Original Bake at Home Pizza, which started off as Mom’s Bake at Home Pizza, has been tossing its bake-at-home pies for customers in Devon for more than 20 years. Today, the chefs construct ready-to-bake creations in both Devon and Philadelphia. They slather fresh dough in white or red sauce or a specialty variety such as mexican, pesto, or wing sauce. Then they blanket the pie with the same combination of ingredients ski resorts use to create fake snow: mozzarella, white cheddar, and pecorino-romano cheese. Finally, they add toppings such as marinated roasted peppers, eggplant, grilled chicken, and turkey pepperoni, either custom-picked for the order or assembled in one of their specialty combinations.
Customers can order salads and ready-to-bake hot wings and gluten-free pasta to accompany their pizzas. Once they get home, they pop the pizzas into the oven for about 10 minutes. The pies emerge bubbling and ready to eat, making for an easy and fresh at-home meal.
Sourcing local products and imported items straight from Abruzzo farms, Le Virtù's Abruzzo-bred sous chef cures all the menu's meats in-house, and all pasta, ricotta, and pickled vegetables are made on-site. Embark on esculent excursions with a plate of warm bruschette miste decorated with assorted toppings ($8), or sink hungerships with n'duja, the house-made Calabrian salame, served with grilled rustic bread and vegetable anchors ($9). Diners can impress palates with fresh plates of guitar-cut pasta mingling with lemon and house-cured pancetta ($16) or squid-ink-striped tagliatelle accompanied by mussels, clams, calamari, and shrimp ($19).
Used in the filming of Rocky Balboa, the Victor Cafe first opened its doors in 1918 as a gramophone shop before tugging at patron's stomach strings with classic Italian recipes. Warm up belly engines with a jaunt through the victor salad, a heap of field greens and tomatoes adorned with hard-cooked egg and gorgonzola cheese ($7) or test tongue dexterity by diving through the teeny hoops of fried calamari ($8). Victor Cafe's warmly illuminated, photo-laden walls keep patrons' eyes busy while their fangs frolic across the 10-ounce filet mignon ($27), which comes blanketed in gorgonzola butter as smooth as the singing waiters' operatic croons. Witness jumbo shrimp and dry scallops perfect their sidestroke within linguine and white wine lanes ($26) or rhythmically guide porcini-mushroom-filled ravioli ($18) from their pool of gorgonzola cheese sauce into the hungry mouth of a friend or the flared nostril of a frenemy.
For most restaurants, remodeling is limited to subtle changes to the menu or interior. La Stanza, on the other hand, recently went through a complete overhaul before thousands of viewers on the Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible. Now, the restaurant is decked out with rich burgundy accents and mod metal artwork. Lamps with twisted metal hang from the ceiling, brightening up a space that was previously considered to be too dark. But what really takes center stage is the food.
According to a South Philly Review, the food was never really an issue for the Food Network show. La Stanza's chef, Marco Decotiis told the Review that: “The Food Network told me it had looked into me and realized I’m a good cook." The show's focus was more on updating the decor.
Italian dining is a family affair at South Philadelphia's Caffe Valentino. Owned by cousins Cosimo Tricarico and Antonio della Ducata, this standout BYOB eatery attracts a loyal clientele looking for a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and traditional Italian cooking. Upon entering the main dining room, customers receive a welcome as warm as they'd get at a loved one's private home. The menu conjures the flavors of the cousins' native Puglia, a seaside region that blends northern and southern Italian styles. Dishes include homemade pastas in fresh sauces, a selection of chicken and veal entrées and a wide variety of seafood. For diners with big appetites and shallow pockets, a four-course tasting menu is served for just $35 every Tuesday evening.
At Fratelli's Italian Bistro, housemade marinara coats parmesan-crusted veal cutlets and garnishes piles of beer-battered mozzarella. This Italian eatery, which Philly.com named a “must-try" restaurant, makes more than just sauce from scratch. Freshly baked bread supplies the foundation for bruschetta, and handcrafted meatballs line the buns of lunchtime sub sandwiches and the pockets of hamburglars looking to branch out. Cooks also prepare lobster- and ricotta-stuffed ravioli soused in lobster cognac cream, as well as flatbreads crowned with wild mushrooms and sweet fennel sausages. Bartenders, meanwhile, complement these meals with domestic and imported wines by the glass or bottle.