Pietro’s Pizzeria is worth a try for Italian food lovers



Joanna Carbone

Italian food is a staple for most people. But honestly, not all Italian food is good. Sure, if you only eat premade pasta sauce on a regular basis most Italian restaurants feel like a step up, but I prefer to hold my Italian food to a higher standard. I’ve been to hundreds of Italian restaurants in my life—a handful in Italy, too—so trust me when I say that while there is some amazing-stuff-your-face Italian food, there is also some that is worth skipping. 

Pietro’s in Radnor has not come close to topping my list of Italian restaurants, but it would be a lie to say there is nothing redeemable to be eaten.Pietro’s Pizzeria and Birreria in Radnor is an off-shoot of the well known Pietro’s Pizza in Philadelphia. 

The restaurant boasts a pretty simple menu made up of starters, salads, pizza, pastas and a few simple entrees. There is also an extensive wine and beer menu. All of the plates cost between $8-$20, which is extremely reasonable. 

The restaurant has three seating areas, one dining room, one bar/dining room and a small outdoor patio. On a weekend night every table is typically filled, so make sure you call ahead for a reservation. 

Pietro’s atmosphere is definitely a big draw for casual dining, as well as a date or more formal occasion. It has a rustic, urban feel to it with a lot of refurbished wood and brickwork. 

Anyone would be pleased with the look of the restaurant, but just be aware that because the restaurant is busy, and airs on the side of casual, it does get very noisy so I would not recommend bringing anyone hard of hearing here for conversation.

My reservation was a Friday night at seven. Friday nights are typically busy, but there was an especially large crowd because it was parents weekend. 

I arrived five minutes late and saw three tables open that could have been mine. I waited on a line of different couples who all seemed to be feuding with the four hostesses. When it was my turn, I told the girls my reservation time and name and she told me to wait outside. 

I would like to take a moment to recognize that I have never been to a restaurant with more than two hostesses—or at least two at the front desk. Secondly, the four  hostesses seemed far too young to run the seating of a busy restaurant. 

Of course the girls forgot I was there and after waiting 15 minutes I went up to them again and was seated by 7:20 at one of the tables that was open when I came in. The other couples were still at the door unseated. 

My companion and I decided to try two starter plates and split one entrée. The starters were stuffed meatballs and fried smoked mozzarella. Of the two, I preferred the fried smoked mozzarella. The flavor was richer and deeper than regular mozzarella sticks. The cheese oozed out when you took a bite into it, and the dipping sauce was complementarily flavored. 

The meatballs were not up to my standard—I have been spoiled with homemade meatballs my entire life—but they were not terrible. The cheesy center and well-made sauce made me want to keep eating them, but not life changing.

For the pasta dish we went with rigatoni Bolognese. In case you don’t know much about Italian food, rigatoni is the cylindrical pasta with small ridges, and Bolognese sauce is a richer red meat sauce made with vegetables, wine and sometimes cream. The dish is not the easiest to perfect, but easy to make pleasing nonetheless. 

My companion and I both enjoyed the pasta dish, specifically the flavor of the sauce. However, we did note that the meat was slightly overcooked making the consistency of the dish a little undesirable. I will add that both tables next to us had at least one dish of Bolognese being eaten. 

For dessert we stuck to a simple sorbet, which was light, fruity and a great end to the meal. The desserts at Pietro’s are definitely worth a try. 

To sum up my dinner at Pietro’s Pizzeria in Radnor, I was happy with the food. I would return again for a simple Italian meal if I’m not looking to stray too far out of the University area. 

However, between the slow seating, an overworked waiter who was hard to get a hold of and a lot of time between courses, I will not be returning on a night where I have other places to be or want my patience tested.