Restaurant Week @ La Viola

Restaurant week is over in Philly, and Master Tester and I were able t try out La Viola, a fine Italian restaurant in center city…hmmhmhmmhmm.  I had been to the place during my college years with my friend Chi and it was just as good and just as crowded.

What went well: the food is delicious! Real italian food from Italy! Fresh, seasoned, hmmmmmmmmm The ambiance is very much as a family dinner.  You need to BYOB but the staff is very warm, we had a bowl! And I loved the smoked trout salad (INSALATA DI PESCE AFFUMICATO), soooo good! Also highly recommend the salmon (SALMONE DI CAPPERI). Checkout their menu HERE.

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What was so-so: The beef special…too regular.

What went wrong: the wait!!! We had reservation but had to wait 45 minutes before being transferred to West LaViola.  Everybody has such a great time nobody wants to leave! So be prepared to wait, but the food is well worth it.

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Review: Nom Nom Ramen

It has been brutally cold lately so I stopped by Nom Nom  for a delicious and warm soup.

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What went well: the staff is always nice and polite; the soup is delicious!! This is my third time coming back….it’s a rich pork broth with seasoning, meat, egg (for an extra dollar) and ginger roots. Yum!!

What was so-so: the place is usually packed at lunch time but seats are freed up quickly so the wait is not too bad

What went wrong: nothing, loved the soup!

Barbuzzo Dinner Night – 24 Oct 2013

Last night, my two brothers and I stopped by Barbuzzo in search of some good Mediterranean food.  Overall impression was Okay…the style is small plates for sharing.  Not that mediterranean to me…  Detailed review below!  If you’ve been to Barbuzzo before, please take our poll below!

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What went well: We were quickly seated, lighting encourages conversation (sweet dates), music is lively though not overly loud.  We recommend the Lardo, Stuffed Meatballs and the Apple Bread Pudding!

What was so-so: The Margherita was good and fancy (after all, “san marzano” sounds better than “tomatoes”, though we are referring to the same item, right 🙂 and house stretched fior di latter is a special type of cheese).  I have to admit the tomato, sorry san marzano, did almost taste like meat. Other dishes were good but over-priced in our opinion.  We have been to other small plates styled restaurant, and portions are larger.

What went wrong: Portion and price.  While the dishes were good, we have definitely eaten better elsewhere.  also, there are multiple high quality small plates restaurants in center city and old city offering larger portions at the same price…

What’s your verdict on Barbuzzo? Poll below!

Restaurant Review: Bistro La Minette – 6 Sept 13

Friday evening, special B and I stopped by this French restaurant to try it out.  You see, special B is in search of the perfect creme brulee as he desperately reminisces of a childhood event when he first tasted a creme brulee dessert back home with dad.  He was nostalgic and I was hungry….perfect dinner match!

What went well:

Food is great.  We highly recommend the escargots, the soup (potage Saint Germain), the porc chops (Cotes de porc).  The baguette was excellent, so was the butter! The service was good.

What was so-so:

The rabbit (le lapin) was good, but I’ve eaten better at a local Belgian restaurant.  Also, the creme brulee was better than what special B has tasted so far in the tri-state area, but not good enough…the search continues!

What went wrong:

The lemonade with alcohol (cannot recall if it was rum or some soft liquor) was too sweet with an unpleasant after taste.  I didn’t like it at all.

Overall: Would go back to try more items on the menu, and stay away from cocktail drinks 🙂

Pictures below.  Have you been to the bistro, if so what was your verdict? Please share!

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