Owners Joe and Victoria Picariello
Considering the rapidity with which many people change jobs and careers, one should administer admiration to those whose disposition and desire to maximize a vocation’s possibilities keep them content in a single position. For nearly 30 years, Joe Picariello has devoted his days to delivering on his adolescent promise to take delight in each day as a businessman, with patrons of Wolf Street Pizza & Pasta House benefiting from his diligence.
“I enjoy it every day,” the Brinton Estates resident said from his Girard Estate-based eatery, 2135 Wolf St., drawing a smile from wife and co-proprietor Victoria. “I’ve set myself to putting in hard work so that I can offer good products. Because of that, time has just flown by, and I’m happy to be in this community to serve these people.”
Picariello, whose mid-November birthday will fall on the same date that his space opened in 1986, noted that the compact location used to be a vacuum cleaner store. Tending to cravings has successfully replaced addressing messes among locals, with the product of 10th Street and West Moyamensing Avenue proud to sate fellow South Philadelphians’ interest in ingesting his wares.
“I’ve been in this field since I was 10,” Picariello said, “and I credit my mother [Roccina] and my father [Benito] for helping my vision to become a reality.”
He and his bride, who also helm Cafe V and Kitchen, 1318 South St., have attracted a tight following owing to geography and gentility. Skill, naturally, has played a part in their success, with Picariello scoring Best of Philly pizza and stromboli honors in ’92.
“Our dedication to homestyle preparation helps us to excel,” he said of their goods, noting he and Victoria are looking to make even more acquaintances through a third venture. “People appreciate that loyalty to preparing food because they know you’re taking your time.”
Picariello chose to share the venue’s Fettuccine di Rocco recipe, which he touted as an easy one for South Philly denizens to duplicate.
“Like everything that comes out of here, I definitely stand by its quality,” the proud preparer said. “People can actually use whatever pasta they want because anything will work well with the other ingredients.”
1 pound of fettuccine
1 inch of butter
2 cloves of garlic
Large or baby shrimp
4 ounces of sweet peas
1/2 quart of heavy cream
10 ounces of marinara sauce
Pinches of salt, pepper, and basil
10 ounces of Parmesan cheese
Cook the fettuccine to package directions. Sauté the butter and the cloves until a brown tinge develops. Add the shrimp, peas, cream, sauce, salt, pepper, basil, and tomatoes, and stir constantly. Incorporate the Parmesan, and return to stirring so as to made the output thick. Add the fettuccine to the sauce, and serve hot. ■
Wolf Street Pizza & Pasta House
Owners: Joe and Victoria Picariello
Opened: November 1986
2135 Wolf St.
Photos by Tina Garceau