Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crecco's Restaurant Review 1981

Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) - Sunday, November 15, 1981
Author: JOHN V.R. BULL
By John V. R. Bull

Inquirer Staff Writer

From the outside, Crecco's does not appear overly inviting. The rambling,

nondescript building is in the heart of Trenton 's Chambersburg area, a crowded

neighborhood of rowhouses much like South Philadelphia.

A neighbor's laundry hangs on an outdoor clothesline alongside the

restaurant's small parking lot; an open door exposes a noisy, cluttered

restaurant kitchen - normal but unattractive.

But once inside the restaurant, you will find the best Italian food this

side of Rome, served in a warm, comfortable atmosphere.

The tablecloths are red, with white paper napkins, and the red walls are

decorated with scores of framed photographs that owner Louis Crecco has

collected of the countless celebrities who have visited during the

restaurant's 40 years - everyone from Paul Whiteman and John Wayne to Gerald


Colorful Tiffany lampshades cover large light globes tinted yellow-orange to

create a soft, gentle atmosphere. Service is friendly, knowledgeable and

obviously dedicated to seeing that you find your visit enjoyable.

There is no need to worry on that score, for the food is exquisite. An

elaborate menu features a number of dishes you seldom find - Dungeness crab

from the West Coast, stone crabs from Florida, a dozen varieties of homemade

pasta, tripe, roasted quail, dandelion salad - the list is endless.

But Crecco's hallmarks are top- quality ingredients and homemade sauces

- lovely, delicate delights made with fresh ingredients, skillfully herbed and


Mozzarella alla marinara ($3.50) made a delightful appetizer - baked cheese

fingers in a light, garlic- touched tomato sauce. Escarole in oil and garlic

($3) was just as good, the hot spinach-like leaves gently sauteed in a

smooth olive oil with lots of garlic.

Dandelion salad ($3.25), a pile of fresh, slightly bitter greens with the

texture of romaine lettuce, was garnished with anchovies and hard- cooked

egg, in a sweet, refreshing oil dressing so good it would make any salad a

culinary treat.

Stuffed veal ($13.95), a daily special, was a thick but very tender white

veal steak topped with prosciutto, romano and mozzarella cheeses and artichoke

hearts. With rice pilaf and crisp broccoli for accompaniment, it was a dish

to remember.

A combination seafood and pasta platter ($15.95), a delightful sampling of

shellfish, achieved distinction from its spicy marinara sauce. The platter

- much like a child's dinner plate with a separate compartment for each food

- contained a small lobster tail, two meaty crab claws, four fresh clams, four

mussels, a pile of tender squid and a handful of homemade vermicelli, all

bathed in a marvelous sauce made with fresh tomatoes.

A yellow cake ($2.25) soaked in rum and topped with a delicious vanilla

custard and canned whipped cream was a fine finish to a memorable meal.

Crecco's calls itself " The Tiffany of Italian Food." I wouldn't argue for a



273 Morris Ave., Trenton

Telephone: 393-6323

Open: Lunch 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tues-Fri; dinner 4:30 p.m.-1 a.m. 7 days

Price range: Dinner for 2 about $60

Credit cards: Most major cards

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