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Apr 9, 2013 04:45 PM

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.

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  1. Thanks for the writeup of your lunch at La Viola.
    We have had dinner at both East and West and while the food has always been good, the noise level was too much for us - especially at East. But it always was an excellent value, and it definitely is worth trying again.