05 June 2010

Pickelodeon: Positano Coast

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Positano Coast
Positano Coast, located on the second floor of 212 Walnut Street in Old City, is the best restaurant in the city. A lofty statement, yes, but true nonetheless. As a part of Aldo Lamberti's family of restaurants, this restaurant and wine bar has been providing primo Italian cuisine to the area for years.

I first discovered this gem about eight years ago when it was simply known as Lamberti's. At the time I was a poor college freshman stunned by my ability to set foot in such a classy establishment after years of dining at Ruby Tuesday's. Since then, the restaurant somehow managed to notch the class up a bit more and improve on the food that I found flawless. To this day each time I visit this establishment I am impressed by the relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere, exquisite menu selections, and impeccable service.

The atmosphere of Positano Coast is aided by the fact it sits on the second floor. Upon entering the restaurant you are instantly on another level, rising above the sights and sounds of being on the street. Everywhere you look in the dining room you see blue, whether it be giant photographs of the actual Positano coast in Italy or the rich, blue colors of the floors and accent walls. The overall tone presented in the room has a relaxing effect and prepares you for your culinary experience before you even take your seat.

Once you are seated, you are presented with a clean, easy to read menu with a tremendous variety of plates to choose from. Before too long, your server arrives with a friendly greeting and the customary "Have you dined with us before?" Though many establishments insist on their staff asking that, it is actually relevant inquiry in this place. Positano's menu was created in "the tradition of the Amalfi coast," which is to say they serve smaller portions and encourage sharing. Feel free to chat with your server about this, and anything else for that matter. The staff at Positano Coast is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to recommending a meal based on your taste or suggesting the proper wine to accompany your dinner.

Alimento e Vino
Your server will leave you with some water and a fresh, fantastic crusty bread complete with dipping oil to dabble in as you choose your plates. Each time I go to Positano Coast, I tend to order a selection from the Let's Go On portion of the menu complimented with something from the On The Side section. Again, feel free to ask your server what side would best compliment your meal. My favorite is the Scottish Salmon Limoncello with the Capellini and Clams, both of which when paired with a white wine will send your taste buds into a frenzy of delight.

On the subject of wine, be prepared to have a bit more than the typical glass. The majority of the wines selected personally by general manager Marianna Coppola are served in a quartino. A quartino is a carafe of sorts, and at nine ounces translates to roughly one and a half glasses of wine. This, like the smaller portions of food, is to encourage sharing and tasting with your table mates.

Once your meal is in full swing, a dining experience unlike any other is to follow. Whether with a group or on a date, the conversation will flow freely as you sample different plates and glasses. Your fellow diners will be impressed by your selection and very pleased with their meals. This is the ideal restaurant for a serious date, especially with the Ritz theater situated directly across cobblestoned Dock Street. It also would serve well for a business dinner or just a nice way to cap off a day in the city. In the warm weather, Positano Coast has the benefit of outdoor dining without the worry of cars parallel parking next to your table.

On a typical dinner date for two, the bill usually comes to about $130 including dinner, drinks, an appetizer, and a generous tip. I assure you that every penny is worth it, Positano Coast does not disappoint. And don't be afraid to try something new. Even foods I haven't liked elsewhere are delicious when prepared by the phenomenal chefs at Positano Coast.

For more information, you can call Positano Coast at 215-238-0499 or visit their website. Do yourself a favor and swing by for a meal this summer, you can thank me later.

  • Scottish Salmon Limoncello, Capellini and Clams, and a white wine recommended by your server
  • Eggplant Napoleon, Homemade Gnocchi Gorgonzola, and a red wine recommended by your server

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