The Other Critics

Ulivo Shows Off Joseph Scarpone’s Culinary Acumen; There’s ‘Room For Improvement’ at Interstate Draft House

• At Joseph Scarpone’s Bella Vista BYOB Ulivo Brian Freedman says the “food is exactly what you’d want to tuck into at a neighborhood restaurant.” “Perfect” polenta, and a grilled octopus that “showed off Scarpone’s acumen with a difficult ingredient” highlighted the meal. On the downside, a tonnarelli with butternut squash and hedgehog mushrooms “grew too monotonally sweet.” [PW]

Interstate Draft House shows Adam Erace that it’s a “no-pretense pub where old salts and new moms sit side by side.” In the kitchen, Adam Scott “braids Latin influence into a menu of American bar staples.” The blackened green beans were “easily as good as Grace Tavern’s,” and wedge-cut fries were “crispy outside and creamy inside.” Though an overcooked burger showed “there’s also room for improvement.” [Citypaper]

• Phyllis Stein-Novack checks out Chinatown’s Viet-Thai, where the pho comes “hot, light and refreshing,” and loaded with “at least a dozen seasoned meatballs.” Shrimp rolls were “expertly prepared,” and the texture and flavor of the stuffed grape leaves, was “dandy.” [South Philly Review]

Ulivo Shows Off Joseph Scarpone’s Culinary Acumen; There’s