We were feeling too tired to cook, but didn't want to "dine" - just wanted good food in a pleasant atmosphere for a reasonable price.
And we found Nido!
Nido was reviewed recently in the CityPaper by Maxine Keyser, and we really trust her reviews. It lived up to her praise.
We both had the grilled octopus appetizer - tender and delicious - and I ate more bread than I meant to because I had to sop up the garlicky sauce. The bread is the dense, crusy kind that my husband loves. It is made by the chef's father who has a bakery in South Philly.
My pesto rigatoni didn't disappoint. My husband makes such good pesto that I can be a harsh critic, but this was as good as his. I do think I would prefer it on a less heavy pasta, but this is the chef's choice and I probably have a minority view.
My husband had the fettucini Il Nido - satiny noodles tossed with truffle oil and fresh vegetables. An outstanding dish!
We couldn't agree on a dessert to share, so we each had one. My husband's ricotta cheese cake was one of the best versions - light, creamy, delicately flavored. But my semifreddo - wow! It was full of crunchy nuts with some chocolate in there, cream and strawberry slices on the side, and it was heaven.
The chef's husband was our waiter, and he was friendly and anxious to please. The room, which used to be Buon Appetito, is small and pleasant and for the time being - quiet. It's BYOB. Our bill was under $60, not including tip. The meat entrees - veal, chicken, steak, etc. - all seemed to be in the teens.
The only challenge with Nido is parking. Cars were double-parked all through the neighborhood. If you don't mind walking two blocks, there always seem to be spots on Broad Street.
Some of these new chef-owned places have been ordinary and disappointing. It was a pleasure to discover a go-back-to spot.