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Mr Martino's Trattoria

Map & Directions
(30 Reviews)

1646 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148

(215) 755-0663

27
YEARS
IN BUSINESS
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Hours

Regular Hours

Payment method
cash, no credit cards
Price Range
$$
Neighborhoods
South Philadelphia, Bella Vista - Southwark
Categories
Italian Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Italian, European, Continental

Alcohol: Yes, No

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: No

Price Range : Average

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Reviews

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mncl425

10/07/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Our Favorite BYOB

We love this place! The food is simple and delicious. There is nothing pretentious about Mr. Martino's, and that is why we like it. The service is great, and the atmosphere is quite charming.

craiggannon

07/28/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
very dark and yummy

good for vegetarians! they are very accommodating to make dishes to order.
prices are ok, but being a byob saves some money.
the owner and waitstaff are very friendly, helpful, and attentive -so rare in restaraunts these days. no one here is snooty or aloof.
the food is very tasty, the portions are medium.
great little hideaway.

WhistlerKid

12/02/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Food was underwhelming

Cool vibe. Seating is a bit cramped. Service was above average. Unfortunately, the food was a bit boring and unimaginative. I had one of their special appetizer salads which turned out to be a pile of arugula with a few shavings of asiago cheese and a lemon vinaigrette. My entree was a piece of spinach lasagna with gravy on top. The lasagna was a bit overcooked and I swear the gravy tasted like a can of crushed tomatoes with no seasoning poured on top. It was really a shame. The other dishes at the table were equally unimpressive.

amypalmer12

03/23/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
true treasure in dining

I had diner on Saturday and was surprised at what a little gem this place is.The owner was just the nicest and most acomodating of any place I have eaten. He went out of his way to all that were there dining .The owners wife does all of the prep ,cooking to order with no help from anyone[ a task that I could not imagine by anyone]. Each dish is a masterpiece! I will be back! Thank you

southphillyneighbor

02/16/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Still the same after all these years

OK, So the menu is limited and seldom changes. But if you want a place that you can really have an intimate conversation--even though there's another table close by--or just a nice place to take an out-of town friend to--Mr. Martino's is always the best.
My wife likes the Chicken with balsamic vinegar, I like the spinach ravioli with the sweet red pepper sauce. The tomato pesto is also very good, the spinach lasagna--when available is excellent--also the squid with baby arugula. On a busy night the service can be a little slow, but there's always more bread and oil to be had and the local bakery that they get the bread from is the best!
I only go to BYOB places and this is my favorite! Everyone we've ever taken there agrees. Try it!

gtwilley

01/03/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
The Atmosphere Really Makes It...

Service: 5
Speed of service (i.e. food preparation): 3
Taste of food: 3
Price: 3
Atmosphere / Ambiance: 5
Owner interaction: 5
Price: 4

I'll be honest - the food wasn't awesome, but it wasn't awful either (as some other reviewers have mentioned). Admittedly, I come to the table with pretty high expectations when I am paying someone to prepare food for me because I think I do a pretty good job at it myself.

The atmosphere really makes this place what it is (and I've been to other places with great food but lousy service or an awful atmosphere). The room is dimly lit, but not so much so that you can't see the other people at your table. While chatty, the room isn't so loud that you can't hear your dinner partners.

When we walked in, one of the servers asked if we had a reservation (which seemed a little absurd as the restaurant was nearly empty). A person (who we later found out was the owner) stood up, took the reservation booklet away and whispered something to the server; he probably realized the absurdity as well. We were told we could sit wherever we wanted.

I love that this is a BYO - no corkage fee (!). My wife and I started out with baked ricotta and dried Italian sausage with olives. This was wonderful paired with the soft bread brought out to our table. The ricotta was creamy and the sausage was spicy - remember, this is a cold dish.

Next (really, after what seemed like a bit of a wait) came our pasta - wife had the cheese tortellini and I had the veal tortellini. It was ok. Not really bad, but it wasn't incredible either. My wife told me she thought it was a little ""plain.""

We ended by sharing a Lemon tart. Again, this was okay, but nothing to write home about - heavy on the tart, but a little more liquidy than I might prefer.

Overall, it was a good time. The owner stopped by several times to ask us how we were - he seems to really care about the place. We'll probably go back.

gobosox22

02/17/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Hidden Gem

What a great BYOB! My husband and I had heard lots of rumors about Mr. Martino's and finally decided to investigate. We were pleased to find that all the wonderful things we had heard about the food was right on. The staff were friendly and accomodating, which always makes dining out more pleasant.

Don't be mislead by the somewhat ""shabby"" appearance. The dark wood and sometimes rickety tables somehow add to the charm. I hate places that take themselves too seriously. At Mr. Martino's the food speaks for itself. People definitely do not wear sweatshirts to eat here, btw, that's ridiculous. But, you can feel comfortable dressing up a pair of jeans instead of going all out on glamazon outfit. Or if you're a glamazon, have at. No one is going to pay too much attention to your outfit because the dim lighting provides a sense of intimacy that will make you and your neighbors forget that anyone else is there with you.

Our meals had all the comfort of classic italian food with an upscale twist. We started with the baked ricotto, which was yummy (just know it comes out cold). The house dressing was great! I revelled in my ravioli with pumpkin sauce and soaked up every last drop with the ample supply of fresh, locally baked bread (Faragoli's). To top it off, we sampled the lemon tarte and expresso drinks. The coffee was great (and I'm picky about coffee). The lemon tarte is so delicious - definitely one of my favorite desserts ever!

Mr. Martino's will be a regular destination for us from now on! Don't miss it!

marreta

10/24/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Always feels like home

Over the years I have become a ""regular"" to this home away from home, Mr. Martino's Trattoria in South Philly. When dining out with friends it takes a strong recommendation to convince me to make reservations elsewhere. Quite frankly, I fear being disappointed by less than delightful home cooked food prepared with extrodinary love and passion. On rainy autum nights like tonight, my heart longs for the warmth of their pasta fagiole or the heartiness of the polenta and sausage (yummm! my mouth waters as I write - I think I'll go call in a reservation). When I step into the entryway of the restaurant I feel transported from Passyunk Ave into some secret spot hidden on some side street in Europe, going there is an experience...from being greeted by the charming Mr. Martino's, to being served by the regular staff who seem more like family than employees to the taste of their refreshing house vinagrette on baked ricotta not to mention the simple, clean delicacy of the white bean soup and of course making the decision as to whether it is a balsamic chicken night or a fagiole night or pumpkin sauce for that matter, my personal experience there is rarely complete without a finale of Lemon Tart, this dessert gives new meaning to fresh and bursting with flavor. This restaurant is complete heart and soul and I am grateful to have happened on it several years ago...the consistency is phenomenal...my favorite dishes then are still served to the same degree of perfect deliciousness today...

pttrainer1

09/01/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
I am so disappointed!!!

My husband and I decided to dine at Mr Martino's Trattoria after the theater. Before choosing a restuarant I did mega research at this website. We don't get into the city often and I really like to assure that our experience is the best that it can be. We have eaten at other BYOBs that were highly rated here and have had awesome meals, and assumed after the reviews that this would be no different. I ordered broccoli rabe as an appetizer. What was presented didn't even remotely resemble what is usually one of my favorite vegies. I expected the usual presentation, tender crisp,simply seasoned with olive oil and garlic. What I got was a watery mess, overcooked, sans the garlic, devoid of seasoning, gray, unpalatable. My husband got a mediocre bean soup. For entrees we figured we couldn't go wrong with pasta. Mr Martino's is known for their pasta. I ordered the tomato pesto, my husband the spinach ravioli in nutmeg butter sauce. Both pasta dishes were undercooked. I love al dente, but these presentations were both too doughy to be al dente. The tomato pesto wasn't a pesto at all, but more like a tomato sauce in the infant stage, lacking the full flavor of completion. The spinach ravioli could have been a winner if a little more thought was put into the preparation. Don't go there! Choose another spot for your date! With all the awesome restuarants in Philly you can definitely do better than this! By the way, romantic setting is relative. It's more like shabby chic.Our bread basket was so decrepit it looked like it belonged in the trash.

mmaad

12/07/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
A wonderful treat!!

The food is magnificent and the service is great. The entrees are the perfect size! For the first time I finished a whole plate of pasta! The ambience was warm and comfortable. No complaints here!! I have recommended this restaurant to all my friends.

sandy30

11/10/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great little spot

I love BYOBs. This is not the best in the city, that'd be Chloe, Marigold or Django, but Mr. Martino's is always solid and satisfying. I love their pasta and their sausage. That being said, I wish they would change their menu up a bit more.

abessellieu

04/01/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Continues to serve great food

We hadn't been here for awhile, but returned about a month ago wondering if the food was still as great as we remembered. It definitely was. Everything was delicious, but the balsamic chicken was nothing short of superb and the lemon tart was the best we have ever tasted. All at a reasonable price. That said, remember you are in South Philly. Expect to hunt for on the street parking. The dining room is small and slightly crowded. The kitchen is small, so you may wait a bit between courses, but everything comes out hot. Just remember to BYOB, and relax while you wait. It will be worth it.

woody7236

03/26/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
An honest review of one of my favorite places

Italian-american food, veal chops, big bowls of mussels, not here. If you want portions so large you can have lunch the next day or a never ending pasta bowl, don't come here. If you want to impress a pretencious date, don't bring her here either.
However if you want to be greeted everytime like an old friend and eat simple foods, prepared well you found the right place. The white bean soup reminds us of our trip to Florence. The string beans or asparugas with baked ricotta is simple and delicious. The ravioli with pumkin nutmeg sauce and veal tortellini are awesome!!
We are regulars and have never had a bad meal or experience. We can always afford a night out at Mr. Martinos. Go, but understand, its small, a little musty, with a small menu. But what they do, they do better than anyplace else except for maybe Tuscany.

piper_benjamin

03/21/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
A Fantastic Experience

Recommended as a ""romantic place with Vegetarian options"" A relative and his girlfriend from out of town surprised us with a visit @ 6pm on a Saturday, we called & got a 6:30 reservation (just been canceled). Our table for 4 was comfortable; some of the 2's looked tight & there was a slight musty smell (which faded after wine). Food was fantastic. I ordered the special for appetizer (cheese, string beans) & entree (Pumpkin ravioli)- what a delicious vegetarian entree! [In addition another person in the group is very Picky & they found 3 courses to love]. Perfect portions & spaced out courses, so I indulged in a lemon tart. Our bill for 4 was less than what we usually pay for 2 in CC. BYOB! Overall- Fabulous place.

winendine59

01/19/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Memorable Family Reunion

This past weekend, my family from out of town visited. They wanted to go to a quaint, authentic, Italian restaurant for dinner. I immediately thought of Mr. Martino's Trattoria. As usual, everything was impeccable. From the moment we walked in, the owner greeted us with a smile and showed us to our table. We started out with appetizers, broccoli rabe, white bean soup, and baked ricotta with asparagus just to name a few. The dressing, a tarragon vinaigrette, was soooo wonderful that my family even purchased a few bottles to take home. Next, we moved onto the main course. Everything was excellent, however, the balsamic chicken was superb; I highly recommend it! Coffee and dessert followed suit. Our evening at Mr. Martino's was the highlight of our little reunion. Our family can't wait to visit next year for our second anniversary reunion at Mr. Martino's!

philadelphia_love

11/16/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
The Best Part was the Wine

We were seeking a romantic spot to celebrate our two year anniversary. Mr. Martino's reminded us of a haunted house, more than a romantic trattoria and in anything but a sweatshirt and sneakers you are likely to be over dressed. The food was not authentic Italian - I know having been raised by a 100% Sicilian mother. Our sauteed mushroom appetizer could have come out of a can, and the ricotta and asparagus was greasy. The sausage and polenta entree was mediocre and the scallop risotto, a special that night, tasted like macaroni and cheese with a few small hidden scallops. The tiramisu for dessert was good. Although the prices were reasonable, we left beyond disappointed in Mr. Martino's Trattoria and Mr. Martino himself who managed to say hello to every table but ours. With so many wonderful Italian restaurants in Philadelphia, we won't be recommending this anyone.

bmaximus5

10/21/2004

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Travel to Italy w/o a plane

This is real Italian food. I can't really state it any other way. If you are expecting meatballs and Veal parm, well, go to the Olive Garden.

But, if you want a taste of true Italian cusine, then by all means go to Mr. Martino's.

viennab

06/06/2004

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Perfect Pumpkin Sauce

I have two words for you - Pumpkin Sauce. Last night I ate at Mr. Martino's and as an addition to the menu was spinach ravioli with pumpkin sauce. As I am not much of a pumpkin eater I was a little reluctant but I decided to give it a try anyway...boy did I make the right decision. This dish was perfect, never overpowering and just right for the season. Words cannot explain it so you will just have to try it for yourself. Mr. Martino's made a pumpkin lover out of me. I would highly recommend Mr. Martino's!!!

zenorigin

04/26/2004

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
What a disappointment!

I have always wanted to go to Mr. Martino's Trattoria after reading ravishing reviews on the restaurant. My boyfriend and I went on a early Friday night. We were seated promptly (being the only customers). The ambience was very rustic, but not as romantic as I thought it would be. The waitress was extremely attentive and knowledgeable. The menu had a decent selection of dishes. We had white-bean soup, which was very good. The baked ricotta was very unappetizing. I had the veal tortellini but I had better italian pasta in a can. The sauce was very rich though. Overall, portions are small. Food was below average. Prices are okay. Only the friendly service was memorable. I think we came on a bad night.

jimceez

03/07/2004

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Terrific!

This place is just terrific. It's a small intimate place retaining some of the look & feel of the old hardware store it used to be. Everything is ala carte but reasonable & no credit cards.

The white bean soup is absolutely terrific. The broccoli rabe appetizer is just wonderful. I had a special of spinach lasagna which may have been the best I ever had. The ricotta cheese was very light yet firm. The pasta was served just perfect . The tomato sauce was superb. My wife had the ravioli in the nutmeg & butter which contined the excellent fresh ricotta. Or friends had the ravioli in the pepper sauce which was outstanding.

It does take a little time because everything is made to order. You can taste the homemade preparations and every dish comes out hot. It's small and charming, with the food just outstanding. Very Highly Recommended!!!

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