1646 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1914839.928979 -75.164672
Neighborhoods: South Philadelphia, Bella Vista/ Southwark
Our Favorite BYOB – We love this place! The food is simple and delicious. There is nothing pretentious about Mr. Martino's, and that is why we like it. The service is great, and the atmosphere is quite charming.
very dark and yummy – good for vegetarians! they are very accommodating to make dishes to order.
prices are ok, but being a byob saves some money.
the owner and waitstaff are very friendly, helpful, and attentive -so rare in restaraunts these days. no one here is snooty or aloof.
the food is very tasty, the portions are medium.
great little hideaway.
Food was underwhelming – Cool vibe. Seating is a bit cramped. Service was above average. Unfortunately, the food was a bit boring and unimaginative. I had one of their special appetizer salads which turned out to be a pile of arugula with a few shavings of asiago cheese and a lemon vinaigrette. My entree was a piece of spinach lasagna with gravy on top. The lasagna was a bit overcooked and I swear the gravy tasted like a can of crushed tomatoes with no seasoning poured on top. It was really a shame. The other dishes at the table were equally unimpressive.
Best Kept Secret – Great food, great service, great atmosphere. I'm a vegetarian and can say this gem is very veg. friendly. Simple pasta dishes without a lot a meat. Of course meat eaters will have no problems with their menu either. Passyunk Ave. is booming with the Cantina and Paradiso near by but at Mr. Martino's. It's just you and great food without all the trendy hipsters
true treasure in dining – I had diner on Saturday and was surprised at what a little gem this place is.The owner was just the nicest and most acomodating of any place I have eaten. He went out of his way to all that were there dining .The owners wife does all of the prep ,cooking to order with no help from anyone[ a task that I could not imagine by anyone]. Each dish is a masterpiece! I will be back! Thank you
Still the same after all these years – OK, So the menu is limited and seldom changes. But if you want a place that you can really have an intimate conversation--even though there's another table close by--or just a nice place to take an out-of town friend to--Mr. Martino's is always the best.
My wife likes the Chicken with balsamic vinegar, I like the spinach ravioli with the sweet red pepper sauce. The tomato pesto is also very good, the spinach lasagna--when available is excellent--also the squid with baby arugula. On a busy night the service can be a little slow, but there's always more bread and oil to be had and the local bakery that they get the bread from is the best!
I only go to BYOB places and this is my favorite! Everyone we've ever taken there agrees. Try it!
The Atmosphere Really Makes It... – Service: 5
Speed of service (i.e. food preparation): 3
Taste of food: 3
Atmosphere / Ambiance: 5
Owner interaction: 5
I'll be honest - the food wasn't awesome, but it wasn't awful either (as some other reviewers have mentioned). Admittedly, I come to the table with pretty high expectations when I am paying someone to prepare food for me because I think I do a pretty good job at it myself.
The atmosphere really makes this place what it is (and I've been to other places with great food but lousy service or an awful atmosphere). The room is dimly lit, but not so much so that you can't see the other people at your table. While chatty, the room isn't so loud that you can't hear your dinner partners.
When we walked in, one of the servers asked if we had a reservation (which seemed a little absurd as the restaurant was nearly empty). A person (who we later found out was the owner) stood up, took the reservation booklet away and whispered something to the server; he probably realized the absurdity as well. We were told we could sit wherever we wanted.
I love that this is a BYO - no corkage fee (!). My wife and I started out with baked ricotta and dried Italian sausage with olives. This was wonderful paired with the soft bread brought out to our table. The ricotta was creamy and the sausage was spicy - remember, this is a cold dish.
Next (really, after what seemed like a bit of a wait) came our pasta - wife had the cheese tortellini and I had the veal tortellini. It was ok. Not really bad, but it wasn't incredible either. My wife told me she thought it was a little "plain."
We ended by sharing a Lemon tart. Again, this was okay, but nothing to write home about - heavy on the tart, but a little more liquidy than I might prefer.
Overall, it was a good time. The owner stopped by several times to ask us how we were - he seems to really care about the place. We'll probably go back.
Hidden Gem – What a great BYOB! My husband and I had heard lots of rumors about Mr. Martino's and finally decided to investigate. We were pleased to find that all the wonderful things we had heard about the food was right on. The staff were friendly and accomodating, which always makes dining out more pleasant.
Don't be mislead by the somewhat "shabby" appearance. The dark wood and sometimes rickety tables somehow add to the charm. I hate places that take themselves too seriously. At Mr. Martino's the food speaks for itself. People definitely do not wear sweatshirts to eat here, btw, that's ridiculous. But, you can feel comfortable dressing up a pair of jeans instead of going all out on glamazon outfit. Or if you're a glamazon, have at. No one is going to pay too much attention to your outfit because the dim lighting provides a sense of intimacy that will make you and your neighbors forget that anyone else is there with you.
Our meals had all the comfort of classic italian food with an upscale twist. We started with the baked ricotto, which was yummy (just know it comes out cold). The house dressing was great! I revelled in my ravioli with pumpkin sauce and soaked up every last drop with the ample supply of fresh, locally baked bread (Faragoli's). To top it off, we sampled the lemon tarte and expresso drinks. The coffee was great (and I'm picky about coffee). The lemon tarte is so delicious - definitely one of my favorite desserts ever!
Mr. Martino's will be a regular destination for us from now on! Don't miss it!
Always feels like home – Over the years I have become a "regular" to this home away from home, Mr. Martino's Trattoria in South Philly. When dining out with friends it takes a strong recommendation to convince me to make reservations elsewhere. Quite frankly, I fear being disappointed by less than delightful home cooked food prepared with extrodinary love and passion. On rainy autum nights like tonight, my heart longs for the warmth of their pasta fagiole or the heartiness of the polenta and sausage (yummm! my mouth waters as I write - I think I'll go call in a reservation). When I step into the entryway of the restaurant I feel transported from Passyunk Ave into some secret spot hidden on some side street in Europe, going there is an experience...from being greeted by the charming Mr. Martino's, to being served by the regular staff who seem more like family than employees to the taste of their refreshing house vinagrette on baked ricotta not to mention the simple, clean delicacy of the white bean soup and of course making the decision as to whether it is a balsamic chicken night or a fagiole night or pumpkin sauce for that matter, my personal experience there is rarely complete without a finale of Lemon Tart, this dessert gives new meaning to fresh and bursting with flavor. This restaurant is complete heart and soul and I am grateful to have happened on it several years ago...the consistency is phenomenal...my favorite dishes then are still served to the same degree of perfect deliciousness today...
I am so disappointed!!! – My husband and I decided to dine at Mr Martino's Trattoria after the theater. Before choosing a restuarant I did mega research at this website. We don't get into the city often and I really like to assure that our experience is the best that it can be. We have eaten at other BYOBs that were highly rated here and have had awesome meals, and assumed after the reviews that this would be no different. I ordered broccoli rabe as an appetizer. What was presented didn't even remotely resemble what is usually one of my favorite vegies. I expected the usual presentation, tender crisp,simply seasoned with olive oil and garlic. What I got was a watery mess, overcooked, sans the garlic, devoid of seasoning, gray, unpalatable. My husband got a mediocre bean soup. For entrees we figured we couldn't go wrong with pasta. Mr Martino's is known for their pasta. I ordered the tomato pesto, my husband the spinach ravioli in nutmeg butter sauce. Both pasta dishes were undercooked. I love al dente, but these presentations were both too doughy to be al dente. The tomato pesto wasn't a pesto at all, but more like a tomato sauce in the infant stage, lacking the full flavor of completion. The spinach ravioli could have been a winner if a little more thought was put into the preparation. Don't go there! Choose another spot for your date! With all the awesome restuarants in Philly you can definitely do better than this! By the way, romantic setting is relative. It's more like shabby chic.Our bread basket was so decrepit it looked like it belonged in the trash.
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