Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tale of the Pie: Pepperoncini Restaurant & Bar

The hubby and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary yesterday. To mark the occasion, we went out to dinner on Friday (anticipating that Saturday would not offer the ideal conditions for a night out) to Pepperoncini Restaurant & Bar in Conshohocken. Why did we choose Pepperoncini? For one, I had received a $25 coupon courtesy of BirthdayPak (any ladies who are not registered for this free offer should definitely check it out at And secondly, we found some pretty positive reviews for their thin crust pizzas online.

Despite its location in what might be considered not-the-most-scenic section of Conshohocken, Pepperoncini was nicer inside than I expected. Cozy candlelit tables covered in old school vinyl tablecloths. A more modern bar atmosphere playing the Phillies game on a few flatscreens. Certainly not fancy, but also not a place we'd bring the nibble for a dinner out.

Service was very good and attentive. Upon ordering, we were served bread with olive oil, fresh pepper and Parmesan for dipping. We selected a bottle of Fleur de California Pinot Noir 2007 from the modestly priced wine list. The wine was nice and smooth, a perfect accompaniment to our meal.

We ordered the "Italian Stallion," a traditional pie with pepperoni and long hot Italian peppers. As soon as it arrived, we knew we were in for something good. Hands down the best "spicy" pie I've ever had. My handle's not Spicy for nothing. I do like it hot. So most pies that claim to be spicy are just bland letdowns for me. And then there's the occasional pie that features entire long hots (Ventura's Greenhouse in Margate). Don't get me wrong, I can enjoy that, but I didn't exactly want to be sweating during a romantic anniversary dinner. On the Italian Stallion, the long hots were chopped up and distributed evenly around the pie, allowing for the perfect amount of spiciness.

A robust, chunky tomato sauce topped a thin, crispy crust. One or two slices did get a bit blackened on the edge. Cheese was flavorful, gooey and ample. Run-of-the-mill pepperoni. All in all, a delicious, hearty, filling pizza, which is often difficult to master on a thin crust.

Now, on to the not-so-great part of the meal. We started with Roast Pork Spring Roll appetizer. It was very tasty and accompanied by broccoli rabe and spicy roasted pepper aioli. However, for $8, we only got a single spring roll cut in half. That's like $2 per bite. And, when you consider that we are eating it on a vinyl tablecloth, not okay. We also ordered a small plate of Rigatoni alla Vodka. The tomato cream sauce with spinach was yummy, but the pancetta was a bit chewy and the pasta was completely overcooked.

However, since this review is for the pie alone, we give Pepperoncini an excellent rating. And we'd definitely go back again ... but just stick to the pizzas!

Pros: Perfect amount of spiciness, ample gooey cheese and robust sauce, thin crust
Cons: Appetizer and pasta small plate

Pepperoncini(610) 941-778372 Poplar St
Conshohocken, PA 19428

Pepperoncini on Urbanspoon

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