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Good Italian restaurant in Philly? Villa di Roma?

Any suggestions for a good Italian dinner? Nothing fancy or where you HAVE to dress up.

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  1. I think there are many better restaurants where you don't have to dress up. L'Angolo or Tre Scalini for instance.

    1. I really like Mr. Martino's Trattoria, on Passyunk between Tasker and Morris. It's only open Fri-Sat-Sun, though.

      You hardly have to dress up anywhere these days.

      1. You might as well go to Olive Garden if you're going to eat at Villa di Roma. Take JanR's advice. My preference is Tre Scalini.

        1. Are you talking about the same place on 9th. ? You don't have to dress up and it's reasonable. As far as going to Olive Garden, are you sure you've been there? Villa di Roma may not be at the upper end of Philadelphia dining, but it's a decent independent place.

          1. I live in California,but am a Philly native...and I still crave the chicken neopolitan & chicken sicillian at Villa. Wonderful people too. Don't forget the greens n garlic mmmmm

            1. Please don't go to Vill De Roma. It is cheap. Period. Definitely Italian-American NOT Italian which is a whole different flavor, cooking style and approach. Hence the Olive Garden comment actually has some merit. They are wonderful people but so is every Italian restaurant in South Philly.The above mentioned are far better. Or leave S Philly head up to the Rittenhouse Sq area and go to Melagrano's or Cafe Costa Diva and then report back on the diff!

              1. Villa Di Roma is on Craig LeBan's list of 76 places he likes in Philadelphia.

                Just for fun I did a count. The Bride & I have been to 33 of the 76 places listed. If you exclude the suburban stuff, 32 of 60 places, or more than half. Clearly we've got lots of catching up to do! And actually most of the places on his list are places we'd like to try.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JugglerDave

                  Do you have a link to this list?


                2. http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/emai...

                  Here you go...glad someone noted Villa on his list. Sometimes the food snobs get out of hand..how many more recomendations for Matyson, Mellagrano, etc. can this board take!

                  Villa is great for what it is, and there are some really great dishes. I love the shrimp scampi (so did LeBan). Here is to great Italian American food and those great homey S. Philly places!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Chasdet

                    I remember a butter drenched asparagus that was delicious. not much on atmosphere, but the food is good.

                  2. The poster requested recs for a "good" italian restaurant. Perhaps we can get more specifics on their taste. IMHO I would never rec Villa because it isn't my cup of tea. I don't care for red gravy places even if they are the best around. There are restaurants on the "list" that I would not try because that type of food doesn't appeal.

                    Anyway you might like Tre Scalini, Branzino or Radicchio. all are byo.

                    1. I actually love southern Italian cooking and I don't think the requirement of "good" excludes it. There are good "red gravy" restaurants. I just don't think Villa di Roma is the best example. At least no one suggested Ralph's.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JanR

                        I never meant to imply that red gravy can't be good. It's just that good is so subjective and not all may care for that type of Italian. Just like not all would like to go to Le Bec Fin if they request a special evening out.

                      2. If its not too late for me to make another recommendation, try Core di Roma in the 200 block of South Street. It's only about a year old. We've had two WONDERFUL meals there with large groups. Service was top notch. It's a small, family owned place. It was worth our 12 block walk (one way) from the Broad St. line to get there.