Enoteca Tredici, a dining treat, indoors or out

Pistachio crusted scallops at Enoteca Tredici – Chase Shatzman ’24

The Enoteca Tredici experience brought with it a few perks and served up a couple of powerful punches.

     Given the CDC rules that govern gatherings and restrictions placed on restaurants, food establishments have seen diminished patronage as well as have been challenged by the need to provide aesthetically pleasing outdoor atmospheres.

     Bryn Mawr’s Enoteca Tredici seems to have taken parking-lot dining to a new level. My party dined at a table inside the restaurant by a large window overlooking a tented area that could have fooled any diner into believing that they were part of a highly decorated annex. 

     Most tables were at least six feet apart, although it seemed a bit forced as patrons were numerous. Even as I exited the restaurant, it felt as if I were maneuvering around a crowded rush-hour train station. It became apparent by the crowds waiting by their cars for a table, that this was a hot spot for great dining.

     I ordered the calamari appetizer—a safe, generic choice. It had the perfect blend of freshness with the added punch of a citrus crust. For my main entree, I ordered the popular lamb chops. The exterior meat was tender, juicy, and seasoned to perfection.

     However, the recommended medium cooked order came with the surprise of a rare and cold center. We kindly brought this to the attention of the waiter and asked for the chef to put the untouched portion back on the grill. The waiter apologized for the inconvenience, brought the meal back to the kitchen, and returned with a plate of aesthetically displeasing meat.

     Unfortunately, this time the entrée was overcooked and too tough to eat. The manager had no idea that I was reviewing his restaurant, and to his credit, he saw the unfortunate-looking lamb, apologized for the meal, and later generously excluded this item from the bill. The owners should give him a raise.  

In spite of the little bumps along the way, this was a positive dining experience and one that you should not miss.

     Two members of my party ordered the pistachio-crusted scallops. Although there were only three scallops on the small serving dish, their perfection counterbalanced the unfortunate lamb-chop debacle. These three crustaceans were fresh and perfectly seasoned. The crust had a distinctive pistachio glaze that would please any critical palate. My compliments to the chef. They were incredible and definitely a must-have should you visit Enoteca.

     Our waiter was a pleasant fellow who tried desperately to be humorous and accommodating. Still, we were a forgotten table. Perhaps he spent a little too much friendly time at each table, or the restaurant was so packed by returning satisfied customers that it was difficult to keep up with the service. In spite of the little bumps along the way, this was a positive dining experience and one that you should not miss. Restaurants are having a tough time and if you can support your local businesses, they will be there for you when the pandemic is over. Bravo Enoteca!