I am not an expert at describing food, but our experience at Caffe Casta Diva was very good. I dare say I liked it better than Matyson. My two cents:
Overall restaurant, noise, etc:
Great location in Philly, close to parking lots, we were seated right away, modern decor. Our two-top was next to another couple, but this turned out to be a big plus for us since we chatted with them over dessert and basically 'closed' the restaurant. Yes, a little loud, but I didn't mind. Our res were for 9pm by 9:30pm the noise level dropped significantly. The waiter was a little direct and maybe a little short but with a sense of humor. Our wine was opened very fast -- the waiter was rushed...I do think he could have slowed down a bit...he forgot to mention the risotto special, which was a bummer. One thing CCD should do is remind people its a BYO and cash only when they take your res. We knew this but others might not.
Was it just me, or was the bathroom super dark??? Cool round mirror though.
The timing between courses was great, no problems.
The rosemary bread was wonderful and I am embarrassed that my husband polished off two baskets. We knew what to do with the olive oil, but if someone did not...again the waiter wasn't guiding us. Fine for us...but...
I got the grilled artichoke and roasted red pepper salad. So delicious. My husband got the Caesar salad -- also very nice.
My husband had a special: veal chop with potatoes and green beans. Are you supposed to ask how you would like a veal chop cooked? I honestly thought so...they didn't ask, but it was pretty...perfect! Every bite was smoky and flavorful. My husband isn't a potato fan but they were eaten first because they were that good! The crimini (?) mushrooms were great and I stole most of them off his plate.
I had the mushroom ravioli special. WOW. A forkful of mushrooms and nuts, combined with the sauce and softness of the ravioli was a wonder. I wanted to lick the plate. I thought about it. The taste was mushroomy and cheesy and the tang of the 'balsamic-y' (lol, I am sure that isn't a word) sauce and the butter flavor...oy. The raviolis were soft but not so soft that they fell apart -- but it encouraged you to get it to your mouth as fast as possible --- no problem for me!
For dessert, I had a nice mint tea. My husband had the tiramisu, which was obviously homemade and lovely. Our waiter changed for dessert and she was calm and helpful.
The bill for two came to $87 -- why not mention this in tough economic times! I noticed CCD had a 'recession special' for weekdays.
I would go again and again...and again.