Midtown Village's little Zavino is all grown up and gone to college at its stylish new location in Drexel's new Chestnut Square restaurant complex.
There's triple the seating of the original, Euro wines by the glass, sliced-to-order charcuterie boards, and twin pizza ovens pumping out Neapolitan pies (with ricotta-veal meatballs) for a University City crowd that's appreciative of a taste of Midtown sophistication at fairly reasonable prices.
The best flavors, though, aren't the pizzas, which were too thick and doughy on our visit. Try the excellent pastas that Zavino chef Carlos Aparicio makes daily.
Our favorite was the fresh cavatelli, toothy from whole wheat flour and tossed with the fresh pop of peas and a vivid emerald pesto made from basil grown by owner Greg Dodge's wife, Emily, in their home garden. Devouring that bounty of green pasta goodness is, as they say, academic.
- Craig LaBan
Whole wheat cavatelli with pesto and peas, $9, Zavino University City, 3200 Chestnut St., 215-823-6897