Best Find: Villa Barolo Ristorante and Wine Bar
By Kristin E. Holmes
Philadelphia Inquirer, March 2007
What we like: Capellini with spinach, grilled chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, olive oil and garlic.
What it offers: Leung Lo, the Hong Kong-born owner/chef who is known
simply as Lo, believes that more is better and that every customer from the
mother on a budget to the CEO on an expense account should find
something appetizing on the menu.
Translation: There are more than 80 items on Villa Barolo's lunch menu,
and more than 150 served for dinner. There are 155 bottles of wine on the
wine list, and 38 are available by the glass.
For lunch, there is everything from a BLT to shrimp in a pink cognac cream
sauce. Dishes range from $7 to $38. For those who prefer game, the
restaurant features antelope, elk and ostrich.
The capellini dish lunch special is delicate shoestring pasta dressed with
pungent garlic and smoky chicken. Sausage, peppers and onions give heft
and sweetness to the Italian-style frittata.
Decor, decor, decor: Villa Barolo, named after an Italian wine known for
its lush bouquet and robust body, features surroundings that feel cozy yet
expansive. Lo calls it "modern European," accented with marble and
decorated in greens, rusts, golds and wood. There are a raw bar, main dining area, wine bar, and private dining room.
Background: Lo studied French and European cuisine as a teenager and moved to Philadelphia to take his first cooking job at the Hershey Hotel. He was executive chef at La Veranda Ristorante in Philadelphia before he opened his first restaurant in 1995, the Marco Polo in Elkins Park.
"I rented the space in Elkins Park, and I thought after 10 years, I should own my own bricks," Lo said. He sold his business, but kept his kitchen and management staff when he purchased the property in Warrington. He opened Villa Barolo in October 2005.
Where: Route 611 and Bristol Road, Warrington; 215-491-9370.
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.