Figo Ristorante

Figo Ristorante and Figo Pizza in NoLibs

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Glu Hospitality celebrates the very cool opening of Northern Liberties’ Figo Ristorante and Figo Pizza.

What didn’t work about Wahlburgers and Darling’s Diner in the Piazza – a lack of intimacy that allows for roominess – is the very thing that makes the newly-opened Figo Ristorante and Figo Pizzeria work. That a local dining and entertainment team, Glu Hospitality (now celebrating its 10th opening in less than 2 years with the Figos) has finally figured out a familial feel and an impressively homey Italian menu for the 1033 N 2nd Street address is all that was required.

So how do you make a modern décor-ed restaurant along the Northern Liberties Restaurant Row – the biggest on the block with 250 plus seats and 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space – seem warm and inviting? Make it cool, or “figo” in Italian. Ask Chef Hee “Chino” Chang to whip up his own brand and take on Italian favorites – from thin-crust pizzas and stuffed hoagies in the Pizzeria half of Figo, and fill his fine dining Ristorante with large Charcuterie boards of soppressata, mortadella and prosciutto, a salmon crudo with fried shallots, pasta such as jumbo shrimp gemelli in pesto cream and a pappardelle Bolognese with wild boar and bison ragout. Then top it off with Chang’s twists on tradition such as his breaded Pork Milanese and a classic Branzino.

That Figo feels like fine dining in the most relaxed manner possible – chilled out and comfortable, with dusk dotted by tiny strands of decorative light that pop like stars in the night sky – makes a return visit a necessity for outsiders and NoLibs habitues alike.

Images: Society Hill Films, Eddie Marenco

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