We went to the newest Valentino's on S. 19th just off Rittenhouse Square next to Marathon on the Square. We went over the Labor Day weekend and I think they had just opened so please consider that when you read this. The place is decorated a little over the top for us. Tables for two are so tight together that you really are sitting at tables for four or more. If you remember the days of the "men's steak houses" where they bring out the meat choices on a tray before being cooked, this is what you will get at Valentino's. Actually, it is two large plates, one with meats the other with fish. It took the young lady a long time to go through all the choices (none of which were on the menu and of course not priced). When a couple sat down next to us at their "table for two", she went through the whole spiel again. I think that whole process was a little over the top. I did not ask about the prices, but am guessing mid 20's for an entree.
Anyway, we shared an appetizer of cold chopped shrimp sitting in a liquid that tasted exactly like Russian Dressing. It was hard for us to determine if it was really shrimp since it tasted so hard. To be honest, I love shrimp, but had no idea what I was eating. For my main course, I ordered Cappelini Valentino, which was pasta in a light red sauce with crab meat. It was very good, although the crab had not fused with the sauce. My partner had penne puttanesca and swore that the penne was never cooked. I tried it and thought it was not quite al dente. It could have been cooked longer. Our server could never quite deliver the right plate to the right diner and that kept us interested throughout our dinner.
There are so many Italian BYOB's around there that I dont think I need to go back. They have a ways to go to compete with Branzino and Caste Diva.
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