Bright Italian BYOB on the edge of Old City
Located on the outskirts of Old City, Radicchio Café is a hidden gem among dozens of Center City BYOBs. Make no mistake: plenty of people know about and love Radicchio. When you go, you’ll witness this — there are always parties waiting patiently for their tables outside the restaurant’s large, glass windows. Rather, it’s that Radicchio’s location — just slightly off the beaten path — makes it the type of restaurant that insiders love; you have to be willing to find it to reap the rewards.
Pick up your wine before leaving for the restaurant; the closest liquor store is a while away. Once seated, take in the warm ambiance of Radicchio’s corner locale. The paintings of Italy on the peach walls set the tone for a meal that will be undeniably Italian, yet skillfully updated to match the sophistication of a modern Old City bistro.
To start, try the grilled shrimp and asparagus, with cannellini beans and olive oil. The varieties of bruschetta are delicious (one orders comes with two slices; perfect for sharing). And the namesake Scamorza al Radicchio, smoked mozzarella with sautéed radicchio, features some of the best mozzarella in the city.
The entrees are similarly generous — in both portion and Tuscan flavor. Pastas like linguine with shrimps, scallops and arugula in an oil and garlic sauce and penne with prosciutto in a light vodka sauce are favorites, while the whole fish specials are one of Radicchio’s specialties and are highly recommended.
The nearest liquor store is in the heart of Old City on 2nd Street just below Market (32 S. Second Street, (215) 560-7060). From there, you’ll have a 10-15 minute walk to Radicchio.
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