Went to LaViola Saturday night. (253 South 16th Street; 215-735-8630.) Made the reservation (for 2) a couple weeks before and was glad I did as there was a wait outside. I read on this board how it is very small and tables are close together. What an understatement! Tables are less than one inch apart. We were seated inbetween others and thought we'd be uncomfortable. Wrong. As this board suggests, no one cares what you are talking about and the food is to die for!
We split a Caesar salad which was the best I've ever had anywhere. I had the veal with mushrooms in a nice veal gravy, with vegies. My companion had the lobster ravioli in a pink brandy sauce which were the largest ravioli I have ever seen. He said they were the best he's had. Their homemade tiramisu was excellent. I spoke to a couple next to us who ordered both the mussels (as lots of others had) and also the grilled calamari...they were locals and said they order them both each and every time. They looked great and I know what I'm having next time.
It's a BYO and service is excellent. No waiting, but no rushing you, either. I will come back to Philly if only to eat at this restaurant again!
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