At Sessano, proprietor Santino Ciccaglione layers savory meat and cheese atop fresh bread to create a menu of hearty cheesesteaks, hoagies, hot-pressed paninis, and wraps. Sessano’s award-winning, roast pork sandwich ($6.95) helms an impressive fleet of hefty eats, from beefy sirloin cheesesteaks ($6.95) to zeps ($5.50) that fly into mouths at cruising altitude. Dinner parties, potlucks, and sandwich-scarfing contests can provision themselves with the catering menu’s 20-serving trays, replete with six types of hoagie or wraps filled with chicken caesar, chicken tender, or caprese fillings.
We are a casual dining restaurant serving an upscale twist on comfort food. We range from pizza and lasagna to homemade mushroom ravioli in a shitake cream sauce, to pan-seared diver scallops in a brandy cream sauce: and everything in-between. For Lunch we have all the same, plus an expanded burger and steak menu.
Although they’re known for their classic Italian staples, the cooks at Tony’s Pizza don’t necessarily stick to traditions when topping their gourmet or Sicilian-style pies. That’s not to say they don’t do traditional pizzas, but you’re just as likely to find them adorning their crusts with unconventional ingredients—such as breaded eggplant, steak, broccoli, and BBQ sauce—as you would speckling on the usual pepperoni or sausage. When it comes to the other Italian favorites, however, they proudly take an “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it” approach. They prepare a vast array of old-world dishes, sizzling up everything from veal picatta and lobster ravioli to baked ziti and Italian wedding soup, which officiators traditionally poured all over the bride’s dress train as a good luck token. Along with honoring Italy’s culinary history, the cooks celebrate their hometown with Philly favorites such as cheesesteaks and zeps, which are hoagie-style sandwiches brimming with salami and provolone cheese.
A glance at Alfredo's specials blackboard might reveal grilled mako shark steaks, heirloom tomato bruschetta, and meat accented with local honey, all extensions of a menu that breathes life into southern Italian cuisine. Flights of olive oil arrive on a wooden carving board with house-baked bread, and the absence of a corkage fee and elegant stemware encourage the BYOB policy. Appetizers showcase wild vegetables and meat cured in-house, which pique appetites for pastas rich with veal, prosciutto, and lobster or plates of free-range chicken. Chefs roll their potato dough into gnocchi and combine mozzarella and cream to create decadent burrata cheese, and can replicate their handiwork for onsite and delivered catering. Above a refinished wine cellar designed for parties, the sunlit, exposed-brick dining room has two private chambers with seating for up to 150 people.
The culinary gurus of Grappa Café woo palates with a bounteous menu that bursts at the seams with homemade pastas, succulent slabs of meat, and fresh seafood. Families can gather around the table to share an appetizer of artichoke hearts Capri, baked with gooey gorgonzola and mushrooms ($11). As cheesy as a Dolly Parton impersonator, the ravioli quattro formaggi envelops cream, goat, blue, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses ($8–$15). Dive fork-first into the gnocchi grappa noodle dish dotted with shrimp, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes tossed in basil pesto ($17). Diners can bring their own beverage or garden hose to help wash down the filet of pisa––a leaning tower of two 5-ounce fillets layered with portobello mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, and sliced tomato ($27).
Growing up, Marcie Spampinato watched her father, Mike, masterfully manage a local country club. By seventh grade, she was working alongside him, and today—with a restaurant management degree from Penn State under her belt—she joins with Mike to co-manage their steak-and-sushi joint, Spamps.
Chefs trained in Japan artfully stuff the eatery's sushi rolls with fresh ingredients such as black-pepper-crusted tuna and flying fish roe. Fusion flourishes such as kimchi tartar sauce, miso beurre blanc, and sake reductions give entrees such as rib-eye steak an Asian flair.
And much like a chocoholic's dream journal, the eatery's new cocktails revolve around sweet flavors, especially Marcie's favorite, the pumpkin-pie martini. Libations, which also include wine and beer, flow freely behind a copper bar with TVs or fill glasses in a dining room with exposed brick walls and private booths. At an outdoor patio dubbed The Grotto, lofted TVs illuminate trellises and tabletops as well as bar-goers shimmying to a live DJ's beats on Friday and Saturday nights.