After South Philly standby (12 years and counting!) BYOB Tre Scalini moved to 11th & Tasker, the question for Craig LaBan was whether the food stayed the same. It turns out that they’re still cooking the same trattoria fare as ever, only better:
I’ve always loved the food at Tre Scalini, whose straightforward trattoria menu is neither trendy, seasonal, updated, nor frequently changing. It is an authentic repertoire of worthy family recipes passed down as is, and prepared each day with a ritual simplicity that helps fine ingredients shine, be it an Esposito veal chop, or Talluto’s fresh pastas.But I could actually taste a difference in my recent meals from my visits a few years ago. There’s an extra focus and clarity to the flavors, a certain restrained grace that only comes from the patient care of a nonna’s touch.Take the chicken Veneziana, for example, a dish that many chefs would turn into rubber bits buried in a mound of mushrooms. DiRenzo’s chicken, though, was velvety tender, the meat radiating the sweetness of roasted garlic and good olive oil.The special eggplant Napolitana appetizer was another stunner in simplicity, the delicately thin rounds of pan-fried eggplant napped with bright marinara and just a dusting of Parmigiano - not the typical oozy lid of molten mozzarella. It is almost as good a starter as the restaurant’s signature square of grilled polenta topped with garlicky broccoli rabe.
Tre Scalini [Inquirer]
[Photo via Peter Tobia / Philadelphia Inquirer]