Owners Matt and Mike Silvano
– Photos by Tina Garceau
Many locals lament that children lack respect for the past, but, sadly, quite a few adults run low on reverence, too. Mike and Matt Silvano, however, pride themselves on proclaiming the deeds of their predecessors. That regard comes through most resoundingly in their roles as owners of Mike & Matt’s Italian Market, 1206 Mifflin St.
“We love having one of the last such places in the area,” Mike said from the business, which last week celebrated its 10th anniversary. “Our ability to relate to people keeps us going, but our identity as an Italian market really matters to many folks about here.”
The 43-year-old and his 41-year-old sibling call Deptford home, but they grew up as gregarious inhabitants of the 1100 block of Porter Street. Thank to parents Anne and Nicholas, they learned the value of allegiance to one’s family and vocation and have been endowing denizens with the products of their brotherly love since 1999, the year they opened Matteo’s Cucina, formerly 1900 W. Passyunk Ave.
“Food is a unifier,” Matt, an alumnus of The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, said of the Silvanos’ infatuation with being a durable culinary presence. “We hear all the time about how glad people are that we’re here, and that’s always going to resonate with us because we want to see them as an extension of our family.”
Pleasant personalities, stacked shelves, and inviting cases of imported gems have bred a decade of delight for the Lower Moyamensing natives. Patrons need only a few seconds to fall for the ambience and the selections in the East Passyunk Crossing-situated place of employment, with Mike noting the space’s prepared food items win considerable kudos, including eggplant parmesan, chicken cutlets, and soups. With Lent nearing its conclusion, the Silvanos elected to share their recipe for another prepared highlight, their Easter Frittata.
“Over the years, we’ve had many positive reactions to it,” Mike said of the protein powerhouse. “We always offer it during Lent, and it’s awesome when people come back for more not long after their first experience with it.”
The proprietors present the frittata in three sizes and include it as an option in part as an homage to their matriarch, who made it during their childhood. Mike added she would also prepare broccoli rabe and eggplant parmesan, but he shunned them only to discover as an adult how delicious they are. Forever one to say “Try this,” she did not have to convince him or Matt, the two youngest of five boys, to sample the frittata, and they doubt they will need to do such imploring with readers.
“I love making it,” Matt declared. “Eating it is pretty fun, too.”
1 dozen extra-large eggs
1/4 pound of prosciutto, chopped
1/4 pound of ham, chopped
1/4 pound of salami, chopped
1/4 pound of sharp provolone cheese, chopped
1 cup of basket cheese.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine all the ingredients in a greased, nine-inch pan. Bake for one hour, and serve either cold or at room temperature. ■
Mike & Matt’s Italian Market
Owners: Mike and Matt Silvano
Opened: March 2006
1206 Mifflin St.
Mike & Matt’s Italian Market’s Easter Frittata