Italian restaurant Zavino is hoping to transport the vibe of its 13th Street location to its newest outpost at 3200 Chestnut St.
Zavino officially opened its doors Saturday night to a crowd eager to try its signature pizzas, pastas and small plates.
Located right by Shake Shack on Drexel’s campus, Zavino seats about three times more people than the original location on 13th and Locust streets. Manager Erin Miller said that they wanted the new University City location to have the same energy, but in this bigger space.
The larger space also means an expanded kitchen, which Executive Manager Jason Brooke said allows the new restaurant to have more menu offerings than the original Zavino.
Something new on the menu are entree “plates” like Amish chicken served with brussels sprouts, pancetta and sage and Tuscan-style steak accompanied with roasted fingerling potatoes. Two pastas - a truffle-flavored tonarelli and a whole wheat cavatelli with basil pesto - are also signature to this location.
Many of the specials offered at the 13th Street Zavino, like the spaghetti squash small plate, are now regulars on the new location’s menu. However, the pizza menu is unchanged, preserving favorites like the classic margherita and the polpettini that is topped with ricotta-stuffed veal meatballs.
Miller said with the new space, they also wanted a casual, “family-style” dining experience. The pizzas, baked in one of two gas-fired ovens, are approximately 10 inches in diameter - good to share or have as a personal pizza. By the entrance to the restaurant is a charcuterie station, where meats are sliced and vegetables are prepared for the tasting boards and salads the restaurant offers.
Zavino uses produce from local farms as much as it can, Brooke said. As a result, some options on the menu are completely dependent on produce in season up to the chef’s discretion, such as the seasonal vegetable plate and the garden pizza. Brooke said Zavino’s priority is to use “fresh, vibrant” ingredients for its food and cocktail menu.
In the future, Zavino hopes to start offering lunch at this location and, with warmer weather on its way, expand seating outside the restaurant and along Chestnut Street.
Zavino is open seven days a week, Sunday to Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to midnight.