Criag Laban, food critic of the Philadelphia Inquirer, had some wonderful things to say about Le Virtu in his live chat this past Tuesday. Here is what he said below. But first, congratulations are in order to the entire staff of the Philly Inq. Great job guys! TANTI AUGURI!
“As most of you know, it’s been a rough few months here at the Inquirer, with big time layoffs, etc… but what a ray of sunshine and jolt… of energy yesterday when our education team took the Pulitzer prize for their amazing “Assault on Learning” series. Kudos to my colleagues! But… where to get a reservation for 30 on a moment’s notice when the obvious Center City places are already booked with a convention? The answer for my colleagues was Le Virtu, the authentic Abruzzese wonder in deep South Philadelphia. The reports are that it was a huge success, from the stuffed fried olives, house-made sausage, and antipasto platter with house-charcuterie, to the 100-foot long rope of a noodle (maccheroni alla mugnaia) presented on a few big wooden platters in two different sauces – a tomato-lamb ragu, and another in garlicky pecorino. With some great verdicchio and a montepulciano flowing, and it was one party I’m sorry to have missed. Big thanks to chef Joe Cicala for showing my colleagues his best on short notice! Now that the weather is warm, and Le Virtu’s patio is open, it might just be time for a revisit.” -Craig Laban