Unassuming But Great Italian Food

Written by Tom Fitzmorris September 26, 2019 12:17 in Dining Diary

Mary Ann had business in Metairie at lunchtime yesterday, so I went in to see our old friend Phil Gagliano at Ristorante Filippo. We realized from the menu that it has been there since 2001, opening a few months after 9/11, to the day. To be honest, it’s a surprise that anyone could make a go of that location, especially an unknown. That tells you how good the food is here. It is good. Really, really good.

Phil Gagliano grew up in the business. His father started Frank’s on Decatur in the French Quarter, and his brother inherited that restaurant. Phil struck out on his own with Philippo, on West Napoleon in the old Napoli, another good restaurant that didn’t overcome the terrible location, and the big bushes in front that make it nearly invisible. That’s not to say it hasn’t been a struggle for Phil, with the parish and signage. But he just kept serving his delicious soul-satisfying Italian food.

Today would be some light eating, so no appetizers. The truth is, there is no light eating at Philippo. I ordered from the lunch menu, which has very nice prices. Chicken Florentine in an Alfredo sauce, which was an enormous pile of food, so I’m glad MA showed up midway through it.  The sauce was typical Alfredo, creamy with a tang of cheese, but there was also spinach and grilled chicken breast tossed in. Mary Ann was happy to finish my lunch.

MA is as much a fan of Phil as his food, so he came to sit down when she arrived. They started rapid-fire back and forth that I occasionally jumped into, talking about kids, and school, and politics. The last one she does limit, thankfully. 

The lunch menu averages $15-$16 per entree and does not include soup or salad. There is a soup/salad combo option, as well as three salads, three pastas, and two grill items. The extraordinary crabmeat salad is not here, nor is the delicious Chicken Parm (pictured). But everything that is here is more than able to satisfy.

Mary Ann looked at the menu extensively while we were there. Wanting nearly everything she saw on it, she came away with the idea that we have to return for a real dinner. She will not have to ask me twice.

Ristorante Filippo

1917 Ridgelake Dr. Metairie