A year ago my father called me about a pasta so delicious that he thought about ordering another.
While he went against his gluttonous instincts, I did not, but only because he accidentally told me the wrong thing earlier that night - the orrechiette alla romano instead of the fusilli estiva.
|Newest obsession: Fusilli estiva at La Viola|
The homemade fusilli with cannellini beans, sausage and white onions in an olive oil sauce is one of the best pasta dishes we've had on the Nana Test. I could have ordered a fourth dish to go, ha!
How did the rest of the meal fare in The Nana Test?
Atmosphere: If you want a full out, Florida-style early bird dining experience then head to La Viola at about 7:00 pm, one hour before show time at the Kimmel Center. We were the youngest couple by at least 30 years leading us to think the Candid Camera crew was going to pop out of the kitchen. A mixed crowd did start to fill in about halfway through our meal.
The attentive waiters knew the menu inside out and helped foster an Italian family-like atmosphere where you can have a rambunctious BYOB meal. 4 out of 5
|Shrimp and fettuccine special|
Kristy’s fettuccine special with shrimp, pancetta and sun dried tomatoes in a blush sauce can fall victim to chef runamok, but La Viola kept to the basics and delivered a highlight. 4 out of 5
The Sauce: The fusilli’s white onion olive sauce should be canned and sold. My father’s Abruzzi-born cousin recently taught us a similar recipe, which makes sense because La Viola is based on Abruzzi-style cooking. If I can replicate the La Viola twist, I’ll post on the blog. The fettuccine blush sauce was also lick-the-plate clean. 5 out of 5
Serving size and bread: Plenty of piping hot bread is served although several pieces in our basket were toasted to a crisp. Sensing my hesitation to request extra bread with the extra order of fusilli, the waiter jumped in saying more bread is a must to soak up the sauce. My Nana would have given him a big kiss on the cheek. For the price, the pasta serving size is above average. 5 out of 5
Antipasti: The standard selection of meats, cheeses and vegetables is worth ordering at $9. Even at twice the price, many restaurants go overboard with a complicated antipasti or are too sparse with the meats and cheeses. The traditional version at La Viola is priced accordingly. 3 out of 5
The secret sambuca test: A polite no.
Total score: 21 out of 25 - an overall excellent Italian BYOB experience.
|Orecchiette alla romana with chicken, sausage and mushrooms in a white wine garlic sauce|