Le Virtù on East Passyunk Avenue. Chef Joe Cicala is a pasta whisperer. For a unique dish to share, opt for the hand-pulled, single-strand maccheroni alla mugnaia, which can stretch as long as 60 feet. However, a recent meal there has us singing the praises of another dish: his maccheroni neri.
Squid ink is not just a coloring agent, though the purple-black, square-cut strands are striking; it also adds a snappy, briny taste to the noodles. Cicala complements the flavorful pasta with clams and shrimp in an olive oil sauce. The dark pasta goes well with a light-colored wine - we had the Terre Valse Pecorino - that’s fruity enough to stand up to the garlic in the sauce but won’t overwhelm the seafood. Unlike the little black dress, this black pasta is anything but ordinary ($19; 215-271-5626).