Housed inside what was once an old pharmacy, Rimedio—which is Italian for “remedy”—serves refined northern Italian cuisine amid white tablecloths and vintage light fixtures. Chef Dan Freeman seeks out quality proteins—including free-range chicken and grass-fed beef—to fill his seasonal menu, and even incorporates homemade flavors by curing his own pork belly and making his own pastas and sausages. Although the space has an old-timey ambiance, contemporary art adorns its walls alongside a large chalkboard imported from the future.
Named after the proprietors' father—a longtime veteran of the restaurant trade—Mikey's American Grill & Sports Bar continues the family's tradition of serving good food in a congenial atmosphere. Seated in the light-filled dining room, guests peel their eyes away from the sports-filled big-screen TVs above the bar to peruse a menu of classic bar standbys. Juicy 8-ounce burgers arrive piled high with tantalizing toppings including bacon, goat cheese, and fried eggs. Their tater tot brethren are no less decorated, coming tricked out with extras ranging from jalapenos and blue cheese to grilled chicken. The thirsty receive equal consideration, with bartenders pouring beer, original cocktails, and fishbowls that let friends share their libations or help pet tetras just loosen up for once in their lives.
At Salento Restaurant, his second BYOB venture, chef Davide Faenza draws on his roots in the region of Puglia, on the heel of the Italian boot, to fill a menu of authentic Italian fare. Home to “some of the finest raw ingredients in Italy,” according to a 2007 Philadelphia Weekly review, Puglia is known for its fresh seafood and simple pasta dishes. At Salento, servers carry in homemade gnocchi, sautéed fish filets, and other entrees that do justice to this tradition. After popping the last golden raisin from a balsamic-glazed chicken breast, guests can admire the dining room's glowing chandeliers, blue velvet curtains, and enormous mirror reflecting hungry pizza-delivery boys peeking in the front windows.
The inspiration behind Le Castagne Ristorante's menu may come from Northern Italy, but the flavors originate much closer to home. In addition to stuffing their own sausages in-house, the chefs also hand-make every single strand, corkscrew, and tube of pasta. This commitment to detail led the Philadelphia Inquirer to hail the pastas as "the menu's highlights," and earned the restaurant Philadelphia magazine's Best Pasta title in 2006. The menu's artfully sauced pasta dishes demonstrate a clear commitment to Old-World tradition, but the chefs also flex their culinary muscles by incorporating a handful of contemporary dishes. An appetizer of salmon "prosciutto" arrives with fennel-rye blini and whipped lemon cream, and a purée of butternut squash and carrots lends a silken-textured spark to a 10-ounce wild-boar chop topped with roasted cipollini onions. Befitting the menu's focus on Northern Italian cuisine, the wine selection features a hefty number of bottles from Piemonte and Veneto; however, the list also spotlights bottles from throughout the entire country, including regions as far south as Sicily and Calabria. Towering structural columns and an exposed-brick wall may seem a bit traditional, but Le Castagne Ristorante's dining room thoroughly embraces a modern aesthetic. Sleek, clean lines abound—simple black chairs flank tables with crisp white linens and shining metal bases. Opposite the brickwork, a colorful modern sculpture adorns one of the restaurant's walls, drawing diners' gazes with its striking combination of colorful shapes.
Noche's owners like seeing people come together. It even says so on the menu just beneath the list of small plates, which are "all meant for sharing." As the Mexican dishes' aromas waft forth from the kitchen, the bartenders awaken palates by pouring 14 tequilas, as well as mixing classic and specialty margaritas that are scrawled across a blackboard. From there, the restaurant spreads out in to spaces with distinct energies. The main dining space invites patrons to relax amid comfy green booths, large windows that filter in the streetlights, and a tin ceiling and library that give the room a vintage feel. The atmosphere picks up liveliness toward the bar, where guests can shoot pool, watch the bartenders in action, or ponder which of the letters on the ATM machine stands for money.
Established in 1972 and now run by the third generation of its founding family, Uncle Tomy's Pizzeria fills its menu with comfort food such as pizzas, hoagies, and freshly fried sides. After hand-tossing disks of pizza dough, cooks layer each crust with sauce, cheese, and 11 regular or 12 gourmet toppings—which include prosciutto, eggplant, and diced chef's hat. Oven-baked fries and homemade meatball sandwiches round out the menu alongside orders of buffalo wings.