Visited Pepperoncini Sotto recently with friends. Our reservations were recognized and we were promptly seated in the dining room. It was a Friday night and the place was pretty well packed. The adjoining bar area was rather loud and there were live musicians performing which raised the noise level in the dining area even more.
Italian bread and seasoned olive oil came to the table quickly and were refilled without asking. Opening salads that came with dinner were simple but nicely chilled and fresh. One of our guests ordered her salad without dressing and unfortunately the three other salads were also served that way. Our server removed the cost of our desserts from the bill to compensate for this oversight. Our dining partners ordered Veal Sinatra (with crab, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, herbs and wine over linguini) and Chicken Parmesan (also with linguini) and enjoyed them both. I chose Chicken San Nicola (with shrimp, crab, sun-dried tomatoes in a white wine sauce) and it was well prepared tasty. My wife selected Herb Roasted Chicken served with goat cheese risotto and it was not pleasant. The risotto was dry and way over-cooked and also very over-cheesed causing the flavor to clash with, rather than compliment, the rosemary grilled chicken. If an Italian restaurant screws up risotto, you can't help but question the skill level of the kitchen. My wife gave her dish a below average. We ordered tiramisu for dessert which was served still frozen in the middle. When we were in Costco several days later, we thought we saw the same cake in their freezer. Why not a delicious made in house dessert?
It should be noted that we recently dined at Pepperoncini's original location in Conshohocken. Our experience there was quite positive so it was difficult for us not to make comparisons. We preferred the "feel" of the Conshy location - smaller, more warm and cozy - and the service there was quite a bit better. Our server in Phoenixville told us that our dinner order had gotten stuck behind that of a large party in the other room and as a result, we waited a LONG time for our entrees. Menus at both places are identical however we felt the preparations in Conshohocken were far better. Phoenixville does offer complimentary valet parking which is a big plus over having to find a parking spot on the streets of Conshy.
Our bill for food alone came to $102 but keep in mind we were not charged for our dessert. Wine and drinks average about $10 so take that into consideration also. If you're not familiar with Pepperoncini, our suggestion is to make the drive to their Conshohocken location; you'll have a much nicer dining experience.
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