Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ariano's Restaurant in Media, PA - Well Worth the Wait!

Ariano's, it's HERE!  Well, almost.  I had the distinct pleasure of being invited down to the restaurant to look around and have a taste of the menu.  I've never said "outta this world" and "pizza" in the same sentence, until this weekend.

The vibe of the place is the first thing you notice when you walk through the door.  Excellent setup, great lighting, space and aromas that let you know you're in for something spectacular.  You may be thinking formal dining with pizza?  Which really doesn't go well in the same sentence either, but elegant dining with the best pizza you've ever tasted just might.  Don't believe me?  Just you wait.  Err, uh, just wait a little longer, it's not officially open yet. 

What makes this food stand out is the remarkable way in which it's done.  It's the thinnest crust you can get and cooks in a wood oak fired oven.  We timed it, the pizza goes in/out and is cooked in less than 120 seconds.  What's neat is that they have a chef's counter where 6 to 8 people can sit, eat and watch the food being cooked.

We got to taste the whole menu.  Chicken pesto pizza, margarita pizza, filet pizza, mussels and pizza, mozzarella/basil and perhaps my favorite, portabello and roasted peppers.  There were a few other varieties too.  For dessert, nutella/strawberry pizza and home made gelato.

The second floor is open with a third floor balcony.  A great setup for large parties.  It looks like the doors to the outside will open too, which will make for a great ambiance in the warmer months.  Of note, is the mural on the ceiling which tells a story of the owner's heritage.  Word is it took over a year to paint it.

It's BYOB and will be open in the morning for what I hear is the best cappachino around.

Congratulations to owner Anthony Bellapigna and his crew.  With his other very popular, Fellini's Cafe Trattoria, this in another great addition to Media!


  1. so when does it open?

  2. Can't wait till they open------can't wait to try the pizzas-----

  3. does anyone REALLY care?

  4. Open now and it is wonderful. We have been there several times and the service is on spot the food excellent and the atmosphere enjoyable.

  5. Ariano is a little slice of Italy. From the exquisite music to the ceiling fresco, the hammered copper tables, and sun drenched ambiance, the attention to authenticity, beauty and detail is spectacular.

    The food is mostly delicious and equally authentic. The Zia Rosa was delightfully crispy and creamy simultaneously - a refreshing change from the usual artichoke appetizers found elsewhere. The Signora Loretto was also scrumptious, I could have easily eaten three portions as a meal. The pizza Carmela was very tasty, but the "caramelized" onions were moist and soft. The pizza Regina is very good but would benefit from just a bit more toasted garlic, which would take it to the other side of bland.

    I was disappointed to find a rather sweet dressing on the Via Otaggio salad - . The quantity of shaved parmesan cheese was almost non-existent, and there were more than a few brown leaves which I removed from my plate. Most disappointing was the polenta croutons which were cold, soft and unappetizing, rather than toasted.

    Lastly, the red plastic plates do not do the rest of Ariano justice. First of all the color clashes with the decor, especially the beautiful copper table tops. Secondly plastic? I do hope they will change them into something that will enhance the presentation and taste of the wonderful food.

    It is a blessing to have an authentic Italian dining establishment so close to home. I look forward to enjoying the ambiance and food frequently and hope that the owner is receptive to feedback.