227 S 20th St, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1910339.949793 -75.173962
Mon., Sun. CLOSED;Tue. - Sat. 5pm - 10pm
Neighborhoods: Fitler Square, Center City
Small and intimate, but still handled a group of 12 – Yes, Caffe Casta Diva is small, but provided a wonderful atmosphere for our group of twelve. Calling in advance helped and our main courses arrived in waves (such a large group would overwelm any small kitchen), but the good service ensured that wine, water, and bread were never in short supply. The $30 prix fix menu provided excellent value. The flavors of the gnocchi in cream sauce appetizer and seafood risotto entree made them well worth the wait, and the chef created a unique entree for the vegan among us. Apologies to any of other patrons looking for a quiet Thursday night dinner who may have been annoyed by our group's size and lively discussion.
Terrible customer service! – Having dined here one before, we knew this place was lovely and served very good food. After calling ahead to say we'd be a few minutes late, we arrived only ten minutes late for a 5:30 reservation. Only one other table was seated. We had a lovely meal, although the service was somewhat rushed, but since we didn't bring wine with us, we weren't too put off. We ordered coffee and dessert; the bill was brought before we finished, about 6:55. We had tickets to a show so we had time, we thought, to finish our coffee. At 7:10, the hostess/owner? approached us and asked us to leave, as people were waiting for our table and were getting upset!! Do you believe this - without any forewarning, after paying $80.00 plus tip for our meal, we were not allowed to finish our coffee because a 7:00 reservation had been made for our table. We would have been leaving by about 7:25 anyway to get to our show, had anyone asked. We hurriedly left, not wanting to cause any disturbance in the very cramped dining room, and although the hostess apologized again as we left, we silently knew we would never return. Yes, dining out is about good food, nice ambiance, but also ALWAYS about service and a welcoming hospitality by the restaurant staff toward its patrons. After all, in a restaurant haven like Philly, there is too much competition to be so outright rude! We live right around the corner but would never spend our money to be so offended again.
Cozy Center City B.Y.O.B. that has room--though not much space--for improvement. – In Short
It's another homey little Italian B.Y.O.B. for the Rittenhouse neighborhood. This one's smaller than most: 23 seats, with a single server, which makes dining a leisurely, cozy experience. Main courses start out nicely, ricotta-filled crepes, chicken topped with mozzarella and a special of Italian sausage with fettucine. Homemade chocolate creme brulee and coffee ice cream laced with sambucca are better-than-average endings.
Lovely food, relaxing atmosphere – If you're looking for a quiet venue for a relaxing, intimate dinner, Caffe Casta Diva is great. A tiny BYO, though not so tiny that you're jammed together with other guests like some other BYOs, it's charmingly decorated with cheerful yellow walls and vintage-look posters, and features softly playing opera for ambience. The service is excellent, and the menu is wonderful. The beet salad (Insalata Traviata) and the NY Strip steak with porcini mushrooms were magnificent. Complemented by our own wine and quiet atmosphere, it was a lovely and relaxing dining experience.
Quaint, cozy, delicious Italian – The tiny but pretty yellow dining room provides an intimate setting for a wonderful dining experience. All three salads tasted were well above average, from a traditional but flavorful Caesar to a delightful beet, pear, and mixed greens plate. Entree choices may seem limited but each dish was expertly prepared. A veal chop smothered in porcini and portabello mushrooms was rich and hearty; veal rolls melted in your mouth; and a salmon fillet was delicately flavored with capers and cherry tomatoes. The same vegetables (crisp green beans and roasted potatoes) were served with each dish, but were perfectly prepared. The only letdown was a chocolate "souffle" dessert that tasted like Jello pudding. Overall I give them a strong recommendation; just get there early to get a table and to avoid the noise.
autolyse – Wonderful food. Maybe the best bread in Philadelphia. Attentive service. Noisy at times in this small restaurant. You can feel the chef/owner's excellent personal touch in everything.
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