Bob and Pat Fogal of East Norriton are the big winners of our 10/11 Season Restaurant Raffle. They will be enjoying a “Dinner for Two” to each of our 10 restaurant sponsors and have been kind enough to share their delicious experiences with us all.
Radice, Blue Bell – July 2011
Radice is a country style Italian restaurant about two and a half miles north from Germantown Pike on Route 202 (DeKalb Pike) in Village Square. This delightful restaurant–number 32 on the 2011 Philly Mag 50 best places to eat–is definitely worth a visit.
The restaurant interior recalls a farm ambiance, with creamy white wood and plaster on the walls and a huge, white plastered wood burning oven that occupies center stage in the dining area. Giant clay pots overflowing with fresh herbs, a prosciutto shank on a carving stand, and enormous bottles of olives and peppers add to the country theme. Both Indoor and outdoor dining are available. We chose indoor as it was a warm evening and we wanted to watch the action at the oven, but as the evening progressed the outside tables filled up.
For starters, Pat and Bob shared buchetta featuring arugula, crispy prosciutto, spiced walnuts, crotonese and fig. We both fell in love with the prosciutto, so much more delicate than American bacon. The baby arugula was tender, just slightly bitter, and nicely balanced by the sweetness of the fig dressing.
The menu offers diners a choice of assagi (“tastes”—the Italian version of tapas) and full course meals. Pat had two assagi. Sarde featured baked butterflied sardines dusted with oregano and accompanied by crunchy cauliflower, carmelized onions and golden raisins. Her second choice was cannestrelli, three small cakes made of sea scallops, butternut squash, and chives, which Pat declared was the best dish she’d ever eaten in the Philadelphia area.
Bob selected caccuicco, a seafood stew somewhat similar to bouillabaisse and featuring incredibly delicious seafood in a delicate but richly flavored tomato based broth. For desert, we shared a bowl of homemade vanilla ice cream topped with grappa (a liqueur) and golden raisins.
Chef Toto Schiavone greets all of his guests with a personal, warm welcome. Wait staff is knowledgeable and attentive. We were able to converse easily in a normal voice, even with all the restaurant activity and full seating. Radice has ample parking and is handicapped accessible. Given Radice’s popularity the evening we were there, we recommend reservations, which are easily available through the website.
-Pat and Bob Fogal