Finally - The real deal..
We drove to Philadelphia to see the Galileo exhibition at the Franklin Institute, then headed to South Philly for some genuine Italian cooking. At Cucina Forte we found a home away from home.
It is the real deal in Italian culture and cuisine.
The wait staff warmly welcomed our family, including our young son, even though we did not have a reservation. While the adults enjoyed fresh spinach gnocchi in salsa and grilled bronzino, the kitchen staff delivered our son an off-menu meal of penne in bianco when asked, without a problem. Penne with just a little olive oil and salt, exaclty the way they do it for fussy bambini in Italy.
The service was excellent, the atmosphere relaxed and friendly, and the bill was more than reasonable.
We are ex-New Yorkers, used to rude service, wait staff that scowl at kids, and steep prices for mediocre food.
Cucina Forte is a Philly icon. We recommend it.
Great Italian joint. We loved this place! Great little italian spot, good ambiance, cozy with great food. Thank you for a good dining experience!
Great food, great atmosphere, great service. My fiance and I visited Cucina Forte for the first time last night and had an unexpectedly delightful experience. Everything was exquisite, from the delicious home-made bread, to the clams in white wine sauce, linguine with calamari, gnocchi, and chicken. We did not have room for dessert because we wanted to try menu items (all pastas can be ordered in appetizer portions), but will definitely try one next time. They are all home-made as well, so are guaranteed to be delicious. Highly recommended by Philadelphia foodies.
Almost my favorite restaurant.
Ok, the first time I visited Cucina Forte, it was a Friday. Two wonderful women worked the front of the house. They knew everything about the food, made recommendations, and made sure our portions were appropriate. I began telling everyone with a set of ears to go to this place. ?Dream soup, gnocchi, ravioli, and the desserts are to die for!?
Sadly, I went back a month later on a Saturday. This time, there were two men working. One was a super nice guy who made menu suggestions, helped run food, filled our water, etc... This was not our waiter. Our waiter, guy with slicked back wavy hair, was awful. He catered to his regulars only, rushed us through our meals, didn't even look at us while we were ordering, never checked back. I felt uncomfortable even eating there. The food was still amazing, but we were so distracted by the service I didn't enjoy myself at all. 30 minutes into our meal, I grabbed the good waiter and had him open our wine, refill our water. At the end of the meal, I had to alert the good waiter to grab our check and we were on our way.
If Maria were to come out, I would have shared this with her-even if he was her own son. The food is great Maria, but the service was so inconsistent. I would go back. If I walked in to see the one guy working, I would turn around and leave for having a 50% chance of getting him again.
Do not go here.
We were a fan of Maria Forte's going back to when she had a restaurant on Passyunk ave. The food has deteriorated considerably at Cucina Forte. We recently took the whole family for easter dinner and it was our wortst restaurant experience ever. From food that arrived cold, and half cooked, to a waitress who was hired specifically for that day, it was an ugly performance by the whole staff. I contacted the restaurant after the so called dinner on 2 occasions, and was assured Maria would get back to me. After spending $800 you think she would. I am still waiting for the call. cucina forte will not see us again
gnocchi to die for. Went to cucina forte on many recommendations. The gnocchi were fabulous as were the apps. We were going to the theater so we had a early seating. Only one other table was occupied. The rest of our party was running late but we sat anyway. The waiter did not offer water or to open our wine or actually ask us anything. After walking around a moving tables he finally came over and said "I guess I could open the wine". We ordered apps and they came out in a timely fashion just as two larger parties entered. This seem to take up all their time and it felt like they actually forgot us. Our meal was served, at least for three people, the fourth was not brought out for some time, also one of the orders had the wrong sauce. We had to finally get the attention of he waiter so we could have coffee and get on our way. Even though the service was just OK the food was great and I would go again.
Amazing Food, Great Atmosphere!. I went here for my Birthday dinner this year and couldn't have had a better experience. The people that worked there were all wonderful and very accommodating for 8 people in a small restaurant. And, even more importantly, the food was absolutely amazing! As several other reviewers have said, the gnocci was to die for! You can get it as an appetizer to try or also as an entree. Not to mention, the other food is amazing as well. I would highly reccomend this place to anyone, be it for a group dinner or a romantic night out.
Feel like you're in Italy!. Excellent food! The gnocchi are to die for and if they have the pasta special that are described as "little pillows", you MUST order it! Everything we ate was fantastic and very reasonably priced! I will definitely return.
best gnocchi!. Cucina Forte is great! Tiny place, attentive & friendly service. The best gnocchi's! I couldn't decide which to get, spinach or ricotta, so the server suggested I order half & half. Both were delicious and so light! The gorgonzola sauce was good, but very rich!
AMAZING. This place is simply AMAZING. I have eaten here alot and it is always great. Great service and great atmosphere.
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