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Gnocchi or housemade pasta in PA


katbert
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hi,

I'd like to take my friend's parents out somewhere for Italian, and I'd like to find some fresh pasta in a relaxed not too trendy kind of atmosphere. If there is fabulous pillowy gnocchi that would be terrific, but it's not a necessity. I've thought about Penne w/ Roberta I forget her last name's handmade shapes but that's a little too fancy, and I've really liked the mascarpone beet ravioli at Melograno (and once gnocchi in sage butter). I haven't really explored too many places in the Italian market area (overwhelmed by choice) recently, so that might interesting and we have access to a car as well, so that kind of opens things up. Also, I would like to go somewhere where the tables aren't too tightly crowded together (eg. Porcini) b/c they're a little bit older and would have a tougher time maneuvering in a small space.

Ideas?

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I've really liked the gnocchi at Felicia's, but it's been a couple years since I've gone. The vibe should be right, not too fancy, but still nice. The only problem could be that the main dining room is up a couple of steps, if that creates a mobility issue.

1148 S. 11th Street

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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The best gnocchi I've had in a while was at Marra's on Passayunk Ave near Morris. I doubt they make them there, but they definitely know how to properly cook them. I've also had very very good gnocchi at McMenamin's Tavern, 7170 Germantown Ave., but they were on the specials menu, so I would call before venturing out to Mt Airy. Chef Larry Melissen generally has one or two good pasta dishes on the specials menu every day, and he, too, knows how to cook pasta properly. And the prices at McMenamin's cannot be beat.

Rich Pawlak

 

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I've really liked the gnocchi at Felicia's,

Second that. Its been a couple years for me as well, but their gnocchi had perfect texture. Totally untrendy as well.

I have had some good gnocchi at "Gnocchi" which is down off South Street. It is a small BYOB, with some simple but tasty dishes. May have to wait a few minutes unless get there early,as they are usually busy.

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Well, I'm going to swim against the tide and agree with DT Barton, to say that the gnocchi I've had at Ralph's, including pretty recently, have always been pretty strong. Not as elegant as others, but good.

As for the restaurant Gnocchi, I like the place, and have enjoyed other things I ordered, but ironically, the gnocchi did gnot gnock my socks off. Not terrible, but the texture just didn't seem right. But you could do worse...

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Cucina Forte has excellent gnocchi.

(Also: although I've never been to Felicia's, some of my friends in South Philly swear that it's the gold standard for gnocchi.)

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In Philadelphia's food community, the person who makes the best undisputed fresh pasta in-house is Roberta Adamo. Her Cavatelli are the standard by which others are judged.

She is the Andrew Carmelinni of Philly.

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Well, I'm going to swim against the tide and agree with DT Barton, to say that the gnocchi I've had at Ralph's, including pretty recently, have always been pretty strong. Not as elegant as others, but good.

As for the restaurant Gnocchi, I like the place, and have enjoyed other things I ordered, but ironically, the gnocchi did gnot gnock my socks off.  Not terrible, but the texture just didn't seem right. But you could do worse...

Glad to hear an encouraging word on Ralph's. Haven't been in a couple years, but my visits always yielded simple, well prepared dishes of pasta, veal, mussels etc. Not elegant is a good way to put it, but there's some authenticity there. Plus, they serve Fiorella sausage.

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In Philadelphia's food community, the person who makes the best undisputed fresh pasta in-house is Roberta Adamo. Her Cavatelli are the standard by which others are judged.

She is the Andrew Carmelinni of Philly.

I'll agree that she makes great pasta. And for those not following the thread from the top, she's the pasta chef at Penne.

Penne Restaurant

3600 Sansom St.

Philadelphia, PA 19104

215-823-6222

www.pennerestaurant.com/

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Cucina Forte is outrageous! Light and fluffy with a few different sauces. Homemade.

I once attended a Slow Food dinner at Cucina Forte, and Roberta from Penne attended as well.

She seemed to like the food...

We love her pasta at Penne too! As a matter of fact, we attended another Slow Food event at Penne not long after (or was it before).

Penne is a little fancy for the original question, I think.

Cucina Forte might be a better South Philly Italian place.

Philly Francophiles

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I miss the sweet potato gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce at La Grolla. :sad:

John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

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The pasta dishes I've had at Panorama have always been excellent, and I believe the pasta is all freshly made on premise. I confess I've neither noticed whether there is gnocchi on the menu nor sampled it if there is, but I'm certain if they make it, it is excellent. Plus you can't beat the wine selection! :wink:

La Famiglia also has excellent pastas.

Either of these might be a tad too fancified for what you had in mind, but the food definitely fits the bill.

I'll join the chorus singing the praises of Chef Adamo's fresh pastas at Penne. They are really good.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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For future reference, I really like the pasta at Caffe Casta Diva. It might not work this time, though, since the place is kind of small and tables are on the cramped side.

Your request for gnocchi makes me think:

1) Craig Laban loved the gnocchi at Cucina Forte in South Philly (that place is relatively spacious, too) -- they're pillowy and made with ricotta, I think. I like the ones at Gnocchi, myself, but that's personal preference.

2) The Phila Weekly reviewer liked the gnocchi at La Fontana Della Citta off Rittenhouse, but not much else.

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  • 1 month later...

Made it to Penne and tried the cavatelli (ricotta) w/ pancetta, asparagus in a pesto. Quite a giant portion for the entree and just as good the next day for lunch at work. Not quite as pillowy as I think good gnocchi are, but still beautifully balanced against the creamy pesto sauce.

Starter of grilled squid salad (perfectly tender and gorgeous squid) and a tart lemon+raspberry tart and warm flourless chocolate cake (light spongy texture, not heavy and gooey) w/ cherries made for a nice dinner. Dessert was just about right, but not amazing. I didn't love the restaurant, but I would go back to see Roberta Adamo in action, and try some of the other pastas.

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The pasta dishes I've had at Panorama have always been excellent, and I believe the pasta is all freshly made on premise.  I confess I've neither noticed whether there is gnocchi on the menu nor sampled it if there is, but I'm certain if they make it, it is excellent.  Plus you can't beat the wine selection!  :wink:

La Famiglia also has excellent pastas.

Either of these might be a tad too fancified for what you had in mind, but the food definitely fits the bill.

I'll join the chorus singing the praises of Chef Adamo's fresh pastas at Penne.  They are really good.

I almost always try to get the gnocchi at Panorama... very good. Its always on the menu, but they regularly change up how they serve it. I've had it in a butter sauce w/clams, baked in a ragu, and also with their excellent pesto. And they do either small or large portions. Man... I haven't been there for a while, and now I'm craving it...

__Jason

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