Monday, May 24, 2010

La Viola - Consistently Good Italian

Several years back, several of us gals were in Philly for a Girl's Weekend, and someone made reservations at La Viola.  One taste of their steak special, and I was hooked.  And since it's a BYOB, it's such a great deal.

To celebrate Eric's graduation day, we met up with some friends at La Viola.  Parking was a serious issue that evening so we got to the little bistro late and found our friends jammed into the back of the restaurant.  It's a charming little place, where a table for six is taking up a fairly significant percentage of the space.  It's New York City tight, where if you really wanted to, you could enjoy the conversation of the folks sitting right next to you.  But along with the classy white tablecloths and napkins, there's a loud boisterousness and chatter - you are in an Italian joint, after all! 

After popping the corks, we got down to business.  I was sorely disappointed to find there was no steak special.  Their beef special was "Rack of Lamb."  Not sure what part of the cow that comes from...

I started with the Three Mushroom dish, a mixture of Cremini, Porcini, and Shiitakemushrooms. This dish was piping hot and lavishly indulgent.  It had a very creamy and viscous gravy that was well carried by the meatiness of the mushrooms and was also very good when sopped up by the bread.

And here's a smattering of their pasta entrees.

This was a spaghetti pasta dish with a Puttanesca-like sauce.  Tart, salty and delicious!

Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Mushrooms.  Perhaps my favorite of the evening.  Nice melding of all the flavors.

Homemade Gnocchi with a simple tomato sauce.  Spinach?  Some other green herb?  I can't quite remember, but it was a nice, lovely dish.

Okay, I admit that I was disappointed that I didn't get my steak.  Pasta wasn't quite the substitute I was looking for, but if I had to have pasta, I'm glad I was having it at La Viola.

La Viola‎ (Cash Only)
253 South 16th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 735-8630‎

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