One of my close friends defended her PhD yesterday (alleluia, they DO let you out) and we all celebrated by dining at a more recent addition to the Philly scene, La Fontana della Citta. This restaurant recently filled a vacancy which had been open for 10 years and there is often a line seen snaking out onto the busy sidewalk, so I was excited to see what the fuss was all about. Upon entering, I was immediately overwhelmed by the grandness of the high ceilinged space and the ornate furnishings. The noise level was quite high and servers rushed to and fro filling water glasses and bread baskets and guiding throngs of people through the extensive menu choices. My penne puttanesca was quite good and the portobello pepperoni arrosto exceptional, however, the gnocchi al gorgonzola while creamy, disappointingly lacked the pungent strength of its namesake cheese. But this blog is dedicated to desserts so let's move on to the good stuff.
I have a slight obsession with cannolis and love few things more than a creamy rich, yet not overtly sweet tube of ricotta and mascarpone, balanced by its crunchy (never soggy) shell. Imagine my disappointment when I traveled to Tuscany this summer, only to realize that cannoli are native to Sicily and are only found frozen in Tuscany! Last night's particular sample had an inventive twist with what i think was chunks of coconut in the cheese enhanced by a touch of coconut rum perhaps. The shell, which I really only notice if it is bad, was good but the filling was perhaps a little heavy on the marscarpone for my taste. I prefer the grittier sweetened ricotta.
The tartufo was tasty with a real cherry in the center, but rather than being dipped in solidified chocolate it was dusted with cocoa and quickly melted into a puddle.
Sorbets were a nice, light treat adorned with the rinds of their former life and the tiramisu was good although the vienna fingers were not sufficiently soaked in coffee and rum.
Overall, because of the loud environs, the priciness and the lack of a star dish, I don't think this is a place I'm willing to line up around the block for.
La Fontana della Citta
1701 Spruce St