Went to Caffe Casta Diva (227 S. 20th) for dinner Friday night (they take reservations, unlike Melograno and Radiccio, where I initially wanted to go) and had an excellent meal. We shared a dish of gnocci for an appetizer. It was a huge portion, even cut in two. The gnocci were light in a lovely basil cream sauce. I had a seafood special of shellfish and salmon in a light butter sauce. Fresh and delicious. My friend had the grilled branzino. Simple and fresh. We had the cannoli and a fresh strawberry tart for dessert with coffee. The tart was excellent. The cannoli was gluey and weird tasting. Don't know what was up with that. Service was fine, although we had to pour our own wine after it was opened. Prices were reasonable ($50 pp including tax and tip). We'll definitely return.
Went to Trio in the Fairmount area (26th & Brown), a small Thai BYO, on Saturday night and had a very good meal there as well. Reservations are a must on weekends. There is a good sized attactive room downstairs with six tables well spaced out tables on the first floor and a larger room upstairs. We shared three appetizers: a salt fried calamari salad in a lime/wasabi dressing, spring rolls, steamed dumplings, and an entree of pad thai. All were very good and very delicately prepared and spiced. I especially loved the calmari and the pad thai. This also turned out to be plenty of food for the two of us. They offer a tray of desserts, which were pretty typical [name your] restaurant desserts except for a thai tea creme brulee that sounded interesting. Unfortunatly we were late for another engagement and didn't have time to try it. Service was pleasant as was the atmosphere. Prices were very reasonable ($45 total including tea, tax & tip) Definitely a nice and affordable addition to the dining scene in that area.