August 11, 2010

Birthday Weekend: Saturday

Is there anyone who doesn't like Italian food? For some reason, no matter what ethnicity you are or how picky your taste buds may be, no one can turn down carbs and cheese. It's a maxim of eating, whether it is fine dining or grab-and-go: you can't go wrong if it has pasta or parm.

 It also seems that special occasions means BYO. Even if you don't drink all that much wine (or any), the natural inclination is to say, "Lets go to a BYO". Whether its the nice homey ambiance, the well presented dishes or the fact that you are actually allowed to bring your own alcohol, BYOs holds a certain kind of natural appeal.


Welcome to Melograno, a BYO that journeys outside of the safe zone of your typical La Viola and La Fontana typicals in Center City. Attracting a crowd much older than the average college group looking for a fancy meal still within their budget, Melagrano does well to maintain and uphold not only a classy appearance but experience as well. 

Nestled in a quaint corner of the Rittenhouse area, this restaurant has been a bustling establishment since its inception giving it a somewhat hauty persona. The hostess greeted us with a certain air of impatient contempt as initially did our server.  However, some quick chit chat with our waitress and she mellowed out considerably.  I find it rather ironic that the restaurant described themself as "convivial" on their website when the restaurant is anything but - professional? sure but convivial? I'd find more "fun-loving" on a subway.  Just saying. Overall, I enjoyed the experienec from the food to the lighting to the fact that the servers knew which side to serve your dish on (left).
Veal Special
Pappardelle Alle Olive
Saute├ęd jumbo shrimp & Sea scallops cooked in a light tomato sauce with black & green olives
Ravioli di Magro
Homemade pasta filled with Swiss Chard, spinach & Ricotta cheese finished in brown butter sage sauce

Sella di Coniglio Ripiena
Organic rabbit saddle stuffed with prosciutto & spinach finished in a delicate cream & white wine pan sauce served over potato puree
Another picture of the rabbit because it was so damn good.
Pappardelle Al Ragu di Cinghiale
Braised wild boar bolognese made with fresh tomatoes & rosemary finished with Parmigiano


Can't find this on the menu, maybe it was another special.


If you're looking to splurge, definitely consider the rabbit (which honestly does taste like chicken...but a million times better) or the veal (very, very tender). The ravioli was my favorite pasta dish followed by the wild boar bolognese. There was another item on the menu - Pappardelle Tartufate (Wild mushroom sauce infused with truffle oil, sprinkled with Tuscan pecorino cheese & walnuts) that I really wanted to try and might get whenever I decide to go back.


If you're looking to impress a date or your out-of-town friends, definitely consider this trattoria. Only caution is - the bread isn't warm.


Ambiance: 5 out of 5; Service: 4 out of 5; Food: 4 out of 5

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4 comments:

  1. sooooo delicious.... I want to try that veal. and the rabbit. actually all of them.

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  2. yum yum yum, the ravioli and bolognese caught my eye. i've always walked by this place but never got to try it!

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  3. Gosh it all looks so delicious. I'm visiting Philadelphia later this year so am looking for all food advice I can get :)

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