521 Catharine St.
Philadelphia , PA 19147
Neighborhood: Queen Village
Parking: On street
Handicap access: One step.
Related reviews: Ulivo
Cuisine type: Italian
Meals Served: Dinner - Mon. thru Sun.
Style: Former Sovalo chef Joseph Scarpone has made a much-awaited return to Philly's dining scene in a bare-bones trattoria BYOB in Queen Village. The experience lacks some of the polish of his previous venture, but the chef's affordably priced and vividly rendered menu of simple, seasonal Italian cooking far outweighs the inexperienced service and numbingly loud, wedge-shaped room.
Specialties: Onion-mushroom-speck soup; fried polenta; grilled octopus; speck-blood orange salad; ricotta gnocchi; tagliatelle with pork ragu; spaghetti ala carbonara; tonnarelli with wild mushrooms and squash; pork chop with cannellini; pork osso bucco special; monkfish special; chicken with fregola sarda; mahimahi with anchovy aioli; rice pudding; chocolate cake.
Alcohol: BYOB: Think Italian.
Weekend noise: One of Ulivo's biggest challenges is a noise problem that can hit a 96-decibel roar - even with just a few tables going strong. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Hours: Dinner Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, until 11 p.m.; Sunday, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.