Monday, May 12, 2008

Fellini's Cafe

31 E. Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610. 642.9009

You'd assume a restaurant that inevitably has a line out the door would have incredible food worth waiting for. You'd assume, and you'd be wrong. But, before I get into the food, let's get in the front door first. While they take reservations, by no means are they honored. If you don't want to wait, plan on showing up around 6pm, at the latest. We arrived at 6:30ish and had to wait about 10 minutes, which is tolerable, but the place was already jam packed. By 6:50, the crowd out front had reached no less than a dozen or so people, and it didn't disperse until around 8:30, just to let you know what you're in for if you haven't already been.

I can't comment much on the decor since we didn't even make it past the hostess station. We had a table for four tucked into a windowed nook in the front, away from the "wait area". We were happy.

Our server seemed new, and particularly slow. That was okay since we weren't in a rush, but now I understand why the line was so long. Our meal did not need to be over 2 hours long, but it was.

Now about that food. The menu is endless and overwhelming. I lost count around 85 items. I can't make a decision when there are that many options, plus Specials. Fortunately, there was a separate menu with 8 or so handmade pasta entrees. I stuck to that.

My Mozzerella Caprese was a mound of spring mix topped with thick mozzerella slices, roasted red peppers, onions and black olives drowning in balsamic vinaigrette. DROWNING. There was enough to share with three other people. My husband's salad was also piled high with romaine, tons of shaved parmesan, a slice or two of tomato and was, ironically, nearly void of dressing.

My entree was handmade tortellini with crabmeat, shrimp and peas in a cream blush sauce. This portion also could have been shared. While the tortellini were fresh, the sauce required salting and peppering, the shrimp had tails (annoying) and the crabmeat had shells (even more annoying). Not a meal I'd wait in line for. My father-in-law had the Veal Parmasan and was very happy with it.

Fellini's is another clear reminder that the most mediocre restaurants can be incredibly successful with a good location in a town like Ardmore that has so few options. The key features of Fellini's is that it is a BYO with inexpensive Italian food. To our knowledge they are the only choice in Ardmore.

Overall, the consensus was average. Would we return? Possibly, but only because it's in walking distance.

Read more here and here.


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