Casta Diva

★★★★☆
  • 227 S 20th St

    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    Map & Directions
  • 215-496-9677

About Casta Diva

Hours
Mon., Sun. CLOSED;Tue. - Sat. 5pm - 10pm

Food

Food
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4.25 16
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As an individual who travels to Italy often, hands down this is the best Italian food I've ever had in the States. The overall feel of Caffe Casta Diva is warm and inviting while modern and chic.

Having dined here several times I find the food to be consistently fabulous. You won't find a better selection of homemade pastas presented with delicately flavored sauces, both the scallops and the veal chop are to die for while the sauted artichokes are heavenly. Oops, I almost forgot to mention the gnocchi, which are so light they melt in your mouth. As you read the menu your mouth will begin to water and soon you'll be struggling to make a decision, you'll want one of everything. Once your meal is complete be sure to treat yourself to a serving of delightful gelato, yes it's homemade also.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday check out the "recession menu" three courses for $30 what a deal, if you miss it don't worry their regular prices are completely reasonable. And it's a BYOB, no corking fee, all the more reason to experience Caffe Casta Diva, not that the superb food, delightful service, inviting atmosphere aren't enough

Wish I could dine there every evening, what a treat to finally have found a place which can truly compare to authentic Italian cuisine usually only found in italy.

2
★★★★★

As an individual who travels to Italy often, hands down this is the best Italian food I've ever had in the States. The overall feel of Caffe Casta Diva is warm and inviting while modern and chic.

Having dined here several times I find the food to be consistently fabulous. You won't find a better selection of homemade pastas presented with delicately flavored sauces, both the scallops and the veal chop are to die for while the sauted artichokes are heavenly. Oops, I almost forgot to mention the gnocchi, which are so light they melt in your mouth. As you read the menu your mouth will begin to water and soon you'll be struggling to make a decision, you'll want one of everything. Once your meal is complete be sure to treat yourself to a serving of delightful gelato, yes it's homemade also.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday check out the "recession menu" three courses for $30 what a deal, if you miss it don't worry their regular prices are completely reasonable. And it's a BYOB, no corking fee, all the more reason to experience Caffe Casta Diva, not that the superb food, delightful service, inviting atmosphere aren't enough

Wish I could dine there every evening, what a treat to finally have found a place which can truly compare to authentic Italian cuisine usually only found in italy.

Pros: everything is homemade

Cons: cant think of any

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The food was above average but the gentleman who took our order was beyond rude. I would have to say closer to ignorant, but more exactly obnoxious. We live in Center City and it is very convenient for us to get to this restaurant, but we won't be going back. There are too many other choices that are equally convenient.

1
★★☆☆☆

The food was above average but the gentleman who took our order was beyond rude. I would have to say closer to ignorant, but more exactly obnoxious. We live in Center City and it is very convenient for us to get to this restaurant, but we won't be going back. There are too many other choices that are equally convenient.

Pros: Interesting menu

Cons: A bit pricy for BYOB, waitstaff attitude

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I had dinner there a couple of weeks ago with 4 other people. This was not my first time as I had eaten at Casta Diva 3-4 times before but had not been there in 6 mths. We had appetizers and pasta entrees, and we all enjoyed our meals. However, the service there is efficient but not friendly or welcoming. We had 3 different people attending to us but it was not clear if we had a primary server or not. The initial waiter was irritated when he was asked to repeat the specials of the day. Then once our orders arrived no one came over to see how we were doing or if everything was alright. And then when the check arrived they had already added in the gratuity (18%) which we didn't really mind. We ended up putting in an extra $4 because of the way it came out in paying cash. The waiter came over and picked up the folder and asked if we needed change and we said no. That was it - no thank you from her which we all noticed - she just walked away. It will be a long time before I go back there, if ever again. A restaurant that does not seem appreciative or seem to care that their patrons are happy or want to return doesn't need my business. I live in the City and, believe me, there are many excellent restaurants that do go out of their way to make sure their customers are happy!

2
★★★★☆

I had dinner there a couple of weeks ago with 4 other people. This was not my first time as I had eaten at Casta Diva 3-4 times before but had not been there in 6 mths. We had appetizers and pasta entrees, and we all enjoyed our meals. However, the service there is efficient but not friendly or welcoming. We had 3 different people attending to us but it was not clear if we had a primary server or not. The initial waiter was irritated when he was asked to repeat the specials of the day. Then once our orders arrived no one came over to see how we were doing or if everything was alright. And then when the check arrived they had already added in the gratuity (18%) which we didn't really mind. We ended up putting in an extra $4 because of the way it came out in paying cash. The waiter came over and picked up the folder and asked if we needed change and we said no. That was it - no thank you from her which we all noticed - she just walked away. It will be a long time before I go back there, if ever again. A restaurant that does not seem appreciative or seem to care that their patrons are happy or want to return doesn't need my business. I live in the City and, believe me, there are many excellent restaurants that do go out of their way to make sure their customers are happy!

Pros: Pasta is excellent

Cons: Servers are not friendly or welcoming

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I went to this great little place on a double date. I called ahead to say we'd be 15 mins late which they was fine, but any later would have to wait. They were courteous when we arrived. I was horrified by how rude our friend's wife was, but the server took it all in stride & took her crazy personality nicely. Our salads were prompt & the food was excellent! Stayed long enough for dessert & really just enjoyed the atmosphere of the place. My one complaint was that they didn't have any change for a dollar for the parking meters. They tried though!

2
★★★★★

I went to this great little place on a double date. I called ahead to say we'd be 15 mins late which they was fine, but any later would have to wait. They were courteous when we arrived. I was horrified by how rude our friend's wife was, but the server took it all in stride & took her crazy personality nicely. Our salads were prompt & the food was excellent! Stayed long enough for dessert & really just enjoyed the atmosphere of the place. My one complaint was that they didn't have any change for a dollar for the parking meters. They tried though!

Pros: Great food, Nice Atmosphere, Friendly Staff

Cons: Would it hurt them to offer bread?

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I love the small place, but we were sitting at the most wobbly table that was making me sea sick. It was really horrible. Great food, but it took 20 minutes to pay the bill and then they only accept CASH. What kind of a resturant only accepts cash???? Maybe they should have put up a sign or something. It was very hot in there too because the kitchen was so close to the tables.

1
★★★☆☆

I love the small place, but we were sitting at the most wobbly table that was making me sea sick. It was really horrible. Great food, but it took 20 minutes to pay the bill and then they only accept CASH. What kind of a resturant only accepts cash???? Maybe they should have put up a sign or something. It was very hot in there too because the kitchen was so close to the tables.

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Just like the restaurant's interior after restoration, their food is becoming even more sophisticated than ever.

The waitress warmly welcomed us even though it was 10 minutes before their last order time. The chef also came to the table to talk about the speciality for the day. Once the order is through, each dish comes to the table at a perfect timing.

We particularly enjoyed their scallop with saffron risotto; the scallop was not overcooked and had the exact firmness and sweetness. The risotto was filled with the rich scent of saffron, and had shining gold color.

Caffe Casta Diva is the perfect place for a relaxing dinner.

2
★★★★★

Just like the restaurant's interior after restoration, their food is becoming even more sophisticated than ever.

The waitress warmly welcomed us even though it was 10 minutes before their last order time. The chef also came to the table to talk about the speciality for the day. Once the order is through, each dish comes to the table at a perfect timing.

We particularly enjoyed their scallop with saffron risotto; the scallop was not overcooked and had the exact firmness and sweetness. The risotto was filled with the rich scent of saffron, and had shining gold color.

Caffe Casta Diva is the perfect place for a relaxing dinner.

.

I've been there twice for dinner now and I wish it were closer and we could go more. The food is absolutely great. I haven't eaten anything bad there. I've been wowed by quite a few dishes, and I'm pretty picky.

The main stats: the place is small, so make reservations. It's BYOB, so you can save money that way. It's not cheap, but it's priced similar to other restaurants of its type and the food is worth every penny and more.

The service is good, friendly and honest. The first time I was there I saw a staff member chase an elderly patron down the street to return the wallet he had left on the table.

Honestly, I can't remember the main course I had either time, but the first time I was there was about nine months ago and the time after that was maybe four months ago. I remember it was good. Both times that I was there they has a special artichoke appetizer that was to die for. I'm an artichoke fan in the first place, but this dish was just amazing. I also remember the dessert I had the first time I was there. I had a scoop of fig ice cream and a scoop of pumpkin. They were both great, but the pumpkin was absolutely amazing.

The one small drawback of the restaurant I found was that if you arrive for your reservation and you are early or your table is not quite ready, there's no place to wait. You end up standing in the middle of the room, feeling like you're standing in someone's living room or dining room.

2
★★★★★

I've been there twice for dinner now and I wish it were closer and we could go more. The food is absolutely great. I haven't eaten anything bad there. I've been wowed by quite a few dishes, and I'm pretty picky.

The main stats: the place is small, so make reservations. It's BYOB, so you can save money that way. It's not cheap, but it's priced similar to other restaurants of its type and the food is worth every penny and more.

The service is good, friendly and honest. The first time I was there I saw a staff member chase an elderly patron down the street to return the wallet he had left on the table.

Honestly, I can't remember the main course I had either time, but the first time I was there was about nine months ago and the time after that was maybe four months ago. I remember it was good. Both times that I was there they has a special artichoke appetizer that was to die for. I'm an artichoke fan in the first place, but this dish was just amazing. I also remember the dessert I had the first time I was there. I had a scoop of fig ice cream and a scoop of pumpkin. They were both great, but the pumpkin was absolutely amazing.

The one small drawback of the restaurant I found was that if you arrive for your reservation and you are early or your table is not quite ready, there's no place to wait. You end up standing in the middle of the room, feeling like you're standing in someone's living room or dining room.

Pros: food, service

Cons: no place to wait while waiting for table

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My husband and I recently dined in the ample and cozy BYOB. We had the ceasar salad, mussels, ny strip steak and pasta and sausage and everything was so fresh and super delicious. What a great meal we had and we could not get enough of the entrees and the bread also excellent. An awesome dining experience with great service. Highly recommended!

2
★★★★★

My husband and I recently dined in the ample and cozy BYOB. We had the ceasar salad, mussels, ny strip steak and pasta and sausage and everything was so fresh and super delicious. What a great meal we had and we could not get enough of the entrees and the bread also excellent. An awesome dining experience with great service. Highly recommended!

Pros: fresh food, great service and great ambience

Cons: Small and parking could be an issue

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I dined at Casta Diva for the first time just a few weeks ago and we had a great experience. It was a week night so it was quiet, and we received attentive service. Our server was very knowledgable regarding the menu, and very descriptive regarding the specials and dishes. We each had a fresh large salad, and the carmelized artichoke was amazing. For dinner I had the duck - it was cooked perfectly. My husband had one of the fresh pasta dishes and was very happy w/ his dish. This is definitely a restaurant that I will continue to frequent.

2
★★★★★

I dined at Casta Diva for the first time just a few weeks ago and we had a great experience. It was a week night so it was quiet, and we received attentive service. Our server was very knowledgable regarding the menu, and very descriptive regarding the specials and dishes. We each had a fresh large salad, and the carmelized artichoke was amazing. For dinner I had the duck - it was cooked perfectly. My husband had one of the fresh pasta dishes and was very happy w/ his dish. This is definitely a restaurant that I will continue to frequent.

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Casta Diva's food is delicious. Soft, creamy, fresh mozzarella. Beautiful, ripe, juicy tomatoes. Perfectly cooked pasta. Fresh, fresh, ingredients in every dish. Dishes appear at the table as if prepared to sashay down the runway at a fashion show. Chef Steven has an impeccable sense of taste. He has a genuine love for what he does. Plump, light, cannolli and refreshing sorbetto. Servers are superb. Duck and fish dishes are a rare treat. Lots of nice figs and cheeses.

2
★★★★★

Casta Diva's food is delicious. Soft, creamy, fresh mozzarella. Beautiful, ripe, juicy tomatoes. Perfectly cooked pasta. Fresh, fresh, ingredients in every dish. Dishes appear at the table as if prepared to sashay down the runway at a fashion show. Chef Steven has an impeccable sense of taste. He has a genuine love for what he does. Plump, light, cannolli and refreshing sorbetto. Servers are superb. Duck and fish dishes are a rare treat. Lots of nice figs and cheeses.

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Yes, Caffe Casta Diva is small, but provided a wonderful atmosphere for our group of twelve. Calling in advance helped and our main courses arrived in waves (such a large group would overwelm any small kitchen), but the good service ensured that wine, water, and bread were never in short supply. The $30 prix fix menu provided excellent value. The flavors of the gnocchi in cream sauce appetizer and seafood risotto entree made them well worth the wait, and the chef created a unique entree for the vegan among us. Apologies to any of other patrons looking for a quiet Thursday night dinner who may have been annoyed by our group's size and lively discussion.

2
★★★★☆

Yes, Caffe Casta Diva is small, but provided a wonderful atmosphere for our group of twelve. Calling in advance helped and our main courses arrived in waves (such a large group would overwelm any small kitchen), but the good service ensured that wine, water, and bread were never in short supply. The $30 prix fix menu provided excellent value. The flavors of the gnocchi in cream sauce appetizer and seafood risotto entree made them well worth the wait, and the chef created a unique entree for the vegan among us. Apologies to any of other patrons looking for a quiet Thursday night dinner who may have been annoyed by our group's size and lively discussion.

Pros: Food, value, atmosphere

Cons: Kitchen overwelmed by large groups

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Having dined here one before, we knew this place was lovely and served very good food. After calling ahead to say we'd be a few minutes late, we arrived only ten minutes late for a 5:30 reservation. Only one other table was seated. We had a lovely meal, although the service was somewhat rushed, but since we didn't bring wine with us, we weren't too put off. We ordered coffee and dessert; the bill was brought before we finished, about 6:55. We had tickets to a show so we had time, we thought, to finish our coffee. At 7:10, the hostess/owner? approached us and asked us to leave, as people were waiting for our table and were getting upset!! Do you believe this - without any forewarning, after paying $80.00 plus tip for our meal, we were not allowed to finish our coffee because a 7:00 reservation had been made for our table. We would have been leaving by about 7:25 anyway to get to our show, had anyone asked. We hurriedly left, not wanting to cause any disturbance in the very cramped dining room, and although the hostess apologized again as we left, we silently knew we would never return. Yes, dining out is about good food, nice ambiance, but also ALWAYS about service and a welcoming hospitality by the restaurant staff toward its patrons. After all, in a restaurant haven like Philly, there is too much competition to be so outright rude! We live right around the corner but would never spend our money to be so offended again.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Having dined here one before, we knew this place was lovely and served very good food. After calling ahead to say we'd be a few minutes late, we arrived only ten minutes late for a 5:30 reservation. Only one other table was seated. We had a lovely meal, although the service was somewhat rushed, but since we didn't bring wine with us, we weren't too put off. We ordered coffee and dessert; the bill was brought before we finished, about 6:55. We had tickets to a show so we had time, we thought, to finish our coffee. At 7:10, the hostess/owner? approached us and asked us to leave, as people were waiting for our table and were getting upset!! Do you believe this - without any forewarning, after paying $80.00 plus tip for our meal, we were not allowed to finish our coffee because a 7:00 reservation had been made for our table. We would have been leaving by about 7:25 anyway to get to our show, had anyone asked. We hurriedly left, not wanting to cause any disturbance in the very cramped dining room, and although the hostess apologized again as we left, we silently knew we would never return. Yes, dining out is about good food, nice ambiance, but also ALWAYS about service and a welcoming hospitality by the restaurant staff toward its patrons. After all, in a restaurant haven like Philly, there is too much competition to be so outright rude! We live right around the corner but would never spend our money to be so offended again.

Pros: Good food; cute but cramped place

Cons: Very rushed service; asked to leave after 1 1/2 hours because table was being tied up!

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Caffe Casta Diva is a very cozy neighborhood BYOB that is well worth the price--about ($12 and up for entree). Their menu has many options and all focus on fresh, organic ingredients. Their filet mignon and veal is particularly amazing. The staff is very attentive and professional (especially Demitrella) and the Chef, Stephen Vassalluzo, is extremely friendly and cares about your enjoyment--he periodically comes out to make sure his guests are content. It is far more affordable and higher value than virtually all of the overrated places nearby like Matyson, 20 Manning etc. Of course it is 20 times better than chains like Buca di Beppo and Olive garden. Reservations recommended, but not required.

PROS: Great food, chef, staff, affordable
CONS: no parking

5
★★★★★

Caffe Casta Diva is a very cozy neighborhood BYOB that is well worth the price--about ($12 and up for entree). Their menu has many options and all focus on fresh, organic ingredients. Their filet mignon and veal is particularly amazing. The staff is very attentive and professional (especially Demitrella) and the Chef, Stephen Vassalluzo, is extremely friendly and cares about your enjoyment--he periodically comes out to make sure his guests are content. It is far more affordable and higher value than virtually all of the overrated places nearby like Matyson, 20 Manning etc. Of course it is 20 times better than chains like Buca di Beppo and Olive garden. Reservations recommended, but not required.

PROS: Great food, chef, staff, affordable
CONS: no parking

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If you're looking for a quiet venue for a relaxing, intimate dinner, Caffe Casta Diva is great. A tiny BYO, though not so tiny that you're jammed together with other guests like some other BYOs, it's charmingly decorated with cheerful yellow walls and vintage-look posters, and features softly playing opera for ambience. The service is excellent, and the menu is wonderful. The beet salad (Insalata Traviata) and the NY Strip steak with porcini mushrooms were magnificent. Complemented by our own wine and quiet atmosphere, it was a lovely and relaxing dining experience.

2
★★★★★

If you're looking for a quiet venue for a relaxing, intimate dinner, Caffe Casta Diva is great. A tiny BYO, though not so tiny that you're jammed together with other guests like some other BYOs, it's charmingly decorated with cheerful yellow walls and vintage-look posters, and features softly playing opera for ambience. The service is excellent, and the menu is wonderful. The beet salad (Insalata Traviata) and the NY Strip steak with porcini mushrooms were magnificent. Complemented by our own wine and quiet atmosphere, it was a lovely and relaxing dining experience.

Pros: Food, Service, Quiet

Cons: Maybe a bit too quiet

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The tiny but pretty yellow dining room provides an intimate setting for a wonderful dining experience. All three salads tasted were well above average, from a traditional but flavorful Caesar to a delightful beet, pear, and mixed greens plate. Entree choices may seem limited but each dish was expertly prepared. A veal chop smothered in porcini and portabello mushrooms was rich and hearty; veal rolls melted in your mouth; and a salmon fillet was delicately flavored with capers and cherry tomatoes. The same vegetables (crisp green beans and roasted potatoes) were served with each dish, but were perfectly prepared. The only letdown was a chocolate "souffle" dessert that tasted like Jello pudding. Overall I give them a strong recommendation; just get there early to get a table and to avoid the noise.

2
★★★★☆

The tiny but pretty yellow dining room provides an intimate setting for a wonderful dining experience. All three salads tasted were well above average, from a traditional but flavorful Caesar to a delightful beet, pear, and mixed greens plate. Entree choices may seem limited but each dish was expertly prepared. A veal chop smothered in porcini and portabello mushrooms was rich and hearty; veal rolls melted in your mouth; and a salmon fillet was delicately flavored with capers and cherry tomatoes. The same vegetables (crisp green beans and roasted potatoes) were served with each dish, but were perfectly prepared. The only letdown was a chocolate "souffle" dessert that tasted like Jello pudding. Overall I give them a strong recommendation; just get there early to get a table and to avoid the noise.

Pros: cozy, good food

Cons: cash only, can get noisy

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Wonderful food. Maybe the best bread in Philadelphia. Attentive service. Noisy at times in this small restaurant. You can feel the chef/owner's excellent personal touch in everything.

2
★★★★★

Wonderful food. Maybe the best bread in Philadelphia. Attentive service. Noisy at times in this small restaurant. You can feel the chef/owner's excellent personal touch in everything.

Pros: Great value, Superb food

Cons: , Tables close together

Editorial from

This 20-plus-seat Italian BYOB oozes simplicity, from its minimal townhouse decor to its good, unpretentious food. As a bonus, a soundtrack of operatic selections adds to the mood. The menu borrows inspiration from operas, too---crespelli…

 

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