Walnut Street Supper Club | Zagat
Singing Waiters at Walnut Street Supper Club
by Danya Henninger (Story and Photos)
If the roof of Wash West stalwart Portofino hadn’t caved
in last summer, owner Ralph Berarducci would have probably kept his fine-dining Italian going another 38 years. However, the structural upheaval was an opportunity to rethink, and so he took the suggestion
of James McManaman (owner of a nearby art store and now the restaurant’s general manager), and transformed the institution into the Walnut Street Supper Club, complete with a talented staff of servers who sing.
Longtime Portofino chef Anthony Mignona has added American favorites to the menu of Italian classics at the 1940s-era dining room, which offers a traditional selection of courses. Appetizers like shrimp cocktail, calamari, beef carpaccio or fried goat cheese run $8–$10, along with soup and salad selections. Larger pastas and entree mainstays like veal or chicken parmigiana and fettuccine Alfredo start at $17 and top out at $29 (for the filet mignon, served with a baked potato). A full bar includes the expected wine and beer selections, along with classic cocktails.
But while food and drink are important facets of any dining experience, they are not center stage at this 175-seat space. The spotlight shines on the baby grand piano manned by musical director Jeremiah Downes, situated on a raised dais framed by plush drapes.
The stage is visible from all tables, be they on the upper-level mezzanine, in round banquettes along the wall or beside the plate glass windows looking out on Walnut.
At any point during your meal, you can look up to see bow-tie-bedecked waiters and swankily dressed hostesses shed their service mentality and become performers, filling the room with American songbook standards.
Recognizing that his restaurant will be attractive to those who enjoy a good show, the Walnut Street Supper Club offers discounts to theater or sporting event ticket-holders, and also features a dance floor to spin the
night away. The restaurant is open daily from 5 PM–midnight.
1227 Walnut St.; 215-923-8208
Posted on January 9, 2012 11:13
Tags: Anthony Mignona, James McManaman, Ralph Berarducci, Walnut Street Supper Club