Wine and pizza are two things many people enjoy. Yet, when it comes to a type of pie or a particular bottle of vino people’s taste buds differ. The popular restaurant Zavino Wine Bar Pizzeria on 13th Street in Center City caters to satisfying every customer’s Italian palette.
Zavino’s manager Jason Brooke says playing around with “perfect pairings” and allowing customers to invent their own creations have been key factors in the 3-year-old restaurant’s success.
“It can’t get boring because there are so many options out there and so many different ways to approach it,” says Brooke. “We’ve done a blood sausage pizza, a head cheese pizza, we can always try something new.”
Testing out new and tasty gourmet dishes is a fun challenge for the small staff of one to two hosts, two waiters, one bartender and three or four chefs per shift. The restaurant is tiny, seating only 35 guests inside.
The intimate atmosphere allows the employees to get to know their customers and their likes and dislikes pretty quickly. Brooke says the high-energy, yet cozy corner eatery will go to great lengths to keep its patrons happy.
“I’ve run across the street to grab espresso for an espresso martini. If you want sardines, I’ll go down to the market to get you sardines. Each of our staff members gets it and I’m very fortunate for [that],” explains Brooke.
Zavino takes part in a seasonal vegetable program. Fresh veggies are delivered every two days from Green Meadow Farm in Lancaster County. The produce orders vary based on what’s in season.
The “fresh” restaurant has quickly emerged as a fan favorite in Midtown Village. The property used to house a check-cashing store. Now, it’s a trendy spot for Italian favorites with a twist and it’s packed with people daily.
Unfortunately, Zavino does not take reservations, but if you stop in you can put your name on a waiting list and they’ll call you or text you when your table is ready.