Friday, April 11, 2008

Radicchio Cafe

314 York Ave, Philadelphia, PA 215.627.6850

On a recent date night, we rushed into the city to trusty BYOB Radicchio Cafe for some tableside filleted fish. I love the drama. Because we also had theater tickets, we got there early so we had no problem being seated right away. Usually, there's a wait since they don't take reservations. Keep this in mind for the dog days of summer. You'll work up a sweat waiting outside. However, if you've BYO and you're outside, they've been known to open your bottle and hand out glasses to keep you busy while you wait.

Our server was good, if not a little too cool. At one point, as I lifted our wine bottle out of the cooler, he grabbed it from my hand and refilled our glasses. I laughed out loud at the timing of it. Like I said, too cool, without even a smirk. I asked him as he quickly filleted the Sole if they timed him on this feat, and he gave me (actually, he didn't really look away from the fish) this look like, "What a stupid fucking question." So, no they didn't time him.

On to the meal. Complimentary brushetta and obligatory bread arrived first. Not too garlicky as I find most brushetta to be. One per person. For appetizers, Husband had the Insalata di Campo ($7), a meschun salad, green olives, radishes, string beans vinegar and olive oil. Nice and fresh.

I started with the Ricchi e Poveri ($8), grilled shrimp, asparagus and cannellni beans served warm with lemon and olive oil. Two shrimp and a few asparagus tips. It was plain. I salted it. Always a bad sign.
But, we weren't there for the appetizers anyway. We wanted fish. And fish we had. Husband had the Dover Sole (photo) and I opted for the Branzino. Both ($22) were simply prepared with olive oil, lemon and some herbs. They come to the table as whole fish and are filleted before your very eyes. It's lovely. My husband swears by the Dover Sole. So, I asked our super cool server which one was better. Hands down, the Branzino. Yes! Points for the chick with the stupid question. The Dover Sole is thinner, firmer and crisper. To me, it's a very mild fish. The Branzino is thick and meaty. It also has a fishier taste to it. I couldn't even finish it. Both entrees came with side plates of veggies...broccoli, carrots, mashed potatoes. Good stuff. Crisp, not soggy. Everything is prepared to perfection!

Read other reviews:; Yelp; D'Bockol Review;


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