Good Taste: Crispy Artichoke Hearts

Clem Murray / Staff Photographer
Clem Murray / Staff Photographer
Posted: June 07, 2012

Just in case you’ve burned a few carbs during that brisk bike ride along Kelly Drive, Arthur Cavaliere’s In Riva awaits in East Falls — cafe windows swung open to the riverside terrace; Italian birras flowing; pizza oven ablaze with wood logs — to help replace a few carbs with some Neapolitan pies. The oven was burning a little too hot on our brunch visit (too many flaking char spots) and the sauce was a bit sweet for my taste. But Cavaliere, a longtime Starr and Garces vet who also worked at Central Michel Richard in D.C., is clearly still a good cook. Because we could not resist the other dishes, from the parfait of whipped ricotta with caramelized onions to the tender crock of meatballs touched with Marsala, sage, and golden raisins, inspired by Cavaliere’s "Mommy." My favorite, though, was the carciofi fritti, fresh-peeled artichokes steeped in lemon brine and then crisped in a thin pizza-flour crust. Mounded atop a creamy swirl of tart yogurt blended with preserved lemons, they’re reason enough for a bike ride.

Carciofi fritti, $9, In Riva, 4116 Ridge Ave., East Falls, 215-438-4848; www.in-riva.com

— Craig LaBan

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