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Jun 27, 2009 06:17 AM

Ristorante Mezza Luna--Bella Vista (Philly)

Hi all,

Trying to plan a special dinner for 2 on either July 4th or July 5th, and obviously we are running into some trouble thanks to the fact that many restaurants are closed this weekend. We had tried to book at Mr. Martino's but they too are closed, and I'm wondering whether anyone can comment on Ristorante Mezza Luna?

I haven't found a whole lot about it on here or elsewhere but basically all reviews sound good. Ideally we want good food in an atmosphere that is quiet. Any other suggestions for a place with quality grub (likely preferably Italian/Southern Italian), a not too loud/quiet atmosphere, BYOB (though this is actually very low on our priority list) and of course somewhere that is open on July 4th or 5th (we can do either date). Some other considerations would be Ristorante Ava on 3rd Street or Tres Scalini. We don't have a particular budget in mind but this isn't an occasion for Vetri-esque prices (not that we'd be able to get in there anyway and not that we didn't love it when we went). Also, ideally it would need to be somewhere that has at least one vegetarian option on the menu or would be willing to accommodate a vegetarian if I called ahead, though this isn't typically a problem anywhere I go, so I could worry about this issue once I get a suggestion. Oh one more thing--we live in Old City but do have a car so we could conceivably go anywhere. However, with the likelihood of some killer traffic that weekend, we'd probably prefer somewhere we could get to via Septa, cab, etc. Thanks!

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  1. Mezza Luna is good - just don't order the Osso Buco (IMHO). They served it to our table and it had been quickly cooked and was near inedible. Then they told us that's how they prepare it. Everything else was good though. That experience turned me though and I prefer Cucina Forte across the street - BYO and "Dream Soup" and gnocci to die for. In a totally different vein, James is also right there - don't know if they are open for the 4th - but Hhe is a Vetri alum and serves great local seasonal food, which they call American, but certainly has Italian leanings to me!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bigley9

      i almost completely agree about mezza luna, their osso bucco is really awful, but i enjoy everything else on their menu. my only gripe is that they haven't changed their menu in forever! but if you haven't been there before then everything else is really good. what i don't agree with is that even though i love the dream soup, i like mezza luna a little more than cucina forte. but i grew up and live around the corner from both, so it's really tough to have to make that decision. :)

      and dante and luigi's is a def a good rec, the only difference between the d&l and the above two places is that d&l is italian-american and very red sauce focused (and it is not a byo). it is my favie non-familially-made red sauce in the city though....all of these places have vegetarian options....

    2. What about Dante and Luigi's? It's a great reasonably priced Italian restaurant not far from Mezza Luna. The website is It's not a byob. My husband and I had drinks at James before we went to dinner at Dante & Luigi's. Easy to get to from Old City - take a bus or cab. There were a number of vegetarian pasta options if one of you can eat cheese.

      1. Thanks for the suggestion. We've actually completely switched gears and are planning to go Friday, Saturday, Sunday, but I will definitely keep Mezza Luna in mind for the future. I have been to Dante and Luigi's and Cucina Forte before and both were great...thanks for reminding about these, and about James!