SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 9

By Gary J. Friedlander, Esq.
fter more than a year of hibernation
due to Covid-19, my wife and I
ventured out for our first in-house
restaurant dinner since March 2020. Though
it felt odd to be eating inside at a restaurant
after so much time, it was also comforting
knowing that maybe life was heading back
to some normalcy. For this re-entry into
inside dining, we chose Fraschetta located on
Lancaster Avenue in the heart of Bryn Mawr.
After years of passing the restaurant and
hearing such positive reviews, I decided that
this would be a good choice for the first indoor
dining experience. For those lesser daring
diners, Fraschetta does offer outside dining
with the tables being located on the sidewalk
in front of the restaurant.
Fraschetta is an Italian restaurant whose menu consists of
traditional and Roman dishes. It is also a BYOB. The restaurant
is not overly large. Though there is also seating on the second
floor, this was not an option on the night we were there. To
be compliant with the pandemic restrictions, the tables were
spaced apart leaving seating for approximately 25 people. When
the restrictions are lifted, it would appear that the number of
tables can be doubled. The only negative with the location is the
The chef, Gianluca Demonstris, was born and raised in
Rome and his cooking was described as being influenced by his
background. The menu is broken into three courses: antipasti;
primi; and, secondi. To provide a complete perspective as to the
menu, my wife and I felt compelled to order from each category.
To start, my wife ordered the Gnocchi alla Romana. These
were unlike any other gnocchi I have eaten. Unlike traditional
gnocchi, these were the size of a meatball and were made from
semolina and stuffed with goat cheese. They were served with
truffle mushrooms and truffle oil. They were rich in flavor and,
yet, pillowy in texture. This choice was one of the best bites of
the meal. My choice for appetizer was the Polpo, Mediterranean
octopus salad with potatoes, French beans, and pickled red
onions finished with white wine vinaigrette and Calabrian chili
oil. The octopus was prepared perfectly with each piece tender.
The accompanying dressing was light but tasty. Other choices
included Polpette (veal, pork, beef meatball, tomato sauce, and
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kale pesto), Fritto Misto (Trio of fried calamari,
shrimp, and zucchini served with caper aioli),
and Barbaietola (Roasted beets, burrata, zucchini
spaghetti, Lemon oil aged balsamico).
Next, we moved onto the Primi portion of
the menu. This section of the menu offered six
pasta dishes. My wife chose the Ravioli di Zucca
- roasted squash and ricotta ravioli in a brown
butter sage sauce, raisins, and pecorino. This
dish was outstanding. The ravioli was cooked to
perfection and the brown butter sage sauce was
delicious but not overpowering. My choice for
pasta was the special, a pistachio pesto fuselli. The
pesto sauce was delicious and clung to the pasta.
Other choices included Bucatini all'Amatriciana
(Spicy tomato and house-made pancetta sauce, pecorino and
black pepper), Pappardelle alle Olive (Gulph shrimp, scallops,
gaeta and castelvetrana olives in a light garlic tomato sauce), and
Linguine Alle Vongole (Little neck clams, grape tomatoes, oyster
mushrooms, garlic).
With the secondi course, it was difficult to select an entrée.
My wife chose the Ossobuco - a braised lamb shank in herbed
white wine sauce, bell peppers, gremolata, creamy cacio e pepe
polenta. The lamb was so tender that it fell off the bone. As we
were sharing dishes, my favorite bite from her entree was the
polenta. It was creamy and tasty. I could have eaten only that and
would have been happy. My choice for entrée was the Grigliata di
pesce - Grilled jail island salmon, calamari, and gulf shrimp with
garlic mashed potatoes in lemon oil. The salmon was prepared to
perfection as was the accompanying calamari. Other choices for
entrees included Tagliata di Manzo (Grilled dry-aged strip steak
with truffle fries), Involtino di Maiale (Pork tenderloin stuffed with
prosciutto, sage marsala pan sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and
sauteed greens.
Though the desserts on the menu all seemed enticing, after the
entrees, there was, unfortunately, no room. The choices, which
all sounded wonderful, included a Vanilla Crème Brulee ($8.50),
Mille Foglie (a deconstructed cannoli with sweet Rocitta candied
oranges pistachios - $9.00), Tortinio (chocolate cake - $9.00) and
Tiramisu - $8.50. All desserts are made in-house so, if they are at
all like the other courses, I am sure they are delicious.
Our meal was memorable and we look forward to returning
SUMMER 2021 9

SIDEBAR Summer 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SIDEBAR Summer 2021

SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 1
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 2
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 3
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 4
SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 5
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SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 9
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