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NoVi
(now closed) NoVi

Philadelphia

A catchy abbreviation can do a lot, from giving a brand quick-hitting recognizability, like FedEx, to leading everyone who sees the high scores on After Burner to suspect your name is Sebastian Eduardo Xiang, when it's actually just Todd. For an abbreviation that'll stuff you with food, hit NoVi

Short for "North of Vine", NoVi's transformed the former Tiedhouse spot on the first floor of Fairmount's CityView Condos into a naturally toned, upscale-casual 135-seater with a banquette-lined open dining area underneath 20' ceilings, with a rear 20-seat bar and a smattering of tables in semi-recessed nooks, who gaze longingly at the other nooks on monkey bars. Apps like crab cake in Cajun remoulade and bacon-wrapped scallops lead into sandwiches, from a slow-roasted pork Italian dip w/ broccoli rabe, provolone & roasted red peppers, and blackened Ahi tuna w/ mango aioli, to the Prosciutto Supreme hoagie and the bleu cheese-smothered Black & Bleu Burger, while 16" pizzas include a range of specialty, homemade-tomato-sauce pies like the shrimp-topped Pescatore, the Diavola w/ sopressata, mozzarella & hot peppers, and the mozzarella & basil Margherita, which'll totally mess you up -- woo woo! On the entree side, there's lobster & cheese ravioli w/ jumbo Gulf shrimp in plum tomato sauce; prosciutto- & fontina-topped Pork Saltimbocca in Marsala; roasted sea scallops & jumbo Gulf shrimp topped w/ crab imperial; and lightly breaded Veal Milanese w/ basil-infused olive oil & balsamic drizzle, the only way Snoop takes his vinegar

Ten taps pour basics like Guinness & Stella, which you can sip at the bar while gazing transfixedly into three plasmas; an extensive, under-development martini list will be a big part of NoVi's happy hour specials including cheap bar bites and drafts -- take enough advantage, and end up square on your Alfred Sanjay Schonenberger.

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1. NoVi 2001 Hamilton St, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Short for "North of Vine", NoVi's transformed the former Tiedhouse spot on the first floor of Fairmount's CityView Condos into a naturally-toned, upscale-casual 135-seater with a banquette-lined open dining area underneath 20' ceilings, with a rear 20-seat bar and a smattering of tables in semi-recessed nooks, who gaze longingly at the other nooks on monkey bars.

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