Pepperoncini Sotto presents a menu of authentic Italian cuisine inside a romantic setting that's brand new from the sparkling floorboards up to the twirling forks. Begin the Mediterranean meal meditation with the bruschetta caponata, a classic Sicilian morsel of diced eggplant sautéed with red onion, celery, capers, and red-wine vinegar over a grilled crostini ($7), before singing a snappy verse with the veal Sinatra—veal medallions with jumbo lump crab, artichoke hearts, and diced tomato over linguini ($26). The kitchen hand-crafts each pizza with a thin crust crispier than a saltine after getting a deep suntan on the Amalfi Coast and tops it with gooey cheese, fresh marinara, and other fresh ingredients; the Paisano, for example, showcases the richly textured juxtaposition of broccoli rabe, sausage, and long hot peppers ($11).
The chefs at PJ Ryan's Pub sling their hearty menu’s worth of burgers and steaks into a congenial atmosphere supported by cheerful Irish tidings. An appetizer sets the meal's mood, whether generating harmony with a sharable pair of sliders (a $9 value) or fried calamari (a $7.50 value) or injecting excitement with a cage match over who gets to lick the bowl of west coast crab dip (a $9 value). Sheperd's pie (a $12 value) tempts mouths with draped layers of beef with roasted vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, and cheddar cheese. Chefs transform seafaring bounty by broiling tender scallops in a delicate lemon-white-wine sauce (a $16.50 value) or browning lump crab into perfectly bronzed crab cakes served alongside piquant rémoulade (an $18 value).
The mixing bowls and ovens at Eliza's Bakery are always busy, churning out diverse cakes, pies, and cookies every day. The bakery’s cakes can be customized for any occasion, with artful decorations wrapping around unique flavors such as raspberry kirsch– or Grand Marnier–flavored crumb. Bakers roll sponge cake into seasonal frosted rolls, whether a spiced cake filled with pumpkin cream cheese or a chocolaty yule log that is superior to a regular yule log in every way but flammability. Flaky pie crust, baked from an old family recipe, wraps around fresh rhubarb, cherries, or pumpkin, depending on the season. In addition to custom cakes, Eliza's bakers can transform other baked goods into vegan, kosher, or sugar-free versions to accommodate dietary concerns.
At Valley Forge Trattoria & Lounge, the scents of traditional Italian cooking drift from a theater-style kitchen into the newly remodeled lounge space, where guests enjoy a menu of pasta, pizza, and made-to-order salads made from the finest fresh ingredients. Of the many offerings, the pizza takes top honors, especially after being named number one of Philadelphia's best pizzerias by Citysearch. Each proprietary red- or white-sauce pizza is crafted with more than 20 topping options and optional whole-wheat crust. Pasta dishes rival the heartiness of the pizza pies, with options ranging from the portabello-stuffed ravioli with rosa cream sauce to spaghetti with veal parmigiana. Valley Forge Trattoria & Lounge's recent renovations also include a full bar with widescreen TVs and a fireplace, welcoming visitors to have a cozy drink before or after dinner, or stop in during a night out.
During off hours, when the restaurant isn’t bustling with lunch and dinner diners, the space transforms into a coffee bar with gourmet blends. Sip a cup inside, or take to the fresh air on the onsite all-season patio, replete with fireplaces and overhead space heaters.