816 W. Lancaster Ave.
Bryn Mawr , PA 19010
Neighborhood: Bryn Mawr
Parking: Free street parking after 5 p.m. Parking allowed in Bryn Mawr Trust bank lot (accessed from Bryn Mawr Ave.) after 5 p.m.
Handicap access: Wheelchair accessible.
Related reviews: Authentic Roman-style cuisine on the Main Line
Cuisine type: Italian
Meals Served: Lunch Dinner
Style: Gianluca Demontis and Rosemarie Tran have opened a suburban sibling to Melograno, their long-running Italian BYOB hit in Center City. The bi-level Bryn Mawr space has rustic accents, solid service, and an intimacy that also gets noisy. But the Roman-born Demontis' ode to his hometown is infused with the same special touch that renders simple, authentic food memorable. The only question: How long before Main Liners realize what a gem they now have cooking alla Romana in their own backyard?
Specialties: Caciottaro (vegetable antipasti); gnocchi alla Romana; sweetbreads with mostarda; stewed octopus; grappa-cured salmon gravlax; snails alla Romana; mezzi-rigatoni carbonara with lamb bacon; fetuccine alla Romana; ravioli di Nonna; bucatini all'amatriciana; pig's head canneloni special; involtino of pork; grilled swordfish; spigola bass aquapazza; tiramisu; torta di ricotta della Nonna.
Alcohol: BYOB. I've spotted some precious Italian wines on tables here (Gaja, La Poja, Jermann). For something special but slightly less costly, try Allegrini's La Grola, a high-end Valpolicella blend with rich berry fruit and coffee spice that pairs well with meat dishes and ragus (some 2008 is still available for $28.99 at Bryn Mawr's state store, code 38303.)
Weekend noise: A very noisy 94 decibels. Acoustic panels have been added, but more are needed. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Hours: Lunch Tuesday through Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30-10 pm.; Sunday, until 9. Closed Monday.