I am taking my husband out for his birthday next month and would like recommendations for a good Italian restaurant. I'm not a fan of the traditional South Philly red sauce Italian; I prefer Northern Italian cuisine. My husband is a big meat eater and particularly a fan of papardelle with meat sauce or mushrooms.
I no longer live in the area so I'm somewhat out of touch with good places to go. I took a look at the "top 50" recommended by Philadelphia Magazine but wasn't that excited about the selections. We are staying in South Jersey but happy to drive to Center City or South Philly. A BYO is okay and reservations are a must - we're doing this on a Saturday night and don't have an open-ended amount of time available to us. It doesn't need to be super hip, just pleasant with a nice ambiance and good food - and preferably no toddlers! (I have one at home). Price is not an issue but good value is: portion size should be proportional to price.
My mom sent me the following list of possible candidates. Please provide information about these places and recommendations of others that you think might fit the bill. Thanks in advance for the help, and I hope the specifics above are helpful in narrowing the field - I know there are an endless number of good Italian places in Philly.
Monte Carlo Dining Room
Valentino’s On the square