I”ve been wanting to go to this restaurant ever since I smelled the garlic wafting out the front door during my first First Friday in Philadelphia. I finally talked Senor Lanky into going with me. While it was packed, we were able to make a 9PM reservation, were seated promptly when we arrived, and were treated to great service throughout the meal.
We started with the sesame seeded baguette, with a mild, oily, white bean and garlic spread. I was starving by 9pm, so I probably gobbled more of this than I should have.
I ordered the crepine con funghi, buckwheat crepes filled with mushrooms and topped with what they call a “nutmeg sauce.” I’d call it a cream sauce, with some nutmeg. It was increadibly rich and tasty. I wanted Senor Lanky to share it with me, but he only had eyes for the crab cakes with scallops, so I had to eat most of this myself. He did, later, aknowlege that mine had been the superior appetizer.
Unfortunately, La Locanda is a little low on vegetarian options. Wanting to avoid another cream sauce (and thereby the spinach gnocchi, which looked wonderful), I order the fettucino all gntica, pasta with sauted eggplant, fresh basil, and almond bread crumbs. The eggplant was peeled and very soft, forming a sauce with the basil. This was a very comforting, if not terribly exciting dish – sort of like the mac & cheese of Italian food, perhaps?
As you can see, it was a very carb heavy meal, and with a bottle of wine, dessert was out of the question. We rolled ourselves out of the door with half of my pasta, happy. My only complaint is that the pasta courses, especially for primi, are quite expensive (around $20) and HUGE. But we liked the food and romantic yet boisterous atmosphere, and will be back.