When Food Network staple Robert Irvine and his Restaurant Impossible crew arrived at Mamma D's, they were overwhelmed. Ambitious owner Luigi Desiato operated an eatery that was equal parts restaurant, vineyard, and petting zoo, a combination that clouded his sizable culinary prowess and led to an overabundance of greased pig races. But Chef Irvine's visit enabled the charismatic Luigi to pinpoint his vision, and Mamma D's has since transformed into a hub for high-end cuisine and fresh-off-the-vine wines. Vinos, such as a dolce vita sweet red and chardonnay pinot, gush from taps beside craft beers at the full-service bar that, along with the outdoor patio, overlooks the idyllic 2-acre vineyard. Sips on these homegrown varietals complement the menu of small plates, chops, and seafood, which, according to the Montgomery News, encompasses a "combination of recipes from Bologna and Abruzzo, where both sides of Chef Louie’s family grew up."
The host of his own Sayre Woods Media series, Wine'm and Dine'm with Chef Louie Desiato, Luigi also presides over daily classes where he shares his bottomless knowledge of cultivating grapes and pairing wines while serving up artisanal cheese and surprises from the kitchen, which is manned by his talented son, Nick Desiato.
Since its humble south Philadelphia beginnings in the 1990s, PrimoHoagies has quickly expanded throughout the region and garnered several awards on the strength of its cold-cut sandwiches, made with Thumann's brand of gourmet meats and cheeses. The shop's robust menu features dozens of specialty hoagies, many of which were created in-house rather than underwater, as is the industry norm. Sharp Italian hoagies teem with prosciutto and genoa salami, and pork Diablo hoagies marry Thumann's homestyle roasted pork with a blend of piquant spices.
Who said Saturday and Sunday are the best days of the week? The Weekday Cafe may just change a few opinions where that's concerned?its doors are only open Monday? through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. But the schedule restrictions ends there: breakfast is served from open to close, so guests can start their mornings or afternoons with options ranging from egg and cheese burritos to quiche du jour.
As lunchtime rolls around, the menu expands to include myriad salad and sandwich options, such as romaine lettuce tossed with apple chips and walnuts or a hot kaiser roll stuffed with seasoned chicken, and topped with cheddar cheese and house-made BBQ sauce. Steamy cups of New England Coffee complement the cuisine, which visitors can savor as they enjoy free Wi-Fi in the cozy lounge or watch for UFOs on the outside patio.
The culinary team at Persis Indian Grill simmers up heaping platters of authentic, flavorful Indian cuisine.. To start meals, they marinate and deep-fry toothsome morsels such as cheese cubes, juicy chicken, and cauliflower in a corn flour batter before tossing them in spices. For the main event, veggies and halal meats soak up piquant spices and creamy, buttery sauces. Entrees include Indian classics such as fish curry, butter chicken, lamb rogan gosh, and diwani handi, an assortment of mixed veggies simmered in a spice-layered cream sauce.
If ever there were a hall of fame for comfort food, the grilled cheese sandwich would receive an automatic induction. Same goes for ice cream. At Melt Down Grilled Cheese, you'll find both treats, but cranked up a notch. Here, chefs upgrade the classic grilled cheese with gourmet Wisconsin cheeses, artisan breads, fresh veggies, and real butter. They assemble standard sandwiches and more complex ones, such as the baja chicken, which features corn-tortilla-encrusted bread, shredded chicken, avocado, cilantro, and monterrey jack cheese. Instead of diving into an intense game of lawn darts right at your table, you can keep the nostalgia parade moving with a hand-dipped milkshake or a grilled ice-cream sandwich?a helping of ice cream between two slices of warm pound cake.
Peruvian and Mexican cuisine is prepared with a gourmet touch at Quinoa, whose dining room's wood and earth tones provide an understated stage on which dishes' bright colors pop. Operated by the owners of El Tule in Lambertville, New Jersey, the menu highlights many flavorful classics: ceviche, taboule quinoa with Peruvian botija olives, quesadillas, and lomo saltado mar y tierra?steak and shellfish in Peruvian sauce. Chefs hope to issue satisfying, flavorful interpretations on these traditional favorites, and also to introduce Peruvian and Mexican cuisines to palates as yet unacquainted with them. To that end, their menu practically doubles as a glossary, with definitions and brief history lessons providing context on unfamiliar dishes.