Mia Ragazza Is a Pasta Paradise in Manayunk

The Italian restaurant is a dreamy destination for dining in the region.

Taking over the former Bernie’s Restaurant and Bar, Mia Ragazza aims to bring a welcome taste of old-school Italian to Manayunk. With over 50 years of combined industry experience, Mike MacCrory, Sean Coyle, Andy Pyfer and Brendan McGrew are up for the challenge. In addition to Mia Ragazza, they’re the team behind two successful Goat’s Beard locations, with a third coming to Conshohocken later this year. “We looked at other restaurants on Main Street and felt that a higher-end Italian eatery was missing,” says McGrew. “We wanted to fill that void.”

A meatball appetizer
A meatball appetizer

Six months later, things appear to be moving in the right direction. “We’ve settled nicely into the lineup of diverse dining destinations along Main Street Manayunk,” says McGrew of the impressive two-story, 175-seat location. “We’ve been blessed with an awesome GM in Jason Gates, who’s done a fantastic job with his attention to detail and ability to train staff.”

The signature My Girl cocktail.
The signature My Girl cocktail.

On a busy Thursday night, we enjoyed dinner in the industrial-chic bar area, looking on as experienced mixologists crafted cocktails by the dozen. We sampled the vibrant green Margarita Verde, the classic Italian Old Fashioned and the (sweet) Tiramisu Espresso Martini.

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Short-rib pappardelle
Short-rib pappardelle

The bar is a tad loud, especially during happy hour. But there are plenty of other options for those seeking a quieter meal.

A first-floor dining nook
A first-floor dining nook

We loved the traditional yet hip candlelit dining room in the rear of the first floor. The smoked mirrors and a large fresco on the interior wall are nice touches. A nearby private patio is ideal for dining with friends.

Octopus carpaccio
Octopus carpaccio
Co-owners Mike MacCrory (left) and Sean Coyle.
Co-owners Mike MacCrory (left) and Sean Coyle.

Upstairs, you’ll find a vibrant greenhouse-themed bar and dining area perfect for taking in choice views of downtown Manayunk. Another small alfresco dining area, with its colorful murals and dangling Edison lights, seems perfect for a late-night rendezvous.

Bone-in chicken Parmesan
Bone-in chicken Parmesan
A Roman-style pepperoni pizza
A Roman-style pepperoni pizza

Mia Ragazza’s menu is, in a word, stellar. Our Caesar salad snuck up on us in a most pleasant way, thanks to the unique kick of its wasabi-and-anchovy dressing. Another excellent starter married fried artichoke hearts with pickled red onion.

pasta making

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Executive chef Felipe Calixto is a master at plating handmade pasta. We indulged in pappardelle with tender chunks of braised short rib in a sofrito reduction, fettuccine in Bolognese sauce, and the basil-pesto pistachio gnocchi. The latter was sublime. Other standouts include the rack of lamb, eggplant rollatini and the Roman-style pizzas.

Mia Ragazza’s executive chef, Felipe Calixto, and its Main Street façade.
Mia Ragazza’s executive chef, Felipe Calixto, and its Main Street façade.

With full stomachs and leftovers boxed and ready to go, we split the Cannoli Trio for dessert. The pistachio, candied citrus and chocolate chip selections were a perfect finale to a classy night out.

Cost: $9–$42.
Atmosphere: Italian sophistication with a hint of industrial.
Hours: 4 p.m.–10 p.m. Monday–Friday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Sunday.
Attire: Dressy casual.
Extras: Dessert cocktails and the mimosa selection at brunch.

Mia Ragazza
4411 Main St., Manayunk, (267) 323-2143
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Related: Daniel’s Restaurant + Cocktail Bar Shines in Conshohocken

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