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Posted by Margaret on 08/02/2010
Impossible to enjoy the good food when noise from huge parties fills the small room. Do not even consider for a couple trying to enjoy a romantic dinner. And service is often rude. Very disappointing atmosphere because food is very good. Could work for early dinner during week. Definitely avoid weekends.
Posted by Sue on 06/07/2010
17 of us were seated quickly as reserved at the ample tables with white tablecloths. Our set menu had delicious choices, was presented with class, and had the best service we have ever experienced!! Contratulatios La Viola.
Posted by raven on 05/25/2010
This place has found its niche by serving inexpensive basic Italian food in an atmosphere that is normally not availble at these prices. This is a terrific place for young diners because it is romantic without breaking the bank. that's why it has lines.
Posted by anonymous on 04/05/2010
The food was not bad but not spectacular. But even the service was not good and the hostess was not friendly by any means. The atmosphere was average and a little dated. They cram everyone in so be prepared to sit right next to strangers who can practically reach over to borrow your salt. So basically there is no attention to detail in every aspect of dining here.
Posted by Philly City Dweller on 01/24/2010
We have been to La Viola on two recent occasions, once during the “big blizzard” and most recently during the Restaurant Week of 2010. On both occasions the food and service has been superb. Their salads and appetizers are made with the freshest of ingredients and served with style. Although their main thrust is Italian specialties, their seafood preparation is flawless. On our prior visit I ordered the Salmon. The portion size would have easily been two servings in other restaurants. Often, big portions don’t always indicate great quality or preparation but la Viola’s performance was outstanding. The fish was perfectly cooked, beautifully sauced and presented with excellent sides. When we went for Restaurant Week (quite by accident) I was surprised by the variety and excellence of the prix fix menu. The starters included three of my favorite salads. The second course was a combination of wonderful lobster ravioli and spinach gnocchi. The gnocchi were a bit chewy but nicely sauced and tasty. The lobster ravioli were outstanding. La Viola is BYOB with no corkage charge. The service is attentive and friendly. This is a great little place in Center City with very reasonable prices and great food.
Posted by Roland on 11/15/2009
Domenic treats you like family where fine Italian fare is offered for prices that put Olive Garden to shame. Try the fruitti di mare (like velvet) and any special salad which invariably features field greens with a yummy protein and a soft cheese in a well balanced lemon vinaigrette. Tagliatelle with Salmon is another winner priced way below expectation. Portions are satisfying but not overwhelming. Nightly soups are usually cream-less bisques that are very tasty but a bit saline (don't assume adding salt) and sometimes a bit thin for the mouth-feel that a pureed soup should provide. Only more cold dessert choices would make this good spot even better. (No gelati or sorbetti as of this writing.) The Ouest location across the street isn't as disturbingly crammed as the cheek-to-jowl mother venue and is simply and tastefully appointed, but a bit "loud." Lightening fast service is great for getting you to the theater on time, but can add to the aura of hubbub. Go early to avoid The Young and The Entitled which often includes tables of young women who can't imbibe two glasses of wine without forgetting all awareness of others, as if they weren't self-absorbed enough upon entry. LV/LVO is well worth trying for delicious food served quickly and kindly while leaving money in your wallet.
Posted by Birthday Girl on 10/15/2009
My husband took me to La Viola last night for my birthday and we were completely impressed. Its cozy dining room reminded me of family dinner at my grandparents' house, and the food topped nearly every Italian restaurant in the city, especially when factoring in value. We can't wait to go back!