Fitler Square is a quaint part of the city, home to many unique little coffee shops, gorgeous parks and charming dining destinations. One staple spot that almost everyone who frequents Fitler Square knows is Mama Palma’s. Recently, the neighborhood meeting place closed its doors to undergo a renovation, and now, Mama Palma’s has resurfaced and opened once again, but as the improved Palma’s Cucina.
Brother-and-sister business partners Renato and Brunella Russo have owned Palma’s since 1996, and the duo decided it was finally time to revamp the eatery. “We are finally ready to unveil our new space to the neighborhood, and we’re very proud of the new menu,” said Renato Russo in a release. “We hated having to close the restaurant for two months, but we cannot wait to welcome the neighborhood back in to see and taste what we’ve been working on.”
Palma’s Cucina had their soft opening the first week of June, and already the eatery has been a hit in the neighborhood. With a new aesthetic, menu and beverage selection, this hot spot is truly ready to take on a new clientele and challenge.
The new menu features inspiration from the Russos’ family history in Santa Lucia di Serino, located in Avellino in Italy’s Campania region. The Russos emigrated from Santa Lucia di Serino in 1972, and the new dishes being highlighted at Palma’s will focus less on pizza and more on dishes authentic to the Russos’ hometown in southern Italy — including several items inspired by family recipes.
“Everything is being customized, and I’m excited to be offering more composed Italian dishes, featuring family recipes and inspiration from my southern Italian heritage,” added Renato, in the release. “We’re still going to offer a variety of our original gourmet pizzas, but we’re excited to introduce our delicious new dishes and a few surprises, which we feel the neighborhood will love.”
Mouthwatering menu items include lobster cannelloni, roasted oysters, roasted mussels, veal meatballs with ricotta cheese, chicken livers, fettuccine bolognese, grilled octopus, eggplant rollatini, wood-fired branzino, a selection of 14-inch gourmet pizzas, and Palma’s popular signature, the warm polenta bread plate. Although pizza is no longer the main focus, the selection at Palma’s Cucina will still be irresistible and made to order in the restaurant’s wood-burning brick oven.
Palma’s Cucina is also offering a rotating selection of seasonal local craft beers, wine (while using their new state-of-the-art wine chiller), cocktails and more. Philadelphians will also still be allowed to bring their own bottles of wine (one bottle per every two guests) if they wish.
Palma’s Cucina is located at 2229 Spruce St. For more information, visit palmascucinaphilly.com.