June 19, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Thursday, 11 June 2009 13:20
Open since Jan. 17, Madonia Restaurant & Bar has become one of the area’s favorite dining places, with numerous signature items.
The building on Long Ridge Road, previously occupied by Giovanni’s and Giordano’s restaurants, has been dramatically remodeled and includes a large banquet room accommodating 65 for private functions and an intimate wine dining room seating 8 to 10.
Featured on the Madonia menu, designed by Executive Chef Frank Coe and working partner Chef Enzo Bruno, are a jumbo crabcake with spring greens and roasted pepper remoulade; vegetable terrine with asparagus, artichoke and truffle vinaigrette; lobster BLT with avocado and tomato aioli; Amish free range chicken with cider, sage and apricot glaze; Australian free range lamb chops with minted pesto; and braised boneless short ribs with tamarind-tomato glaze.
Pasta dishes ($14 to $17), are pennoni and spicy Italian sausage with broccolini, fennel, roasted garlic and smoked paprika; bucatini all’ amatriciana, with pancetta, cured black olives, sweet onion; hot chiles and housemade marinara sauce; and spaghetti with baby meatballs, served either as an appetizer or an entrée.
Seafood dishes ($20 to $28) are pan-roasted Atlantic salmon and asparagus with caramelized fennel and honey herb verjus; potato-encrusted sea bass with pea puree and lobster-tarragon sauce; and pan seared halibut and artichokes with leeks and blood orange dressing.
Chef Bruno, originally from Calabria, attended culinary school in Paola, Italy, and came to the United States in 1994 to visit family members who own a restaurant in Philadelphia. He decided to remain to open his own restaurant.
Madonia manager and maitre d’ is Serafino Tripicchio.
Originally from County Cork, Ireland, Chef Frank Coe trained in France and worked in London where his mother was a pastry chef. He came to the United States in 1995 and worked at high-end restaurants in New York City. He also owned a restaurant, Wild Goose, on Long Island.
During a tableside visit Chef Coe enthusiastically described upcoming menus for the summer and plans for game dinners in the fall.
Appetizers at Madonia are from $8 for tomato bruschetta to $13 for Blue Point oysters on the half shell; salads, $8 for classic Caesar, to $ 16 for lobster; sandwiches, and panini from $9 to $15; pastas, $14 to $17; and paella for two, $38. Poultry, fish and meat entrees range from $16 to $32, and all are beautifully plated.
Signature desserts, $8 to $10, are Bailey’s tiramisu, apple-apricot tart, and molten chocolate cake.
With attention to detail, the menu at Madonia Restaurant & Bar offers many interesting combinations, affordably priced.
Serving lunch 11 to 4 Tuesday to Saturday; dinner 4 to 10 Tuesday to Thursday; Friday and Saturday 4 to 11; a la carte Sunday brunch 10 to 3; Sunday dinner 3 to 9.
Reservations suggested; handicap accessible; major credit cards; full bar; wine by the glass, $7 to $9; by the bottle, starting at $24, half-price on selected vintages on Thursday evenings; traditional Northern Mediterranean cuisine; vegetarian dishes; game in season; take-out; off-premises catering; wine dinners; private functions, accommodating 65 in the banquet room, 100 in the main dining room; private wine room for 8 to 10; entertainment pending; parking adjacent to the restaurant. Valet parking Friday and Saturday.
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