve up an impressive array of Italian comfort cuisine that is guaranteed to soothe the soul as well as the appetite. Throw in pleasant surroundings, snappy service, and the fact that you may tote along a vintage of your own choosing, and you have a dining experience that should not be missed.

 Bon Appétit!



Amani - InteriorFrom November 17 – 20 and 24 – 27, 2019, Amani’s BYOB Restaurant, 105 East Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, Pennsylvania, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special prix-fixe four-course menu…

First Course (Choice of) – Smoked Mushroom Soup: Bacon, Candy Onions, Short Rib Gruyère Crostini, Truffle Sabayon… Sweet Corn Chowder: Lump Crab, Sweet Onion, Potatoes, Bacon

Second Course (Choice of) – Smoked Chicken Sweet Potato Fritters: Bell Peppers, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Sriracha Molasses Glaze… Warm Brussels Spouts and Radicchio: Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Crispy Pancetta, Poached Egg, Julienne Apples, Hazelnuts… Berkshire Pork Belly Poutine: Crispy Sweet Potato Batons, Duck Confit Gravy, Cheddar Curds… Pumpkin Risotto Cake: Crusted Pumpkin Seed Crust, Molasses Whiskey Glaze… Amani’s Caesar: Romaine Hearts, Garlic Croutons, Aged Parmesan, House-Made Dressing… Field Greens – Apple Cider Vinaigrette: Poached Pear, Crumbled Blue Cheese, Honey Toasted Walnuts

Third Course (Choice of) – Hazelnut Crusted Halibut, Pumpkin Butter Glaze: Bourbon Molasses Glaze, Crispy Sweet Potato Batons, Roasted Root Vegetables… Braised Short Rib Cannelloni: Sautéed Kennett Square Mushrooms, Marsala Cream Sauce, Aged Parmesan… Smoked Chicken Risotto: Roasted Peppers, Asparagus, Maitake Mushrooms, Cream Sauce… Truffle Salt Dusted Scallops, Sweet Corn & Lobster Nage: Saffron Risotto, Roasted Kennett Square Mushrooms… Grilled New York Strip Steak, Wasabi Aioli: Soy Mushrooms,, Five Spice Baby Carrots, Pickled Ginger Barley… Pistachio Encrusted Jail Island Salmon, Blood Orange Beurre Blanc: Sautéed Spinach, Sweet Potato Soufflé

Dessert (Choice of) – Fall Spice Cheesecake: Cranberry Compote, Ginger Snap Crust, Cinnamon Anglaise… Apple Crostada: Caramel, Toasted Walnuts, Vanilla Ice Cream… White Chocolate Crème Brûlée: Mission Fig Compote, Raw Sugar Brûlée… Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding: Golden Raisins, Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze, Crème Anglaise, Whipped Cream… Pumpkin Tiramisu: Cinnamon &Ginger Brandy Soaked Ladyfingers, Pumpkin Mascarpone Mousse, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Whipped Cream

The price of the four-course 10th anniversary menu is $55.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity. For more information, or to make reservations, please call (484) 237-8179.

Bon Appétit!



La Fava - InteriorOn Thursday, November 28, 2019, La Fava Restaurant & Bar, 1102 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner buffet from 12:00 noon – 8:00 p.m.

Cold Display: Classic Caesar Salad… Tomato & Mozzarella Salad… Field Greens Salad… Imported Cured Meats… International Cheese Board… Grilled Vegetables… Shrimp Cocktail

Hot Display: Baked Fusilli… San Marzano Tomato, Ricotta, Mozzarella… Farfalle Prosciutto & Peas… Salmon Dill Sauce… Eggplant Rollatini… Chicken Piccata… Sausage & Peppers… Meatballs

Carving Station: Interactive Pasta Station (made to order)… Free Range Whole Turkey… Roast Pork Loin, Natural Jus… Roast Top Round of Beef

Soups: Cream of Butternut Squash… Escarole & Meatball

Savory Sides: Roasted Chestnut & Sausage Stuffing…. Candid Carrots… Smashed Yukon & Sweet Potato Purée… Brussels Sprouts… Corn… Green Beans… Cranberry Sauce

Dessert: Pumpkin Pie… Apple Pie…. Cheesecake… Chocolate Cake… Assorted Cookies & Cannoli

Bottomless House Wine & Draft Beer also included.

The price of the Thanksgiving dinner buffet is $55.00 for adults (21 years +); $29.00 for minors (4 years – 20 years). For more information, or to make reservations, please call La Fava at (484) 840-8603.

Bon Appétit!



Davio's KOP - Interior, BarOn Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, 2019, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, 200 Main Street, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, will be serving Thanksgiving dinner from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 THANKSGIVING DINNER: Oven Roasted Free-Range Organic Turkey… Creamy Potatoes… Green Beans, Caramelized Onions… Rum Glazed Yams… Herb Roasted Root Vegetables… Savory Brioche Stuffing… Homemade Gravy… Cranberry Ginger Chutney

 SPECIAL HOLIDAY DESSERTS: Salted Caramel Cheesecake… Homemade Apple Pie, Tahitian Vanilla Gelato… Pumpkin Pie, Cinnamon Chantilly

 CHILDREN UNDER 12 YEARS: Oven Roasted Turkey, Stuffing, Creamy Potatoes, Gravy

Thanksgiving dinner is priced at $65.00 per person; children under 12 years, $23.00 (plus beverages, tax & gratuity).

Davio’s will also be serving their regular dinner menu as well as offering turkey sandwiches to go.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call Davio’s at (610) 337-4810.

Bon Appétit!



Nicholas - Holiday Walk Around Wine TastingTis the season! On Friday, November 22, 2019, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Restaurant Nicholas will host a walk-around tasting featuring 16 “must have” wines for the holidays. Nicholas chose these wines with holiday entertaining in mind, showcasing crowd-pleasing varietals that complement holidays meals and cocktail events.

Light passed hors d’oeuvres will also be served to complement the tasting.

Domaine Gasnier Cravantine NV: The Cravantine is a distinctive sparkling wine made from carefully grown Cabernet Franc grapes. The bubbles are the result of traditional, labor-intensive méthode champenoise. Appealing strawberry and mineral scents are encased in a firm structure with a dry and spicy quality on the plate. Great aperitif for the holiday season.

Diego Bolognani Pinot Grigio 2018: Winemaker and proprietor Diego Bolognani’s wine has a beautiful balance of white flowers, nuts, citrus, and stony notes, with purity of fruit and a long, refined finish. Perfect choice for a holiday party white.

Domaine Reverdy-Cadet Sancerre Blanc 2018: The 2018 has a green-tinged straw color with intense citrus and anise on the nose, plus a strong chalk tone. Great vibrancy to the flavors of lime, pink grapefruit and blood orange. The finish is long and stony.

Benoni Chardonnay Petit Grains San Luis Obispo 2018: The 2018 Petit Grains offers the perfect combo of green apple, hazelnut and mineral freshness. Just a dynamite bottle of American Chard, priced to drink every day.

Weingut Ratzenberger Riesling Kabinett Feinherb Bacharacher 2017: This is a fruity Rhein Riesling of sumptuous fruit flavors – tangerine, peaches, rub red grapefruit – stern acidity, and classic mineral and spicy flavors. Pair with roasted turkey, sausages and salmon. Drink now – 2026.

Gianni Doglia Barberad’Asti 2018: Gianni Doglia naturally farms a tiny estate in the picturesque hamlet of Castagnole Lanze. His Barbera is the product of 50-year-old vines, vinified without oak to preserve its incredible fruit. This is a food-friendly red wine that can double just as well all on its own. Great choice for a house red.

Domaine Eric Desvignes Givry Rouge 2017: The 2017 Givry Rouge is the produce of 45-year-old vines rooted in rocky, steep hillside vineyards. Vinified entirely in oak, this is a juicy, crunchy Pinot Noir with a marvelous mineral finish that makes it absolutely perfect at any table. Pair with grilled salmon, roasted poultry and mushroom dishes.

Trousse Chemise Pinot Noir Hyland Vineyard 2018: Winemaker Anne Sery’s 2018 Hyland Pinot is bright with a freshly crushed fruit quality. This wine would do well in a proper cellar. But if you can’t resist the fruit, pair it with roasted salmon or poultry.

Fattoria Zerbina Sangiovese Superiore Romagna Ceregio 2017: Christina Geminiani’s 29-hectare estate is farmed without the use of chemicals on a classic mix of iron-rich clay and limestone. Her pizza wine, Ceregio, is a brilliant ruby color with racy, black cherry fruit flavors. Firm acidity makes the wine long on the palate and just about perfect with any type of simple cuisine.

Corzano e Paterno IGT Sangiovese Il Tre Borri 2016: The mid-palate is concentrated, loaded with vibrant wild-berry fruitiness and lush, supple mouthfeel. The finish is long with fine-grained tannins. Be sure to decant and drink in a big glass because there is a unique layer of refinement that gradually comes with air. Think Tignanello at half the price! The perfect gift for the discriminating Italian wine collector.

Cerbaia Brunello di Montalcino 214: Winemaker Elena Pellagrini’s 2014 Brunello is fine and aromatic and builds with air. The wine is dark, powerfully concentrated, yet finished fresh and stony, making it perfect for the table at the present moment and a great candidate for long aging. Perfect complement to a holiday dinner of prime rib.

Stolpman Syrah Estate Ballard Canyon 2017: “The 2017 Syrah Estate Grown is absolutely gorgeous. Fresh, floral and wonderfully perfumed, the Estate expresses all the best vintage had to offer. Sweet floral, spice and dried herbs are beautifully laced into a core of dark Syrah. Not only is the Estate a terrific example of the year, it also captures the interplay of rich fruit and more savory notes that is so typical of the best Ballard Canyon Syrahs. The 2017 is simply compelling. That’s all there is to it.” – 93 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.

Xavier Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Anonyme 2016: “… Full-bodied, it manages to be ripe, silky and concentrated, while remaining crisp on the lengthy finish. Tasted twice with consistent notes.” – 95 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

Fabre-Montmayou Cabernet Franc Reserva 2017: “… Combining oaked and unoaked portions, the 2017 is a bright, perfumed, appealingly textured red with subtle wood spice and an undertone of green herbs.” – Tim Atkins Master of Wine, The 2019 Argentina Report.

Sueno Profundo Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2017: This Napa Valley cuvée comes from two early-ripening vineyards on the south eastern side of the valley. Well-drained soil is key here, roots dig deep in poor soil, bringing terrific minerality and freshness to the grapes. The result is a kock-out $35.00 Cabernet loaded with fresh, juicy black fruit. Perfect with grilled beef or cheese. 500 cases produced.

The price of the holiday walk-around wine tasting is $75.00 per person, $50.00 of which goes toward the first wine purchase.

To reserve your place, please call (732) 345-9977 (phone reservations only).