• Monday , 19 February 2018

Palladino’s on Passyunk: Luke Palladino’s warm welcome to Philadelphia

By Cassie Hepler

Unlike almost every other chef, Luke Palladino has a sort of calm, zen-like quality to his presence and the way he speaks. It seems he could easily put out the most chaotic kitchen fires with one hand while managing two restaurants with the other. And that he does on a daily basis – plus a catering company.

The new addition to Philadelphia is his namesake Palladino’s on Passyunk and is all heart, complete with a wood fire oven, a slightly modern version of what you would see in Italy. Located on one of the newest booming spots, East Passyunk Avenue, it’s hard to miss the tall sign pointing toward the sky.

It’s the small details such as the ever-rotating blocks of artisan cheeses, the “LP” logo on the wine glasses (which if you hit the bottom of the “L” is the perfect pour), the soon-to-be newly crafted wrought iron skewers for the fish and friendly, engaging staff that makes a restaurant great.

It seems Luke has nailed these down after his Linwood, N.J. location and his catering company by offering fresh ingredients, handmade breads, pasta and food from his frequent trips to Italy.

But what really impresses is the food, which is not your typical Italian fare. Making the interesting out of the ordinary is his forte and he does it well. And much like other chefs and restaurants in the Passyunk area support each other, chefs from Paradiso were there enjoying some cocktails at the bar.

Luke mentioned having guest chefs occasionally as well to continue this camaraderie. He seems to understand that you certainly collect more flies with honey than vinegar.

And don’t worry if your wallet is still feeling a little light from the holiday season. Palladino’s is participating in restaurant week, Feb. 22-28 with a three course dinner for $35. To learn more, visit http://www.lukepalladino.com/Palladinos/home.html

Enjoy the photo story below and feel free to comment on your experiences at Palladino’s!

Chef/Owner Luke Palladino poses for a photo inside Palladino's on Passyunk.

Chef/Owner Luke Palladino poses for a photo inside Palladino’s on Passyunk.

The interior of Palladino's on Passyunk in Philadelphia.

The interior of Palladino’s on Passyunk in Philadelphia.

Tempting red Italian wine at Palladino's on Passyunk in Philadelphia.

Tempting red Italian wine at Palladino’s on Passyunk in Philadelphia.

A lovely smile from our bartender at Palladino's on Passyunk.

A lovely smile from our bartender at Palladino’s on Passyunk.

The Ombra cocktail (campari, brachetto d’acqui and raspberry puree) tastes like a boozy Sour Patch Kid with a nice tart, puckering finish.

The Ombra cocktail (campari, brachetto d’acqui and raspberry puree) tastes like a boozy Sour Patch Kid with a nice tart, puckering finish.

Palladino's on Passyunk artisan cheeses on display in the kitchen.

Palladino’s on Passyunk artisan cheeses on display in the kitchen.

The Mushroom Crespelle (baked Taleggio cheese and wild mushroom crepe, local arugula, 15 year aged balsamico) is a shroom lovers dream with a meaty, earthy flavor.

The Mushroom Crespelle (baked Taleggio cheese and wild mushroom crepe, local arugula, 15 year aged balsamico) is a shroom lovers dream with a meaty, earthy flavor.

Palladino's on Passyunk takes over the corner in East Passyunk at sunset.

Palladino’s on Passyunk takes over the corner in East Passyunk at sunset.

The Truffled Grissini (house made bread sticks brushed with white truffle butter, grated parmigiano & wrapped in prosciutto) are a perfect snack to go with a great glass of Italian wine.

The Truffled Grissini (house made bread sticks brushed with white truffle butter, grated parmigiano & wrapped in prosciutto) are a perfect snack to go with a great glass of Italian wine.

Somehow there is a buttered popcorn after taste to the Focaccia Di Recco (thin crust brick oven baked flat bread stuffed with stracchino cheese) which is also a cheesy delight.

Somehow there is a buttered popcorn after taste to the Focaccia Di Recco (thin crust brick oven baked flat bread stuffed with stracchino cheese) which is also a cheesy delight.

Our server shows the proper way to serve the Focaccia Di Recco, which he then condenses on a smaller plate.

Our server shows the proper way to serve the Focaccia Di Recco, which he then condenses to a smaller plate.

A bread basket is not just a bread basket at Palladino's on Passyunk.

A bread basket is not just a bread basket at Palladino’s on Passyunk.

The chewy, delicious dough rips apart beautifully at Palladino's on Passyunk.

The chewy, delicious dough rips apart beautifully at Palladino’s on Passyunk.

Another star of the night was the Casonsei (candy wrapper pasta filled with roasted beets, smoked ricotta, crushed poppy seed burro fuso) which made beets a savory, carb-o-licious experience.

Another star of the night was the Casonsei (candy wrapper pasta filled with roasted beets, smoked ricotta, crushed poppy seed burro fuso) which made beets a savory, carb-o-licious experience.

The star of the night was the pasta, starting with the Tortello Di Zucca (butternut squash ravioli, sage brown butter & parmigiano reggiano) with it’s sweet, creamy flavor.

The star of the night was the pasta, starting with the Tortello Di Zucca (butternut squash ravioli, sage brown butter & parmigiano reggiano) with it’s sweet, creamy flavor.

A bauble of bubbles light fixture hangs above the doorway at Palladino's on Passyunk.

A bauble of bubbles light fixture hangs above the doorway at Palladino’s on Passyunk.

Grilled Fish Spiedino (skewered with bay leaves, salmoriglio sauce, grilled lemon) was so light and flaky, with the grilling and all the spices adding touches of flavor.

Grilled Fish Spiedino (skewered with bay leaves, salmoriglio sauce, grilled lemon) was so light and flaky, with the grilling and all the spices adding touches of flavor.

A delicious dry white Italian wine pairs well with the Fish Spiedino at Palladino's on Passyunk.

A delicious dry white Italian wine pairs well with the Fish Spiedino at Palladino’s on Passyunk.

Back in recent restaurant action Beef Cheeks (red wine-saba glaze, horseradish gremolata, mashed root vegetables) has people getting out of their comfort zone with crumbling meat and textured veggies.

Back in recent restaurant action Beef Cheeks (red wine-saba glaze, horseradish gremolata, mashed root vegetables) has people getting out of their comfort zone with crumbling meat and textured veggies.

As soon as you enter Palladino's on Passyunk, you can see the chefs hard at work to the right.

As soon as you enter Palladino’s on Passyunk, you can see the chefs hard at work to the right.

Pastry chef Jennifer Morales outdid herself with the Tartufo, Vanilla and Nutella gelato filled with maraschino cherries and hazelnuts, Valrhona chocolate ganache as each bite was better blended than the last.

Pastry chef Jennifer Morales outdid herself with the Tartufo, Vanilla and Nutella gelato filled with maraschino cherries and hazelnuts, Valrhona chocolate ganache as each bite was better blended than the last.

Luke’s Cannoli (Ricotta, cinnamon, candied orange, pistachios, chocolate) is a recipe straight from Sicily and according to The Pastry Prophet, it was the best cannoli she’s ever had!

Luke’s Cannoli (Ricotta, cinnamon, candied orange, pistachios, chocolate) is a recipe straight from Sicily and according to The Pastry Prophet, it was the best cannoli she’s ever had!

Luke’s Cannoli has one end dipped in pistachios and the other in chocolate chunks.

Luke’s Cannoli has one end dipped in pistachios and the other in chocolate chunks.

The guts of the Tartufo are exposed with Vanilla and Nutella gelato filled with maraschino cherries and hazelnuts, Valrhona chocolate ganache.

The guts of the Tartufo are exposed with Vanilla and Nutella gelato filled with maraschino cherries and hazelnuts, Valrhona chocolate ganache.

The bright red wood fire over at Palladino's on Passyunk is hard to miss and full of flavor.

The bright red wood fire oven at Palladino’s on Passyunk is hard to miss and full of flavor.

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