There are two La Violas, Ovest & Bistro. They are right across the street from each other, 252 S. 16th Street & 253 S. 16th Street. If that isn't confusing, I don't know what is. Luckily there was an employee standing outside of Ovest to direct us in the right direction. I was bit concerned before we got there because I had been to a La Viola before (wasn't sure which one at the time..), so technically this wouldn't be a "first meal" for me. Luckily, we dodged that bullet and ended up at the other La Viola (whew!).
La Viola Ovest was super welcoming when we walked in. There were two rooms, one in the front and one in the back. The hostess immediately asked us if which room we preferred to sit in, and even asked us which table we wanted. I liked getting those choices because there is nothing worse than sitting in a bad seat. Unlike La Viola Bistro, La Viola Ovest had tons of seating and a lot of open space. When I went to La Viola Bistro, we actually shared a table with another couple. I appreciate the small Italian BYOB spots, but come on. I don't know these people, I don't really want to share my bread basket with them. La Viola Ovest had more space but still gave off that quaint Italian restaurant feel. When we walked in we noticed a smell of a fresh home? I know it sounds weird, but we didn't smell Italian food, we smelled someone's freshly cleaned house. Take that for what it's worth, but I liked it!
We noticed a kind of assembly line with the staff. One person sat us, one person open our wine, one person poured our waters, one person told us the specials, and one person took our orders. I'm exhausted just typing this. So,we didn't really get a personal touch with one waiter, but it worked for us.
On to the fun part, the food! Since La Viola is a BYOB, we were worried that we might not spend the $50. So more of an excuse to both get appetizers and dessert. To start, Regan got a Cesar salad. I told her that I would not make fun of her for getting that, again...........
I went with a salad special. For me, it is always a risk going with a special at an authentic Italian restaurant because I am never fully sure of what the waiter is actually saying when he tells us the specials. But I thought I would be adventurous! The salad was a spring mix topped with prosciutto, goat cheese, and avocado with a lemon vinaigrette dressing. If you know me you know that anything with avocado is a go for me. And this salad was actually perfect. Even Regan, one of the least food adventurous people I know, tried it and agreed, so that says a lot. The prosciutto melted in my mouth and the avocado was fresh and ripe to perfection. The dressing was infused in the whole salad so I could taste it in every bite. Great choice, if I do say so myself.
For dinner, Regan got the Lobster Raviolis, or Ravioli Alla Viola. Homemade ravs stuffed with lobster in a pink vodka sauce. Delish. I have been using my blog as an excuse to try everyone's meal and it is really working out to my advantage. The raviolis were stuffed to the brim with lobster. I enjoyed, and clearly, she enjoyed.
I went with the salmon. My friend told that I've been "getting a lot of red meat lately" in my blogs, so I went with seafood. Since this friend is the same friend who gave me the idea to blog about my outings, I will take the hint. The Salmon Di Capperi was oven roasted salmon with pearl onions and capers, with a light marinara sauce. Well, I decided that I love pearl onions. That's the most I can say about the salmon. Wasn't really impressed. Regan thinks I am officially a food snob, but I honestly have had better salmon! It was a huge dish so I was able to take leftovers. Let's just say, I am not looking forward to lunch as much as I probably could be.
In our attempt to go over $50, we just had to split dessert. Regan and I both love cannolis and take advantage of them more times than not when we are at an Italian restaurant. However, La Viola only had cannoli cake, not plain cannolis. But if you know us, you know that we aren't picky when it comes to dessert, so we went with it. Again, not an authentic cannoli, but still amazing. Pretty presentation as well.
Overall we had a great sisters night out. A lot of childhood reminiscing, like the time that I broke my wrist from tripping after locking Regan in the attic (karma is real).
We would have been okay without the dessert, the total came to $62. Two apps, two dinners, 1 dessert, NO alcohol (hey BYOs!). La Viola Ovest is a place I would love to try again. A lot of seating, so there is a possibility if I decide to go back on whim on a Friday night we would get in easily.
8 down 44 to go!