Philly has so many great Italian restaurants. Yet I never quite found one that made me want to go back over and over again. That was until last December when we left the Christmas Village starving. We thought about going home to cook, but as we approached where our car was parked, we saw Gran Caffe L’Aquila. Really, it was the case containing a huge assortment of gelato flavors that caught my eye, but we looked the restaurant up on Yelp, saw it had great reviews, and decided to give it a shot. The restaurant itself has a beautiful story that’s worth reading. Most of the dishes are served in the form of “Assaggi”, which are small Tapas portions, but meant to be shared. The most fascinating part of the menu – in my humble opinion – is the list of Maestro Biasini’s Gelato Pairings. These are dishes that are accompanied with savory gelato, and let me just say, they’re the most unusual yet amazing combinations, and yes, I’ve been to Gran Caffe L’Aquila about 8 times since.

A month ago, my sister told me about a Travelzoo special: a chef’s tasting lunch for two for $69. Just how could we resist? I have to say I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with a tasting menu – other than perhaps the portions would be a lot smaller – but I was so, so wrong! There was plenty of food, and we each left full and happy! The dish I was most leery about was the chicken (the hubby really wanted it, so we ordered that) because most places tend to overcook it, but it was bursting with flavor and so incredibly juicy! If you can make it there before the end of the month, definitely check out the special because it’s such a great deal! Be aware though that if you’re going there for this tasting lunch (or dinner), some of the waitstaff might be just a little confused with the menu, which was what happened with us, but they were so sweet about it, and all that confusion – in no way – changed my love for this place! I’m already dreaming about my next visit there. If you have yet to try Gran Caffe L’Aquila, please do so! Feel free to get in touch with me if you want suggestions of my personal favorites from their menu!

 Menu

Burrata and buffalo mozzarellaIMG_0101AranciniIMG_0106

Olive ascolane   IMG_0107 Homemade lemon sorbetto IMG_0118
Pappardelle al ragu
IMG_0117Pollo al mattone IMG_0111Gelato samplerIMG_0125