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Dinner Tomorrow at Porcini...Should I change my reservations?

Tonyjlive Oct 2, 2006 05:45 PM

I have made reservations for Porcini tomorrow night, it is my GF's 25th Bday and we will be going to Tria before and Helium Comedy afterwards on 20th and Sansom. I have been reading a lot of bad reviews lately about the service, favoritism, and overpricing. Has anyone been lately and if so what are your thoughts on the place, food, and experience. I wanted to do Caffe Casta Diva but the no-reservations policy was a deterrent. The show is at 10pm and I don't want to have to walk around looking for some place on a whim who doesn't take reservations. Thanks.

  1. spinach Oct 11, 2006 05:52 AM

    sorry you missed out on porcini, i've always found the food to be top notch, and the service much better than average. it's definitely worth trying.

    1 Reply
    1. re: spinach
      c
      Cruz Oct 12, 2006 03:47 PM

      I agree. I ate at Porchini last night and had a wonderful meal.

      Because of the rain, the room was neither crowed nor noisy (as it often can be). As usual, we were warmly greeted by the maire'd. I started off with a fresh mixed greens salad and shared an order of plump, tender mussels. For the entre, I had a very good special veal and mushrooms in a merlot sauce and my partner had balsamic chicken. When we started, we told our server that we were short on time as we were catching a movie. As a result, service was very prompt.

      The only word of caution I would offer is that, as has been noted on this board before, specials tend to be pricier than the regular menu. For example, my veal was $25, while most of the other entres were in the $18 range. If, however, you ask about price before you order, you won't be surprised.

    2. joypirate Oct 4, 2006 01:15 PM

      Great chow coincidences! I was also at Tria, sitting at the bar, tried the Punkin Ale as well and think that Post Road is still my favorite Pumpkin Ale. I don't know if the blonde hipster guy behind the bar is new but he's pretty knowledgable and spent a fair amount of time giving us some decent beer tips.

      I also tried the wood-aged Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bier (not a pumpkin ale), a good farmoushe Belgian-style Saison beer. And then capped things off with the Hair of the Dog barleywine.

      http://www.triacafe.com/id12.html

      1. Tonyjlive Oct 4, 2006 11:42 AM

        We had a great night of eating, drinking, and comedy. Tria was nice as we enjoyed a few drinks al fresco style. I had the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale and the Victory Festbier. Not sure what she had as I couldn't really remember how to pronounce it. We also snacked on the spiced almonds which were very good.
        At Caffe Casta Diva we started with the Melanzane app which was stuffed with goat cheese accompanied with asparagus and gravy, it was good but wouldn't order it or recommend it again. For the main we shared the strip steak which was right on with its' balsamic reduction and mushroom and onion toppings. Definitely recommend that dish. We also shared the gnocchi in a gorganzola cream sauce with pancetta and peas. I am not the hugest gorgonzola fan but this was a very good dish and if you like gorgonzola you would love this dish. All this good juice to be savored with the warm foccacia bread. Once again good rec from the chowhounds. One last note on service, it was nice overall but out of the two women, the Italian(I'm assuming Italian) lady was very nice, and the other was a bit pushy and rude really. Nothing to ruin the meal by any means, but more of a S. Philly attitude than a top CC BYOB attitude. Overall we loved it!

        1. Tonyjlive Oct 3, 2006 09:35 PM

          Took the advice, cancelled Porcini, then made for Melograno because I didn't want to take the chance of no reservations. THen they never got back to me after leaving a message so I called Caffe Casta Diva and to my delight, they take reservations. Thanks for the assistance on this one. We're leaving for Tria in an hour and a half but if anyone has any killer dishes lets hear em. And of course I'll report back.

          1. joluvscards Oct 3, 2006 12:04 PM

            yes change. Porcini is an ok neighborhood place, just ok. Definitely not a destination, special occasion place. Go to casta diva. I is romantic, not crazy busy (on weeknights) like melagrano.

            1 Reply
            1. re: joluvscards
              j
              JT007 Oct 3, 2006 01:45 PM

              i agree. Casta Diva is a more intimate spot and it will be more quiet than Melograno.

              When did Melograno start taking reservations?

            2. Tonyjlive Oct 2, 2006 11:45 PM

              She took me to Matyson for my BDay in August so I will give Melograno a call and see what the deal is there. Probably better to go with a staple huh?...Thanks for the help

              1 Reply
              1. re: Tonyjlive
                d
                DanielleM Oct 3, 2006 01:28 AM

                I love Melograno. I've seen a few complaints about it, but they were always related to the wait -- if they now take reservations, that is a big deal!! I had some shrimp and white bean appetizer there (i'm a litte fuzzy on the details, it's been a while) that was to die for.

              2. b
                Buckethead Oct 2, 2006 07:57 PM

                Melograno and Matyson are both excellent choices, I don't think you will have any trouble sitting down at either on a Tuesday night, reservations or not.

                You could also just stay at Tria..

                1. saturninus Oct 2, 2006 07:40 PM

                  I love Caffe Casta Diva, and EVERYONE loves Matyson.
                  Matyson is very celebration appropriate.

                  1. s
                    sylviag Oct 2, 2006 07:31 PM

                    I just heard that Melograno now takes reservations.

                    Also, Matyson is pretty close - 19th St., just off Chestnut - and their food is excellent.

                    If you're celebrating a birthday, you might as well go someplace known to be good!

                    1. j
                      JT007 Oct 2, 2006 06:25 PM

                      On a Tuesday night, I think you should be able to walk into Caffe Casta Diva easily...or Melograno (22nd/Spruce) for that matter.

                      Both restaurants are much better food-wise, as well as ambiance, in my opinion

                      1. w
                        wendyphilly Oct 2, 2006 06:13 PM

                        I think you have your restaurants confused -- Porcini does NOT take reservations, Cafe Casta Diva does.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wendyphilly
                          Tonyjlive Oct 2, 2006 07:04 PM

                          Didn't know Caffe Casta Diva did...but Porcini defintely does, I have them for tom. night at 8pm. They take them during the week. Thanks

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