La Veranda, the white-tablecloth Italian restaurant on Penn’s Landing known for both its stunning marina view and a massive antipasto station, closed over the weekend, just a few months shy of its 30th anniversary.
Michael Petrogiannis, who owned La Veranda for nearly 20 years, said it was time. “I’ve had enough,” he said, adding that he wanted to focus on his core business: eight diners in the region, including the Mayfair, the Country Club, and the Melrose.
A new restaurant — a steak-seafood house called Riverstone — is targeting a late-spring opening at Pier 3, just south of the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Roberto Centofanti opened La Veranda in spring 1990, rolling the dice with a swank, Old World setup after two restaurants, Splash! and Windows on the Water, came and went.
The restaurant’s heyday was at least a decade ago, though it managed to hang on amid keen competition and limited parking options on Columbus Boulevard.
In a 1999 review, Inquirer critic Craig LaBan enjoyed the outdoor dining and praised “the rustic aroma of its wood-burning grill, whose flames greet you at the entrance, to the impressive selection of fresh whole fish and aged meat chops that are deftly cooked each evening.”