Saturday, August 1, 2015
In Riva
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4116 Ridge Ave.
Philadelphia , PA 19129
Neighborhood: East Falls
Parking: Lots behind restaurant and across street
Cuisine type: Italian
Meals Served: Lunch - Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri. Dinner - Mon. thru Sun.
Style: Can this Neapolitan-style pizzeria be the keeper this perennially difficult East Falls space needs? Owner-chef Arthur Cavaliere, a longtime Starr/Garces vet, has done a nice job keeping the prices neighborhood- friendly at less than $20 a plate, and the pleasantly casual vibe of the industrial-chic space with a riverside terrace, good for families and Kelly Drive cyclists alike. The recent addition of handcrafted pastas and inventive antipasti (not the pies) are what finally gave this menu its most compelling flavors.
Specialties: Burrata Caprese salad; escarole Caesar; pepperonata; Mommy's meatballs; olive oil potatoes; crispy artichokes; agrodolce pork ribs; octopus; garganelli with sausage-rock shrimp ragu; truffled pea agnolotti; pizzas (polpette diavolo; broccoli misti; potato and gorgonzola; Irlanda); zeppole; pistachio cannoli. Dinner entrees: $11-$19.
Alcohol: A compact, affordable list of mostly Italian vino, all available by the glass, carafe, or bottles (which are half-price on Wednesdays.) Try the Campania white (Falanghina) and red (Aglianico) from Rocca del Dragone. The small craft-beer list has grown since opening (Allagash White on tap), but the large-format Italian brews from Bruton are worth the modest splurge. Italian-inflected cocktails like the electric orange Frigo are also fun and refreshing.
Weekend noise: A reasonable 80 decibels, but room was rarely full. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Hours: Lunch Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dinner Tuesday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday, until 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Prices: $$