Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 28

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An Evening at
Nonna's Table
By Susan N. Denaro, Esquire

M

y favorite food to eat growing up was Italian, but dining
in an Italian restaurant was a rarity. My father believed
the Italian eateries all served over-cooked pasta and often
marginalized dishes to appeal to the masses. As an adult, I've come
to agree that fare in most Italian restaurants rarely compares to the
home-cooked meals my parents took tremendous pride in preparing.
After all, my father's parents trained both of my parents how to serve
authentic Italian fare.

The memory of the traditional Italian Sunday dinners at my
Nonna' s place in South Philadelphia still makes my mouth water.
Fortunately, Salute Ristorante Italiano, 4718 Penn Avenue in Sinking
Spring, reminds me of being back at my Nonna's dining room table,
and it is one of the few Italian restaurants anywhere that's at the top of
my list when I want comfort food.

On a recent Friday night, a buddy and I went there on the spur of
the moment. We bellied up to the bar and started with some negronis
while we waited for a booth. I've never seen the place less than half
full, so making reservations in advance is a good idea, but I never mind
the wait when the drinks are what I consider to be a 'generous pour.'
And that's the case at Salute.

Salute Ristorante Italiano
4718 Penn Avenue
Sinking Spring PA 19610
www.saluteristorante.com

Before we managed to finish our first cocktail, we were shown
to our booth. After a little prompting from the owner, Giovanni
Giannotti, we ordered and were promptly served the buffalo
mozzarella platter. We might have skipped the starter had Giovanni
not told us that the tennis ball sized cheese serving had been freshly
prepared. I don't think I've ever experienced such a young cheese
and we could taste its salty freshness. It was plated with finely sliced
Prosciutto di Parma, halved cherry tomatoes tossed with a bright fresh
pesto, and slices of rosemary focaccia. The aroma of the aged balsamic
vinegar, which was drizzled alongside the food, was what initially drew
us into the platter. We scooped the vinegar up with our knives and
spread it over the cheese, which we in turn had slathered on top of the
warm bread. Each bite was soul-satisfying.
The serving size of that cheese platter was large enough to be a
meal. Had no other food followed this dish, I would have left happy
and comforted, and I could've resolved to return another night for
dinner. About halfway through the cheese starter, we asked our server
to box our next course to go, knowing that we would be too full by the
time our entrées arrived if we ate the full first two courses; entrees at
Salute include a soup or salad course. Since Salute's earthy cream of

28 | Berks Barrister


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Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019

Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 1
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 2
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 3
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