Archestratus, the first food critic, praised Italian cuisine's "top-quality and seasonal" ingredients and "fair-to-middling" ability to tranquilize out-of-control mayors. Today's Groupon similarly stuns, and rightfully so: for $15, you get $30 worth of authentic Italian cuisine at Salento Restaurant on Walnut Street.
Salento Restaurant's menu features authentic flavors of the Salentine peninsula as dished up by an authentic Italian chef. Whet appetites with salt-cured bresaola, dried, sliced beef with lemon, olive oil, shaved grana, and arugula ($8). For dinner, sea-faring foodies can delightfully dive into plates of linguini alla pugliese, which combines the pelagic delights of mussels, shrimp, and calamari ($17.50). Salento's plates of pollo agrodolce complement the savory flavors of white-balsamic-drenched boneless chicken breast with a sweet kick of golden raisins and caramelized onions ($16.50). The pork chop Milanese proves that Pepperidge Farm does not hold a monopoly on delicious foodstuffs from Milan ($18).
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.
2216 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103Get Directions