Looks like a new authentic gelato & wine bar is coming to Rittenhouse Square. The all new Gran Caffe L’Aquila is the brainchild of regional restauranteur Riccardo Longo. Riccardo who holds stakes in Tuscana 52 in Bensalem decided to open the new spot after touring the old country.
A chance encounter with Italian restauranteurs Stefano Biasini and Michele Morelli. Biasini who has won the World Cup of Gelato and Morelli who received the highest rating for Torrefaction from Gambero Rosso (very big deal in Italy) befriended Longo during one of his trips to Italy. Morelli and Biasini are owners of Caffe L’Aquila in L’Aquila, Italy but had their restaurant destroyed during an earthquake back in 2009. The two Italian entrepreneurs set up a temporary shop just outside of town until the original could be restored.
The friendship between the three men blossomed and Longo eventually invited Morelli and Biasini to Philadelphia. As the trio discussed their love for food, deserts, and wine, they eventually agreed to open Philly’s version of Caffe L’Aquila in the Rittenhouse section of town. The soon to be open Italian eatery and bar will be located at 1716 Chestnut Street and will feature a rotating wine list of Italian wines, tapas such as plates of salumi, formaggi, pasta, crudo, pastries, cappuccino and espresso roasted on the premises, and of course world class gelato. Caffe L’Aquila will also be European centric featuring a walk up bar with no bar stools.
Slated to open in January, Caffe L’Aquila will be another gem of cultural food in the Philadelphia culinary scene. With the credentials these guys are bringing to the table it is sure to be a hit.