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Dec 1, 2010 06:49 PM

Romantic Evening in Rittenhouse

I wanted to take a date for a romantic evening in Rittenhouse to walk around and get some dinner. However I'm not familiar with the restaurants in the area. I would prefer a nice, relatively inexpensive Italian restaurant but any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, how is the parking in that area?


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  1. La Viola Ovest. BYOB. You'll probably have to park in a garage though.

    1. We really like Melograno, 2012 Sansom St. It's an Italian BYOB.

      1. Melograno probably has the best food but it's not especially romantic - more loud and cramped and kind of minimalist in decor. I'd say Branzino or Caffe Casta Diva have a more romantic atmosphere and excellent food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sockii

          It's been a while since I've been to Melograno, but at the time they didn't take reservations. If they still don't, that is probably a problem for a date.

        2. salento maybe? byob, takes reservations, pastas less than $15 and most importantly, the food is delicious. simple and good. i much prefer salento to either location of la viola- i found both to be horrible. they rushed my friend and i out in half hour and the food is nothing memorable. mercato also came to mind but it's way too loud in there and they dont take reservations. branzino is another option with good reviews but i havent been recently so i cant comment on that. haha as long as you dont end up at cichetterria i think youll be safe

          6 Replies
          1. re: InSearchOfTacos

            I've had great meals at both Salento and La Viola (both locations). My experiences:
            - I'd put the food equal
            - The space at La Viola is prettier/less institutional
            - The atmosphere at Salento is calmer and probably better for intimate conversation
            - The service was more efficient at La Viola but very impersonal; it was much more formal at Salento
            - La Viola is a little cheaper, if I recall correctly. Not by a lot though.

            I'd recommend either though.

            1. re: PhillyA

              Also, Salento accepts credit cards while La Viola is cash only.

              1. re: PhillyA

                what do you order at the la violas? i got pasta the past few times ive been, and it wasnt bad exactly, but it was uninspired at best. the rushed service is what causes me to not want to go back.

                maybe it's better on weeknights?

                salento has become my rittenhouse italian restaurant of choice

                1. re: InSearchOfTacos

                  Not sure if the question ( re the La Violas) was directed at previous post but...I order the veal which is very good and weird inexpensive. I think the taking reservations policy (most welcome for a BYOB) may cause the "rushed" complaints of the diners LINGERING over their wine after the table is cleared ( though the bum's rush your party got was inexcusable. 1/2 hour? Jeez). And also causes the ' spite of reservations' wait... complaints. I've just never had that problem.

                  1. re: mmgth

                    interesting- i generally like to order pasta at italian restaurants but maybe i need to rethink this. ive definitely seen large parties lingering over wine at byos long after theyve finished their food- but when we had barely touched our wine and were rushed out, i was pretty disappointed. haha we were considering going to audrey claire to have our wine and get more food but they had a huge wait.

                    ive also had to wait for 30min+ at la viola even with reservations but i will forgive these issues if the food is good

              2. re: InSearchOfTacos

                Salento is a great choice as well. Loved the food and have had excellent, very personable service there.