La Viola East - An enjoyable lunch
I don't recall seeing much on Chowhound about this restaurant so I thought I would write a review of my lunch. I went here by myself about 1 pm today - a Tuesday - after attending the Lisa Scottoline book signing at the Barnes and Noble. The weather was delightful and while I noticed a lot of patrons at the nearby Rouge and Parc, there was only one other table occupied here. That was fine for me, a party of one, but not great for the restaurant. Admittedly, the location of the restaurant on 16th St. between Latimer and Spruce is a little off the beaten path. I had dinner here before with a few other people and lunch several times but had never gone for lunch myself. Now that I am retired, I thought I would give it a try. Since it is a byob, I brought a small individual bottle of Prosecco from the cartons of three bottles.
On to the food, I ordered a Caesar salad and originally the chicken rollatine although I remembered having a similar dish made with veal previously. As it turns out, it was the veal that was available for lunch. Either the menu I received was two sided - for lunch and dinner - or I was given the dinner menu. In any case, the salad was cold and crisp and everything one would want in a Caesar salad. The bread which came with seasoned olive oil was very good and with four slices of it, really more than needed for one person. I asked for some foil and took the rest home to hubby. The veal dish which included veal stuffed with smoked ham, fontina cheese & spinach in a rose sauce with mushrooms & chopped roma tomatoes was excellent as I remembered and included some very crisp and properly cooked snap peas (at least that's what I think they are called.) I dipped some of the bread I ate in the sauce - it was so good. I also had a cappuccino which was well prepared. The whole lunch including the 8% Phila. tax was about $24 and I gave the waiter $30 originally thinking I might have been undercharged for the veal and letting him have the difference. When I left the restaurant I noticed there was a separate lunch menu and I had been charged the correct amount for the veal, but since the service was excellent, the tip was fine.
I know sometimes people aren't comfortable going to a restaurant by themselves for lunch but everything was fine and I was well treated. Maybe things would have been different on a more crowded Thursday or Friday but I felt fine here and just wanted to let other Chowhounders know of my really nice experience.
One final note - I don't think they accept credit cards and bring some wine.