Popular Center City BYOB La Viola has solved its always-packed problem, opening an almost-identical location across the street. The street address and phone numbers are one digit apart. The room is still a sparse afterthought. The waiters are still Italian. The booze is still carried in by customers and the menu is almost identical, still red-gravy satisfying and suitably priced. Warm up with a bowl of red or white mussels ($7) then dive into homemade fusilli with cannelloni beans, sausage, onions and a drizzle of olive oil ($12).
Dominic treats you like family where fine Italian dishes are offered for prices that put Olive Garden to shame. Lightening fast service is great for getting you to the theater on time but can add to the aura of hubbub in two "loud" rooms with hard surfaces and occasional tables of young women who can hardly imbibe two glasses of wine without losing all awareness of others. Have the Frutti di Mare (like velvet) and try any special salad of the day that often features field greens with a lovely protein and a luscious soft cheese in a well balanced lemon vinaigrette. Only more cold dessert choices (no gelato/sorbetto options to date) would make this terrific spot even better. Portions are satisfying but not overwhelming. The two dining rooms are slightly more spacious than the cheek to jowl mother venue across the street and are simply and tastefully appointed. LVO is a great place if you want to eat yummy food, walk out with money in your wallet and make it to the Philorch on time. Go early to avoid The Young and the Entitled. Posted by Roland: Oct. October 15th, 2009 at 9:08 PM