La Viola

★★★★☆
  • 253 S 16th St

    Philadelphia, PA 19102

    Map & Directions
  • 215-735-8630

About La Viola

Hours
Mon. - Sun. 10am - 3pm

Food

Food
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Not bad. Maybe a bit over-hyped, but good nonetheless.

3
★★★★★

Not bad. Maybe a bit over-hyped, but good nonetheless.

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I really enjoy La Viola. This is one of my favorite Italian restaurants. If you are looking for a great traditional Italian restaurant, La Viola will not disappoint. \r
\r
Their staff is great. It seems like they have the system of each

3
★★★★★

I really enjoy La Viola. This is one of my favorite Italian restaurants. If you are looking for a great traditional Italian restaurant, La Viola will not disappoint. \r
\r
Their staff is great. It seems like they have the system of each

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This restaurant serves one of the best Italian cuisine in Philly. Their staff and service are good also. Affordable prices.

5
★★★★★

This restaurant serves one of the best Italian cuisine in Philly. Their staff and service are good also. Affordable prices.

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.

I absolutely love this little secret the food is amazing!!!! and soooo reasonable.. I cant wait to go back me and my girlfriends always go with a few bottles of wine and have an amazing experience!!!!!! love this place and the staff and

3
★★★★★

I absolutely love this little secret the food is amazing!!!! and soooo reasonable.. I cant wait to go back me and my girlfriends always go with a few bottles of wine and have an amazing experience!!!!!! love this place and the staff and

.

La Viola should definitely not be rated 5 stars. I believe that the staff working there are actually unfriendly dead people; no personality, energy, enthusiasm, charisma, and definitely DID NOT encompass good customer service skills. Immediately after spending $75 a person, my party and I were asked to leave the restaurant because the establishment needed to sit a party of 14...such an insult.

The food wasn??t even anything worth mentioning. The ??homemade? buffalo mozzarella, was defiantly not homemade. It was grayish in color and did not speak anything homemade. The antipasto salad was cooked prosciutto, Genoa Salami, and a few roasted peppers?seemed more "American" to me than Italian. The bread was sliced and then toasted...who does that??? The entre special(s) were forgettable; swordfish and veal shank.

I really don??t understand what the excitement is about La Viola. I would NEVER patron them again. Being from Calabria Provincia di Cosenza, Italy, there is nothing Italian about La Viola?I??m purely disgusted and insulted!!!

0
★☆☆☆☆

La Viola should definitely not be rated 5 stars. I believe that the staff working there are actually unfriendly dead people; no personality, energy, enthusiasm, charisma, and definitely DID NOT encompass good customer service skills. Immediately after spending $75 a person, my party and I were asked to leave the restaurant because the establishment needed to sit a party of 14...such an insult.

The food wasn??t even anything worth mentioning. The ??homemade? buffalo mozzarella, was defiantly not homemade. It was grayish in color and did not speak anything homemade. The antipasto salad was cooked prosciutto, Genoa Salami, and a few roasted peppers?seemed more "American" to me than Italian. The bread was sliced and then toasted...who does that??? The entre special(s) were forgettable; swordfish and veal shank.

I really don??t understand what the excitement is about La Viola. I would NEVER patron them again. Being from Calabria Provincia di Cosenza, Italy, there is nothing Italian about La Viola?I??m purely disgusted and insulted!!!

.

We were greeted by friendly staff members and immediately escorted to our table. Our food was expertly prepared and presented and the wait staff was attentive and responsive. We would totally recommend this restaurant and hope to return again whenever we visit Philadelphia.

2
★★★★★

We were greeted by friendly staff members and immediately escorted to our table. Our food was expertly prepared and presented and the wait staff was attentive and responsive. We would totally recommend this restaurant and hope to return again whenever we visit Philadelphia.

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I have been there several times, whether it has been as a date with my bf or just with a group of friends. The food has been consistently amazing, the service quick and very attentive, and guests clearly pleased leaving the place. If you hate small places that can get packed then this isn't for you. But if you care more about being treated well by a caring and attentive staff that cares about your experience, and experiencing great Italian food, then this place is for you!

2
★★★★★

I have been there several times, whether it has been as a date with my bf or just with a group of friends. The food has been consistently amazing, the service quick and very attentive, and guests clearly pleased leaving the place. If you hate small places that can get packed then this isn't for you. But if you care more about being treated well by a caring and attentive staff that cares about your experience, and experiencing great Italian food, then this place is for you!

Pros: food, service, ambiance

Cons: cash only

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Every meal i've had has been spectacular. I would recommend the seafood risotto. The service is impeccable and the price is unbelievable for the amount and taste level of the food. Great little nook in the heart of center city. Decor and ambiance is not modern but don't let that deter you from going!

2
★★★★★

Every meal i've had has been spectacular. I would recommend the seafood risotto. The service is impeccable and the price is unbelievable for the amount and taste level of the food. Great little nook in the heart of center city. Decor and ambiance is not modern but don't let that deter you from going!

Pros: best mussels in center city

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Called ahead for an 8:00PM reservation. At 8:32 PM, the hostess was still not sure when a table would be available. Had a 10PM movie to catch. Ended up leaving and eating at another restaurant to grab a quick bite. Other parties with an 8PM reservations either left for another restaurant too or were still waiting when we left the restaurant. What a terrible waste of time.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Called ahead for an 8:00PM reservation. At 8:32 PM, the hostess was still not sure when a table would be available. Had a 10PM movie to catch. Ended up leaving and eating at another restaurant to grab a quick bite. Other parties with an 8PM reservations either left for another restaurant too or were still waiting when we left the restaurant. What a terrible waste of time.

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Desite being extremely small, this is one of the best BYOB's in Philly. The food was amazing and SO reasonable! All of the wait staff was super nice and always willing to help, except for the hostess who looked like she hated her job. I will definately be going back.

2
★★★★★

Desite being extremely small, this is one of the best BYOB's in Philly. The food was amazing and SO reasonable! All of the wait staff was super nice and always willing to help, except for the hostess who looked like she hated her job. I will definately be going back.

Pros: delicious food

Cons: very tiny

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If you want authentic Italian cuisine this is the place to go. The food is phenomenal however not a great selection for those that are vegetarian. They are very accommodating however and will make substitutions to their entrees if asked.

4
★★★★☆

If you want authentic Italian cuisine this is the place to go. The food is phenomenal however not a great selection for those that are vegetarian. They are very accommodating however and will make substitutions to their entrees if asked.

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Staff was rude and I will never go back!

0
★☆☆☆☆

Staff was rude and I will never go back!

Pros: Good Food

Cons: Horrible Wait Staff and Atmosphere

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We had a reservation for 10 at 7pm on a Friday night. I changed that to 8 people the on Thursday. The person on the phone was very pleasant (not always the case in Philly) Our table was ready when 3 of us arrived at 7. The rest didn't show up for 10 minutes. The staff remained pleasant throughout the evening. Wonderful waiters and good food. I will definitely go back!

2
★★★★★

We had a reservation for 10 at 7pm on a Friday night. I changed that to 8 people the on Thursday. The person on the phone was very pleasant (not always the case in Philly) Our table was ready when 3 of us arrived at 7. The rest didn't show up for 10 minutes. The staff remained pleasant throughout the evening. Wonderful waiters and good food. I will definitely go back!

Pros: Service Attitude Attitude Attitude

Cons: Noisy

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La Viola is a great little spot (well actually 2 spots, located across the street from each other) that serves great, authentic Italian food. It is a BYO spot with an impressive menu. The food is not very expensive, but the ambiance is really nice.

5
★★★★★

La Viola is a great little spot (well actually 2 spots, located across the street from each other) that serves great, authentic Italian food. It is a BYO spot with an impressive menu. The food is not very expensive, but the ambiance is really nice.

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La Viola has been my favorite BYO for years. The food is consistently outstanding and is a great value for the price. The fetuccine al salmone and the daily special soups and salads are always outstanding. For someone who truly values a restaurant for authenticity and quality of the food, you will not be disappointed. That being said, some of my friends dislike it because the restaurant is so small and therefore limited in seating. It is true that sometimes you may have to wait even if you have a reservation, but that's a consequence of going to a restaurant with so few seats (you can also try La Viola West across the street-- the menu is slightly varied but there is much more seating). The table service is excellent, and the fact that you may have to wait to be seated isnt the fault of the staff-- they can't control how long their guests stay. Anyway, I'm always willing to wait for the overall great food and dining experience at La Viola!

2
★★★★★

La Viola has been my favorite BYO for years. The food is consistently outstanding and is a great value for the price. The fetuccine al salmone and the daily special soups and salads are always outstanding. For someone who truly values a restaurant for authenticity and quality of the food, you will not be disappointed. That being said, some of my friends dislike it because the restaurant is so small and therefore limited in seating. It is true that sometimes you may have to wait even if you have a reservation, but that's a consequence of going to a restaurant with so few seats (you can also try La Viola West across the street-- the menu is slightly varied but there is much more seating). The table service is excellent, and the fact that you may have to wait to be seated isnt the fault of the staff-- they can't control how long their guests stay. Anyway, I'm always willing to wait for the overall great food and dining experience at La Viola!

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The service at La Viola was absolutely terrible! We showed up at 8:15 for 8:30 reservations and by 9:30 we were told it would be another 45 minutes until we would be sat. They were very rude and made no effort to move along people who had been sitting at tables for over 2 hours sipping their WINE that they BROUGHT! (this place is BYOB) So we left and found another restaurant I really don't care how good their food might have been I would never go back. By the way I hear the food is just average anyway.

0
★☆☆☆☆

The service at La Viola was absolutely terrible! We showed up at 8:15 for 8:30 reservations and by 9:30 we were told it would be another 45 minutes until we would be sat. They were very rude and made no effort to move along people who had been sitting at tables for over 2 hours sipping their WINE that they BROUGHT! (this place is BYOB) So we left and found another restaurant I really don't care how good their food might have been I would never go back. By the way I hear the food is just average anyway.

Pros: NONE

Cons: the service

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When I read the reviews I was concerned . However, those concerns were unwarranted in that our party of eight all gave La Viola an outstanding rating. From the moment our lovely hostess greeted us and showed us to our table to the time we were met by our waiter to say good bye, we had a most enjoyable evening. Our waiter, Dominic, was friendly and helped uswith the menu. Our wine was opened immediately and we were not rushed to order, in that all of our party wasn't there yet.
All of us raved about the food and the prices are very reasonable.

Yes, it is a bit crowded and noisy but it was lots of fun and just what we wanted...not to stiff and stuffy. WE all had a wonderful time and will return.

2
★★★★★

When I read the reviews I was concerned . However, those concerns were unwarranted in that our party of eight all gave La Viola an outstanding rating. From the moment our lovely hostess greeted us and showed us to our table to the time we were met by our waiter to say good bye, we had a most enjoyable evening. Our waiter, Dominic, was friendly and helped uswith the menu. Our wine was opened immediately and we were not rushed to order, in that all of our party wasn't there yet.
All of us raved about the food and the prices are very reasonable.

Yes, it is a bit crowded and noisy but it was lots of fun and just what we wanted...not to stiff and stuffy. WE all had a wonderful time and will return.

Pros: Good foor, reasonable prices, good service . A fun place

Cons: a bit crowded and noisy

.

If you love Italian food, and I mean real Italian food, La Viola is your spot. Owned by an authentic Italian family, they make genuine and delicious Italian food. Going there reminds me of dining in Italy. It is a byob located in center city Philadelphia. It's a good idea to make a reservation, because it has become fairly popular amongst those with a fine tuned Italian palatte.

5
★★★★★

If you love Italian food, and I mean real Italian food, La Viola is your spot. Owned by an authentic Italian family, they make genuine and delicious Italian food. Going there reminds me of dining in Italy. It is a byob located in center city Philadelphia. It's a good idea to make a reservation, because it has become fairly popular amongst those with a fine tuned Italian palatte.

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Despite having an 8:30 reservation, we were seated 45 minutes late. No apologies from the staff. In fact, owner snapped at us when we asked for an appetizer on the house. While we waited, no one asked to open our wine and bring us glasses to help make the time go by. Finally got seated right near the door with others crowding us as they waited. Meanwhile, the food was average. Pasta was overcooked and sauce was so-so. We will never go back.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Despite having an 8:30 reservation, we were seated 45 minutes late. No apologies from the staff. In fact, owner snapped at us when we asked for an appetizer on the house. While we waited, no one asked to open our wine and bring us glasses to help make the time go by. Finally got seated right near the door with others crowding us as they waited. Meanwhile, the food was average. Pasta was overcooked and sauce was so-so. We will never go back.

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There are many other budget-friendly restaurants (Italian included) which will serve you a delicious meal, treat you as a guest and honor your reservation. Others I know, have had an equally disappointing dinner/experience at La Viola. This Philadelphia "institution" has gotten to big for its britches.

0
★☆☆☆☆

There are many other budget-friendly restaurants (Italian included) which will serve you a delicious meal, treat you as a guest and honor your reservation. Others I know, have had an equally disappointing dinner/experience at La Viola. This Philadelphia "institution" has gotten to big for its britches.

Pros: None

Cons: Countless

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My boyfriend and I came to La Viola in August for his birthday. I made reservations in advance, and when we got there we were seated outside, promptly. The waiter opened our bottle of wine and the night was off to a great start. I ordered a pasta dish with vodka sauce and pancetta. My boyfriend ordered a steak, and both of our meals were absolutely delicious! The seating was a little close, so there is little privacy...but it adds to the charm. Didn't have any issues with the waiters or waitresses as other people have mentioned. You have to realize that it is a small restaurant and it can be VERY busy. If you feel rushed or even a bit neglected, don't take it personally. In a small restaurant that seats THAT MANY people, you have to expect it.

2
★★★★★

My boyfriend and I came to La Viola in August for his birthday. I made reservations in advance, and when we got there we were seated outside, promptly. The waiter opened our bottle of wine and the night was off to a great start. I ordered a pasta dish with vodka sauce and pancetta. My boyfriend ordered a steak, and both of our meals were absolutely delicious! The seating was a little close, so there is little privacy...but it adds to the charm. Didn't have any issues with the waiters or waitresses as other people have mentioned. You have to realize that it is a small restaurant and it can be VERY busy. If you feel rushed or even a bit neglected, don't take it personally. In a small restaurant that seats THAT MANY people, you have to expect it.

Pros: Amazing Italian food!!!

Cons: Service can be a little slow due to high volume of customers.

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The food at La Viola could be perfect but I never got a chance to try it -- the management and hostesses at La Viola seem confused by the concept of a reservation causing our party to go elsewhere. I was with a large party for a special occasion. Reservations were confirmed, reconfirmed, and then confirmed again. Our party, understanding the concept of a reservation, was prompt and entirely present for our 8:15 reservation. In fact, most of us were 15 minutes early. La Viola apparently takes reservations for every party that wants one without considering the limitations of time and space. We observed multiple parties leaving after experiencing a similar wait. After multiple discussions with the manager and hostess and after multiple assurances that our table was almost ready, we left at 9:15 and headed to a BYO that treated us promptly and respectfully. There are enough solid BYOs with good service in the area that I know I won't be giving La Viola another chance.

0
★☆☆☆☆

The food at La Viola could be perfect but I never got a chance to try it -- the management and hostesses at La Viola seem confused by the concept of a reservation causing our party to go elsewhere. I was with a large party for a special occasion. Reservations were confirmed, reconfirmed, and then confirmed again. Our party, understanding the concept of a reservation, was prompt and entirely present for our 8:15 reservation. In fact, most of us were 15 minutes early. La Viola apparently takes reservations for every party that wants one without considering the limitations of time and space. We observed multiple parties leaving after experiencing a similar wait. After multiple discussions with the manager and hostess and after multiple assurances that our table was almost ready, we left at 9:15 and headed to a BYO that treated us promptly and respectfully. There are enough solid BYOs with good service in the area that I know I won't be giving La Viola another chance.

Cons: It's pointless to make a reservation.

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Our party of 12 had reservations at La Viola West on Saturday night at 8:15. When the restaurant called to confirm my reservation, I let them know that our group had a party to attend at 10 pm nearby, and I was told that it wouldn't be a problem to seat us right at 8:15. When we arrived at 8, the waiting area was packed and people were lined up outside. I checked in with the hostess and she said it would be about 15 minutes. An hour later, we were still standing outside in the cold. Meanwhile, parties with other large numbers were being seated. Needless to say, we were frustrated and very hungry but the hostess kept telling us it would only be a few more minutes. Finally, we walked up the street to Bellini, another BYOB on 16th Street, to see if they could fit us in. They were able to accommodate us immediately and we had a wonderful time there.

We were all looking forward to trying La Viola, but the management was extremely poor and we never got the chance. Our entire party of 12 was at the restaurant on time for our reservation, and yet they were unable to seat us after we'd been waiting an hour. We will not be returning after our disappointing experience.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Our party of 12 had reservations at La Viola West on Saturday night at 8:15. When the restaurant called to confirm my reservation, I let them know that our group had a party to attend at 10 pm nearby, and I was told that it wouldn't be a problem to seat us right at 8:15. When we arrived at 8, the waiting area was packed and people were lined up outside. I checked in with the hostess and she said it would be about 15 minutes. An hour later, we were still standing outside in the cold. Meanwhile, parties with other large numbers were being seated. Needless to say, we were frustrated and very hungry but the hostess kept telling us it would only be a few more minutes. Finally, we walked up the street to Bellini, another BYOB on 16th Street, to see if they could fit us in. They were able to accommodate us immediately and we had a wonderful time there.

We were all looking forward to trying La Viola, but the management was extremely poor and we never got the chance. Our entire party of 12 was at the restaurant on time for our reservation, and yet they were unable to seat us after we'd been waiting an hour. We will not be returning after our disappointing experience.

Cons: Poor management of reservations

.

1- Our reservation was for 6:30 pm- SEATED PROMPTLY!!
(Comfortable corner round table- 6 in our party)
2- Our entrees- DELICIOUS!! (selection: veal, chicken, pasta= AA)
3- Wait/staff- SUPERB!!
We all agreed it was a great evening. Coming back soon........

2
★★★★★

1- Our reservation was for 6:30 pm- SEATED PROMPTLY!!
(Comfortable corner round table- 6 in our party)
2- Our entrees- DELICIOUS!! (selection: veal, chicken, pasta= AA)
3- Wait/staff- SUPERB!!
We all agreed it was a great evening. Coming back soon........

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When I first moved to Philly I had a place on Spruce around the corner from La Viola. I would stop by at least 3 nights a week to eat in or take out. They make you feel very at home and the food is fantastic. Now that I live in Bucks County I still take very special clients here all the time. Best kept secret.

2
★★★★★

When I first moved to Philly I had a place on Spruce around the corner from La Viola. I would stop by at least 3 nights a week to eat in or take out. They make you feel very at home and the food is fantastic. Now that I live in Bucks County I still take very special clients here all the time. Best kept secret.

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The food is exceptional, nobody can argue about that. It is cheap, but great. The service is also good (once you get seated). Don't give them your white wine to chill, as they recently lost my bottle and gave me a crappy bottle in return. Don't bother to go on the weekend, unless you go for the early bird special, or make a 9:00 reservation. If you make a Saturday night reservation at 8, they will never seat you before 9:15. By 9:30, anybody can get in and seated.

I swear their whole reservation system is something straight out of a Seinfeld episode. They just take and take and take reservations, but never actually save you a table. Your best best is going their during the week.

Also, this place has either tables for four or four 8 and they just cram you in with random people, as if you are eating in Italy. It works fine if you have a party of 4 or more, but can be awkward as their is no privacy to talk when their are strangers two inches from you to the left and right.

2
★★★★☆

The food is exceptional, nobody can argue about that. It is cheap, but great. The service is also good (once you get seated). Don't give them your white wine to chill, as they recently lost my bottle and gave me a crappy bottle in return. Don't bother to go on the weekend, unless you go for the early bird special, or make a 9:00 reservation. If you make a Saturday night reservation at 8, they will never seat you before 9:15. By 9:30, anybody can get in and seated.

I swear their whole reservation system is something straight out of a Seinfeld episode. They just take and take and take reservations, but never actually save you a table. Your best best is going their during the week.

Also, this place has either tables for four or four 8 and they just cram you in with random people, as if you are eating in Italy. It works fine if you have a party of 4 or more, but can be awkward as their is no privacy to talk when their are strangers two inches from you to the left and right.

Pros: Cheap awesome food (if you ever get seated). They will open your bottle of wine and let you drink it on the sidewalk while you wait (forever).

Cons: They do not honor reservations, so just show up really late or go during the week.

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I would highly recommend La Viola. Went here with a group of friends this weekend expecting it to be just an ordinary Italian restaurant but it far exceeded our expectations. I had the lobster ravioli, which was excellent - extremely flavorful and it was in a vodka sauce which added something unique. Everyone at my table was extremely happy with their meal. It was also very reasonably priced (and BYOB!).

2
★★★★★

I would highly recommend La Viola. Went here with a group of friends this weekend expecting it to be just an ordinary Italian restaurant but it far exceeded our expectations. I had the lobster ravioli, which was excellent - extremely flavorful and it was in a vodka sauce which added something unique. Everyone at my table was extremely happy with their meal. It was also very reasonably priced (and BYOB!).

Pros: Reasonably priced, BYOB, accepts reservations

.

This place is AWESOME! The service was absolutely WONDERFUL! - The food was GREAT ITALIAN FOOD! Those that chosse steak (Prime Rib & Filet Mignon) also got GREAT STEAKS. The Filet Mignon was Huge!
My wife had mahi-mahi w/ Shrimp (House special), and thought it was divine.
We were a party of Eighteen that the restaurant graciously broke into two groups of twelve & six to accomodate us. I have read reviews that have stated that the service was OK. Well, Our Service was GREAT!
We were greeted at our arrival time of 6:50 (we had a 7 PM Reservation), and asked if we could wait a few minutes for the table(s). We were whisked to our tables in less than five minutes!
The GREAT SERVICE started Immediately, with Bread, Olive Oil, and each server introducing themself to us, and explaining the specials, and the appetizers. Their timing was impeccable, as we never felt rushed, nor did we wait for anything.
The cost is RIDICULOUSLY INEXPENSIVE! This is a BYOB Establishment, and you would expect to save on the drinks, but this place was REALLY A BARGAIN!
I don't know about others, but MY ENTIRE FAMILY left very satisfied, and we ALL WILL BE BACK & SOON!

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE GREAT STAFF AT LA VIOLA!

2
★★★★★

This place is AWESOME! The service was absolutely WONDERFUL! - The food was GREAT ITALIAN FOOD! Those that chosse steak (Prime Rib & Filet Mignon) also got GREAT STEAKS. The Filet Mignon was Huge!
My wife had mahi-mahi w/ Shrimp (House special), and thought it was divine.
We were a party of Eighteen that the restaurant graciously broke into two groups of twelve & six to accomodate us. I have read reviews that have stated that the service was OK. Well, Our Service was GREAT!
We were greeted at our arrival time of 6:50 (we had a 7 PM Reservation), and asked if we could wait a few minutes for the table(s). We were whisked to our tables in less than five minutes!
The GREAT SERVICE started Immediately, with Bread, Olive Oil, and each server introducing themself to us, and explaining the specials, and the appetizers. Their timing was impeccable, as we never felt rushed, nor did we wait for anything.
The cost is RIDICULOUSLY INEXPENSIVE! This is a BYOB Establishment, and you would expect to save on the drinks, but this place was REALLY A BARGAIN!
I don't know about others, but MY ENTIRE FAMILY left very satisfied, and we ALL WILL BE BACK & SOON!

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE GREAT STAFF AT LA VIOLA!

Pros: SUPER FOOD, GREAT PRICE, GREAT SERVICE!

Cons: None

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My boyfriend and I came here on a date. The inside is INCREDIBLY cramped, which I think they believe is "charming". We ended up sitting at the same table as two other couples that didn't know each other either. I wasn't aware that the seating worked this way. NOT a very romantic date. The waiter made a sneer at the large bottle of wine we brought for dinner. The food was sub-par, especially for the price. Also, they only accept cash. I would not ever go back to this restaurant. There are way too many good Italian places in this city to waste your time here.

0
★☆☆☆☆

My boyfriend and I came here on a date. The inside is INCREDIBLY cramped, which I think they believe is "charming". We ended up sitting at the same table as two other couples that didn't know each other either. I wasn't aware that the seating worked this way. NOT a very romantic date. The waiter made a sneer at the large bottle of wine we brought for dinner. The food was sub-par, especially for the price. Also, they only accept cash. I would not ever go back to this restaurant. There are way too many good Italian places in this city to waste your time here.

Pros: Only one- its location

Cons: Food, waitstaff, ambience, crowdedness

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ATROCIOUS!!!
Pretty good food, but I set up a whole thing for a bachelorette party and the entire experience was ruined! They messed up our reservation, had us at the wrong table, had no concept or ability to help with our wine, which came with explicit directions and was labeled, etc. etc. The hostess was INCREDIBLY rude and unaccommodating. When I said I thought we had the back room to ourselves she said, "Oh honey, no, that costs a lot of money," in a very condescending way. Every thing I asked her about that was wrong, she gave me an attitude or a snide answer or comment in return.

I asked for the manager when we arrived and then three other times and no one ever showed to talk to us. What a disappointment. Don't ever count on them for a special occasion. I poured our table's champagne toast myself b/c even after we were all seated, at the second table, still no one came by to do it. I confirmed on the phone at least three times that I would really like it to be poured before we arrived. (5 pm, not many other tables even there)

I called and spoke with the hostess and managers at least 5 times setting up and reconfirming everything, and look what happened! We even confirmed that someone would be there at 12 pm so we could drop off our flowers and wine, and not only did they not answer the door at 12 or 12:30, no one even answered the phone at until after 2pm. I called all morning b/c we had to carry flowers and TWO CASES of wine around the city ON FOOT all day until our reservation. Needless to say the whites weren't cold, so we couldn't drink them. I felt horrible for the bride and was so embarrassed that I set it up.

0
★☆☆☆☆

ATROCIOUS!!!
Pretty good food, but I set up a whole thing for a bachelorette party and the entire experience was ruined! They messed up our reservation, had us at the wrong table, had no concept or ability to help with our wine, which came with explicit directions and was labeled, etc. etc. The hostess was INCREDIBLY rude and unaccommodating. When I said I thought we had the back room to ourselves she said, "Oh honey, no, that costs a lot of money," in a very condescending way. Every thing I asked her about that was wrong, she gave me an attitude or a snide answer or comment in return.

I asked for the manager when we arrived and then three other times and no one ever showed to talk to us. What a disappointment. Don't ever count on them for a special occasion. I poured our table's champagne toast myself b/c even after we were all seated, at the second table, still no one came by to do it. I confirmed on the phone at least three times that I would really like it to be poured before we arrived. (5 pm, not many other tables even there)

I called and spoke with the hostess and managers at least 5 times setting up and reconfirming everything, and look what happened! We even confirmed that someone would be there at 12 pm so we could drop off our flowers and wine, and not only did they not answer the door at 12 or 12:30, no one even answered the phone at until after 2pm. I called all morning b/c we had to carry flowers and TWO CASES of wine around the city ON FOOT all day until our reservation. Needless to say the whites weren't cold, so we couldn't drink them. I felt horrible for the bride and was so embarrassed that I set it up.

Pros: Very nice waiters, but with no idea how to wait on people.

Cons: RUDE, AWFUL hostess, management, experience

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I love this restaurant!! I live around the corner and eat here no less than once a month (sometimes three times in a month.) The food is always outstanding and the servers very professional and pleasant. All ingredients are FRESH and the preparations are often very creative. It is always a special treat to dine here and I love introducing new people to La Viola. There are two restaurants: one is on the East side of 16th St. (Bistro La Viola) and one on the West side of 16th (La Viola Ouest) - no signage at 'ouest'. I like both; food and service is always excellent at both but I definitely prefer the less crowded and more elegant atmosphere of La Viola Ouest. I know that my dining exepriences (both restaurants combined) exceed 60 meals. I have never been disappointed (and I am not easily pleased.) Treat yourself or a special someone; you will be well rewarded.

2
★★★★★


I love this restaurant!! I live around the corner and eat here no less than once a month (sometimes three times in a month.) The food is always outstanding and the servers very professional and pleasant. All ingredients are FRESH and the preparations are often very creative. It is always a special treat to dine here and I love introducing new people to La Viola. There are two restaurants: one is on the East side of 16th St. (Bistro La Viola) and one on the West side of 16th (La Viola Ouest) - no signage at 'ouest'. I like both; food and service is always excellent at both but I definitely prefer the less crowded and more elegant atmosphere of La Viola Ouest. I know that my dining exepriences (both restaurants combined) exceed 60 meals. I have never been disappointed (and I am not easily pleased.) Treat yourself or a special someone; you will be well rewarded.

Pros: Food; service

Cons: Can be a bit crowded and noisy - sometimes.

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After leaving this restaurant I felt enraged, disrespected, and ripped off. I made a reservation for 20 people on a Sat night. When I entered the restaurant, I was immediately greeted by a seating hostess who had disrespectful attitude. I politely told her I had a reservation and she rudely said your table is across the street. I asked her, "where exactly? and she mumbled, "are you serious?!". She pointed to where it was, and as we exited she mumbled, "some people are just so stupid". When we were finally seated they took away the menus and said your party is too large and you must have a pre-fixed 3 course meal for $35 (never discussed when making the reservation). When the bill came they charged us $45 a head including tax and tip. This is robbery; we should have been notified beforehand. If you add up what I ordered (salad $6, entree $12, dessert $6) it only totaled $24.

The meal
-took 25 minutes just for bread to be served
-the pre fixed entrees was very limited; 4 choices: Gnocchi, penne pasta alla vodka, veal marsala, or chicken with artichokes

The bottom line:

-food was very generic, nothing fantastic, very forgettable
-service was slow
-staff was rude
-seating is extremely tight, not recommend for large parties
-no ambiance
-this is not authentic Italian; the restaurant is run by Albanians
-by all means avoid

0
★☆☆☆☆

After leaving this restaurant I felt enraged, disrespected, and ripped off. I made a reservation for 20 people on a Sat night. When I entered the restaurant, I was immediately greeted by a seating hostess who had disrespectful attitude. I politely told her I had a reservation and she rudely said your table is across the street. I asked her, "where exactly? and she mumbled, "are you serious?!". She pointed to where it was, and as we exited she mumbled, "some people are just so stupid". When we were finally seated they took away the menus and said your party is too large and you must have a pre-fixed 3 course meal for $35 (never discussed when making the reservation). When the bill came they charged us $45 a head including tax and tip. This is robbery; we should have been notified beforehand. If you add up what I ordered (salad $6, entree $12, dessert $6) it only totaled $24.

The meal
-took 25 minutes just for bread to be served
-the pre fixed entrees was very limited; 4 choices: Gnocchi, penne pasta alla vodka, veal marsala, or chicken with artichokes

The bottom line:

-food was very generic, nothing fantastic, very forgettable
-service was slow
-staff was rude
-seating is extremely tight, not recommend for large parties
-no ambiance
-this is not authentic Italian; the restaurant is run by Albanians
-by all means avoid

Pros: none

Cons: average food, rude staff, poor service, very cramped and uncomfortable

.

The food at La Viola is of average quality. I ordered the risotto without seafood and it was extremely undercooked and was tossed with large chunks of raw garlic. Others ordered pasta dishes and all were average. When cream is added to any pasta dish and meat/poultry/seafood is fried (or sauteed), you really can't complain too much (we all know that a "touch" of cream and lots of oil adds flavor to any dish). There is nothing spectacular about this place. It's just average food. I can't say that it's a must try in the city.

0
★☆☆☆☆

The food at La Viola is of average quality. I ordered the risotto without seafood and it was extremely undercooked and was tossed with large chunks of raw garlic. Others ordered pasta dishes and all were average. When cream is added to any pasta dish and meat/poultry/seafood is fried (or sauteed), you really can't complain too much (we all know that a "touch" of cream and lots of oil adds flavor to any dish). There is nothing spectacular about this place. It's just average food. I can't say that it's a must try in the city.

Cons: Just average food

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We went to the original La Viola last night and it was wonderful. I planned on having the fish special but it was Scrod and I was in the mood for Sea Bass or something else. So I ended up getting the pasta special which was shoe string pasta tossed with smoked salmon and shrimp. Very good! My date and I split a fresh and filling simple salad with cucumber, tomato, red onion and feta cheese in a lemon viniagrette. He had the gnocchi which was excellent but I always thought the portions of gnocci (at any restaurant I've been to) are rather small. The bread they served was straight out of the oven and it was warm and toasty. Ahh, comfort food! Definitely a place to check out again and again!

2
★★★★☆

We went to the original La Viola last night and it was wonderful. I planned on having the fish special but it was Scrod and I was in the mood for Sea Bass or something else. So I ended up getting the pasta special which was shoe string pasta tossed with smoked salmon and shrimp. Very good! My date and I split a fresh and filling simple salad with cucumber, tomato, red onion and feta cheese in a lemon viniagrette. He had the gnocchi which was excellent but I always thought the portions of gnocci (at any restaurant I've been to) are rather small. The bread they served was straight out of the oven and it was warm and toasty. Ahh, comfort food! Definitely a place to check out again and again!

Pros: small intimate romantic setting with great food

.

Our party of 8 had a reservation for 8 p.m. and we were seated promptly at a large table with plenty of room, so I didn't understand why other reviews said the place was overbooked and cramped. This is until I was told there are two restaurants across the street from each other and we were in the larger of the two. We had very efficient service from (rather) young servers who were very accomodating to our party.

I expecially enjoyed the special salad with melon and prosciutto as well as the grilled calamari and shrimp. If you like pasta, the orichette was delicious and the spinich gnocchi w/gorgonzola and tomatoes was great. It is BYOB, so appetizer, entree, dessert and coffee came to $40 per person including a generous tip. This is definitely a place that we will return to.

2
★★★★☆

Our party of 8 had a reservation for 8 p.m. and we were seated promptly at a large table with plenty of room, so I didn't understand why other reviews said the place was overbooked and cramped. This is until I was told there are two restaurants across the street from each other and we were in the larger of the two. We had very efficient service from (rather) young servers who were very accomodating to our party.

I expecially enjoyed the special salad with melon and prosciutto as well as the grilled calamari and shrimp. If you like pasta, the orichette was delicious and the spinich gnocchi w/gorgonzola and tomatoes was great. It is BYOB, so appetizer, entree, dessert and coffee came to $40 per person including a generous tip. This is definitely a place that we will return to.

Pros: attentive service, great value, very good food

Cons: lots of large parties made for a loud dining room

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amazing food. and even better service. not to mention the handsom teenage waiters/busboys. i would totally recomend for anyone.

2
★★★★★

amazing food. and even better service. not to mention the handsom teenage waiters/busboys. i would totally recomend for anyone.

Pros: SERVICE.

Cons: none at all.

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Well I would rate my meal, but I didn't get to eat.

Despite having a 9:30pm reservation, my party was never seated. A party of roughly the same number of people who came in 20 minutes after us were seated before us because they were older then my friends and I. By 10:45pm we decided that we were sick of waiting around in a small, cramped hallway, not to mention starving, and left.

Thank you La Viola for ruining my birthday.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Well I would rate my meal, but I didn't get to eat.

Despite having a 9:30pm reservation, my party was never seated. A party of roughly the same number of people who came in 20 minutes after us were seated before us because they were older then my friends and I. By 10:45pm we decided that we were sick of waiting around in a small, cramped hallway, not to mention starving, and left.

Thank you La Viola for ruining my birthday.

Pros: I don't know because we never were seated despite having a reservation.

Cons: Crowded, noisy, poor service

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I am not sure what all the complaining is about with the service. We had excellent food and service. You can tell from the door it is a small place. If you don't like that sort of thing you should turn around and go somewhere else. We had the penne alla vodka and several of the special entrees. All were excellent and at very good prices. I wish we would have eaten there both nights we were in philly.

2
★★★★☆

I am not sure what all the complaining is about with the service. We had excellent food and service. You can tell from the door it is a small place. If you don't like that sort of thing you should turn around and go somewhere else. We had the penne alla vodka and several of the special entrees. All were excellent and at very good prices. I wish we would have eaten there both nights we were in philly.

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I have to say the food was good, HOWEVER the tables were jammed together so we sat right on top of another table of diners, we were placed right by the kitchen door which was so busy and so noisy I could not hear the other people at my own table, and there were so many waiters going in and out that their food trays were right over my head. This restaurant is large, so there is no excuse for sitting at the kitchen or jamming tables together. ADDITIONALLY, there was no personalized service, our food was just plopped down on the table, and not even at the same time. All in all, dinner was not pleasant, and when I said something to the hostess, she really didn't care. I asked if we could make reservations again and sit outside, but was told no - first come first serve. I would absolutely not recommend this place because they obviously don't care about your dining experience.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I have to say the food was good, HOWEVER the tables were jammed together so we sat right on top of another table of diners, we were placed right by the kitchen door which was so busy and so noisy I could not hear the other people at my own table, and there were so many waiters going in and out that their food trays were right over my head. This restaurant is large, so there is no excuse for sitting at the kitchen or jamming tables together. ADDITIONALLY, there was no personalized service, our food was just plopped down on the table, and not even at the same time. All in all, dinner was not pleasant, and when I said something to the hostess, she really didn't care. I asked if we could make reservations again and sit outside, but was told no - first come first serve. I would absolutely not recommend this place because they obviously don't care about your dining experience.

Pros: food was good

Cons: crowded, noisy, you might have to sit at the kitchen door, poor service

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La Viola, while reasonably priced for good food and service does not know the meaning of the word "reservation". They typically will sit parties one hour after their scheduled reservation, so beware. With the system that they use (first come, first serve, regardless as to making a reservation), they should just get rid of the reservation system all together, as it is a total farce. If you have enough patience to wait it out, the food and service is good and at the right price, but for me, it's just not worth the frustration involved.

1
★★★☆☆

La Viola, while reasonably priced for good food and service does not know the meaning of the word "reservation". They typically will sit parties one hour after their scheduled reservation, so beware. With the system that they use (first come, first serve, regardless as to making a reservation), they should just get rid of the reservation system all together, as it is a total farce. If you have enough patience to wait it out, the food and service is good and at the right price, but for me, it's just not worth the frustration involved.

Pros: good food, good service, well priced

Cons: reservations system is in fact first come, first serve - not worth the frustration

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My husband and I went here for the first time when we were still dating and it was really romantic. Walking in to the restaurant you would never believe it because there are a ton of tables squished together. But, somehow it is really easy to get over the crowd. The food is really great and its BYOB which makes it really fun. In the summer time it is really great to sit outside. The restaurant is walking distance from Suburban Station and right near Rittenhouse Park and Monk's. It is also not too expensive but you have to bring cash.

2
★★★★★

My husband and I went here for the first time when we were still dating and it was really romantic. Walking in to the restaurant you would never believe it because there are a ton of tables squished together. But, somehow it is really easy to get over the crowd. The food is really great and its BYOB which makes it really fun. In the summer time it is really great to sit outside. The restaurant is walking distance from Suburban Station and right near Rittenhouse Park and Monk's. It is also not too expensive but you have to bring cash.

Pros: family restuarant, good service, romantic

Cons: tight seating

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We have eaten at almost every major restaurant in Philly and keep returning La Viola for a dependable experience and great food. We are cautious about the times that we schedule reservations and have had a bit of a wait at times, but find the experience to be well worth it. This is a nice place for a casual meal.

2
★★★★☆

We have eaten at almost every major restaurant in Philly and keep returning La Viola for a dependable experience and great food. We are cautious about the times that we schedule reservations and have had a bit of a wait at times, but find the experience to be well worth it. This is a nice place for a casual meal.

Pros: great food, BYOB, great on week-nights

Cons: crowded at times, take reservations but do not hold them

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This restaurant delivers EVERY time. I've been to it so many times that I feel guilty to admit it. Anyway, you really can't go wrong here. Just about every item on the menu is good. The service is quick. Now, they are friendly in so far as they are interested in getting your order and getting your food to you. If you like fancy service and people that smile and chit-chat with you then you won't like the service. I think the service is great- personally. As long as the waiters get the order right and bring everything out promptly- that's all I really care about.
This is probably my favorite restaurant in the city. It is good for large or small groups- I highly recommend it to anyone.

2
★★★★★

This restaurant delivers EVERY time. I've been to it so many times that I feel guilty to admit it. Anyway, you really can't go wrong here. Just about every item on the menu is good. The service is quick. Now, they are friendly in so far as they are interested in getting your order and getting your food to you. If you like fancy service and people that smile and chit-chat with you then you won't like the service. I think the service is great- personally. As long as the waiters get the order right and bring everything out promptly- that's all I really care about.
This is probably my favorite restaurant in the city. It is good for large or small groups- I highly recommend it to anyone.

Pros: Food, food, food.

Cons: It can be loud at times.

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My boyfriend and I had heard this place was notorious for bad service, but we decided to try it out anyway. I am not usually a snob when it comes to service because I've worked in the industry and know what it's like to be busy, but the service here was absolutely terrible. Although we had a reservation, we ended up waiting about 30 minutes for a table. The workers asked us to wait in the corner, where we kept getting knocked by the door every time customers walked in and out. We were finally seated, and were literally bumping elbows with the couple next to us. After the server poured our wine, my boyfriend noticed his glass was spotty (lipstick marks on it) and pointed it out to the server. He offered no apology. Instead he dumped out the wine and gave him a new glass. We were then left with hardly enough wine for our meal. If the bottle would have been expensive, we would have been beyond angry. The food was pretty good, especially considering the price, but the service was bad enough to keep us from going back.

1
★★☆☆☆

My boyfriend and I had heard this place was notorious for bad service, but we decided to try it out anyway. I am not usually a snob when it comes to service because I've worked in the industry and know what it's like to be busy, but the service here was absolutely terrible. Although we had a reservation, we ended up waiting about 30 minutes for a table. The workers asked us to wait in the corner, where we kept getting knocked by the door every time customers walked in and out. We were finally seated, and were literally bumping elbows with the couple next to us. After the server poured our wine, my boyfriend noticed his glass was spotty (lipstick marks on it) and pointed it out to the server. He offered no apology. Instead he dumped out the wine and gave him a new glass. We were then left with hardly enough wine for our meal. If the bottle would have been expensive, we would have been beyond angry. The food was pretty good, especially considering the price, but the service was bad enough to keep us from going back.

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This place was absoloutley amazing. I went on a Friday night, the day after valentines day, it was crowded, but not uncomfortable. The food was incredible, espically for the price. An appitizer, 2 entrees and coffee for $42! I would recomend this restaurant to anyone looking for amazing italian cuzine, prepared perfectly and reasonably priced. The service is prompt and friendly and very attentive despite the multiple tables they are waiting on. Try La Viola, you'll love it! Also, you can't go wrong ordering one of the specials. Overall, a great experience.

2
★★★★★

This place was absoloutley amazing. I went on a Friday night, the day after valentines day, it was crowded, but not uncomfortable. The food was incredible, espically for the price. An appitizer, 2 entrees and coffee for $42! I would recomend this restaurant to anyone looking for amazing italian cuzine, prepared perfectly and reasonably priced. The service is prompt and friendly and very attentive despite the multiple tables they are waiting on. Try La Viola, you'll love it! Also, you can't go wrong ordering one of the specials. Overall, a great experience.

Pros: Great food, reasonably priced, BYOB, great neighborhood to walk around after dinner

Cons: none!

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Don't pay any atention to the few bad reviews here. We were in Philly overnight and got directed here by a few of the locals. The service was great. The food was distinctive and absolutely delicious. Being a BYOB kept the cost down. It was a mere $54.00 for a scrumptious dinner for 2 including a salad, grilled calamari, 2 entrees and a dessert. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Mike and Sandy from NY.

2
★★★★★

Don't pay any atention to the few bad reviews here. We were in Philly overnight and got directed here by a few of the locals. The service was great. The food was distinctive and absolutely delicious. Being a BYOB kept the cost down. It was a mere $54.00 for a scrumptious dinner for 2 including a salad, grilled calamari, 2 entrees and a dessert. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Mike and Sandy from NY.

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What's the big deal????? four stars? I don't think so. Horrible service! The bimbo at the door was a piece of work and the servers should go back to wherever they came from. I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone. Not only wasn't it good, it sucked! The food was not even mediocre and the service was horrible! I'm still trying to figure out what's the big deal with this place when there are so many FINE restaurants in Philly. Here's my advice: don't go to La Viola unless you want bad service and less than mediocre food. If that's what you want, then this is the place for you. And that's all I have to say.

0
★☆☆☆☆

What's the big deal????? four stars? I don't think so. Horrible service! The bimbo at the door was a piece of work and the servers should go back to wherever they came from. I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone. Not only wasn't it good, it sucked! The food was not even mediocre and the service was horrible! I'm still trying to figure out what's the big deal with this place when there are so many FINE restaurants in Philly. Here's my advice: don't go to La Viola unless you want bad service and less than mediocre food. If that's what you want, then this is the place for you. And that's all I have to say.

Pros: byob

Cons: bad, bad service

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couldnt get into Monks one Friday and the folks at La Viola fit 4 of us in without a res.... Antipasti, primi secondi and out to capogiro for Gelato..Cant get past the grilled Calimari for an ap.... all is great on the menu.... and a byob too

2
★★★★★

couldnt get into Monks one Friday and the folks at La Viola fit 4 of us in without a res.... Antipasti, primi secondi and out to capogiro for Gelato..Cant get past the grilled Calimari for an ap.... all is great on the menu.... and a byob too

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Was looking for a small, intimate place with great Italian food as part of a 'Dinner and a Show ' Christmas outing with the family. The reviews lead me to try La Viola, and so glad I did. Caught the 2:00 showing of STOMP at the Merriam, and had reservations at 5:00, supposidely when they opened for dinner. Called them at 4:10 when we left the show to see if we could get in early, and were told to come right over. Got the table I requested (cozy corner), good service, four great meals, and were able to relax and enjoy the time without being hurried in any way. The bill was $71 for four entrees and two appetizers....a good price for a great meal. I highly recommend La Viola (and STOMP, too!), and will return anytime I get the chance.

2
★★★★★

Was looking for a small, intimate place with great Italian food as part of a 'Dinner and a Show ' Christmas outing with the family. The reviews lead me to try La Viola, and so glad I did. Caught the 2:00 showing of STOMP at the Merriam, and had reservations at 5:00, supposidely when they opened for dinner. Called them at 4:10 when we left the show to see if we could get in early, and were told to come right over. Got the table I requested (cozy corner), good service, four great meals, and were able to relax and enjoy the time without being hurried in any way. The bill was $71 for four entrees and two appetizers....a good price for a great meal. I highly recommend La Viola (and STOMP, too!), and will return anytime I get the chance.

Pros: Meal quality, service, price

Cons: none

.

The food is amazing and the service excellent. It's a tiny little place that's buzzing with energy, laughter and amazing smells. It's hard to stop eating the bread that's hot out of the oven and there isn't a bad meal on the menu. I had mussels to start with, homemade lobster ravioli and finished it off with the creamiest cheesecake I've had in years. This is a place I would return to again and again.

2
★★★★★

The food is amazing and the service excellent. It's a tiny little place that's buzzing with energy, laughter and amazing smells. It's hard to stop eating the bread that's hot out of the oven and there isn't a bad meal on the menu. I had mussels to start with, homemade lobster ravioli and finished it off with the creamiest cheesecake I've had in years. This is a place I would return to again and again.

Pros: food, value, service

Cons: ambience is nice, but it's a tight squeeze

 

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