Ristorante Panorama (already annoyed that I will have to continuously type that out during this post, by the way) was located in the Penns View Hotel on the corner of Front & Market streets. Sounds easy enough to find, right? Nope. I already add at least 10 more minutes to my drive when I am going anywhere in Old City because I never know where the hell I am. 10 minutes extra was just not enough for us. Next time remind me not to use Siri to direct me. Once we finally parked and made our way through the foreign land that is Old City, we arrived at the Penns View Hotel which houses Ristorante Panorama. It was beautiful. It overlooked the river and had an amazing view of the lights of the Ben Franklin Bridge. There was some seating outside and I thought it would be a great place to go in the summer.
Regan & I met our friend Colleen at Panorama. We entered through the lobby of the hotel and then made our way back through a hallway to the restaurant. Of all the empty tables in the place, they sat us directly next to a couple. Why do they always do that, by the way? It has to be some restaurant formality that I am not aware of.
The cool thing about Panorama was that they included their entire menu in the restaurant week special. This was great because you knew you were going to get a good portion size
and that the food was going to be well prepared because they weren't just cranking out orders after orders of the same few dishes all night.
The waiter took our wine orders almost simultaneously as we sat down. Typically, I like to get my wine order in fast, but I didn't get a second to think about what I wanted. When we all ordered glasses of their house wines, we got a bit of a look. Clearly, people who eat here don't typically order the house merlot. I wanted to peruse the wine list to act like I knew what I was ordering, but frankly I would've ordered the cheapest glass anyways.
They started off some crackers on our table. We were all starved and annoyed that the only thing they were giving us was these pellets of dog food. It wasn't 30 seconds after I said "I'm putting this in my blog" did they come out with warm bread rolls with a delicious pesto dipping sauce. Touché Ristorante Panorama, touché.
We put in 3 apps that we could all share. We went with clams, calamari (duh) and the 'Mozzarella al Limone'. We were happily surprised that the mozzarella dish was basically fried cheese. All of the appetizers were great. Typical Italian restaurant apps, but I loved every second of them.
After much, much deliberation we finally chose what we wanted to order for our entrées. Regan got the Gnocchi con Provola Affumicata, homemade potato and ricotta gnocchi with fresh basil and fresh & smoked mozzarella in a light San Marzano tomato sauce. Colleen ordered the Pappardelle al Sugo d’Anatra, which was slow cooked duck over noodles. Saving the best for last, obviously, I got the Tagliatelle con Funghi e Granchio homemade pasta tossed with mixed mushrooms in olive oil with chives topped with lump crabmeat. Regan's gnocchi was perfect. It was light and fluffy, not too thick. Colleen didn't love her duck (duck, though?), but she also didn't love most of her meal. Being from Scranton, PA and experiencing all of the fine dining establishments NEPA has to offer, I can understand her pickiness. I love love loved my meal! The fact that it was only tossed with olive oil and not a thick sauce made it easy to taste the flavors of the mushrooms and crab.
I ordered the cheesecake special. I thought it was great, but Colleen was like "that is great to you?!" So maybe it wasn't that good. I guess I was feeling weirdly optimistic that night.
So the bill comes. It's restaurant week, I am expecting this to be a breeze of a bill. Wrong, wrong, wrong. With tip, $180. Luckily, I only had to pay with my gift card and then add $10, but Regan and Colleen had to drop $60 on dinner on a Tuesday night which hurts my heart. But great time, great laughs, great friends, lots of food. Can't wait to venture back in the summer for happy hour!