Cerise knocked it out of the park again last night. This place is such a gem. The food is very lovingly prepared, and although the portions seem small, you can still feel satiated by the end of the meal. I didn’t take pix of the pasta course, but the Rigatoni Bolognese was perfectly done and served piping hot. My wife’s spaghetti with dried cherries and sardine was a lesson in balancing sweet and savory. All the preparation was outstanding, but the subtle balance of seasonings sets this place apart. I had to ask what was in the “36-hour Porchetta” – actually a slice of pork belly that had been cooked sous-vide for a few days before being flash-deep-fried to render the fat and add a touch of crispness. I was amazed that it was star anise. Usually this makes food taste like Good-and-Plenty candy.

For $49/pp and a modest $5.00 corkage fee (which covered an excessive two bottles of Petit Syrah) this is a relative bargain. Cerise holds up to any restaurant in the city (and parking is a wash, since Bryn Mawr on a Friday night is not much better that Olde City.) We are so happy to have a BYOB of this calibre so close by. Service, BTW, was fine, and the waitstaff is knowledgeable about the preparations, has tasted EVERYTHING and is happy to explain the dishes in detail.