EPICURE: Positano Ristorante in Ardmore

Positively Positano

Positively Positano

Before now, it had been more than a decade since I ate at Positano Ristorante, but savory memories prompted my long-delayed second visit. The ambiance remains alluring, with a rustic aura duly reminiscent of modest restaurants in Southern Italy. The petite side porch, with its colorful ceramic and iron bistro tables, mismatched candles and simple terra-cotta planters, is surprisingly charming.

The food, though, was inconsistent. A generous portion of linguine Sirenuse—with plump, sweet littleneck clams, a heap of lump crab meat and a handful of mussels—needed a few shakes of salt and crushed red pepper to perk up its meek sauce. The Caesar salad delivered on the sharp Parmesan flavor but offered too little garlic and tough croutons. The grilled langoustines—an appetizer special—seasoned with olive oil, lemon, garlic and white wine, were overcooked and mealy, with an oily aftertaste that lingered and a starchy sauce that lacked any hint of citrus.

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Elsewhere, the cotoletta principessa—layers of breaded veal, asparagus, cheese and crab meat—had proportion issues. The thin cutlet was lost beneath its topping, and the sauce bore a striking resemblance to canned tomato soup with no discernible taste. My far-more-palatable second visit included garlicky broccoli rabe—glossy and sweet with olive oil—nestled alongside a stout cut of fennel-enhanced spicy Italian sausage. The grilled tuna, with caramelized onions and a balsamic glaze, was cooked to a pleasingly pink finish, its balanced sweet and tangy notes offering a robust charred flavor. The penne arrabiata’s (sans prosciutto) chunky home-style marinara sauce was pleasantly peppery and zinged with tartness. 21 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 896-8298.

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