Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Villa di Roma

My good friend Andy was up from College Park last weekend. Friday night we did a little barhopping in Northern Liberties, then made our way down to the Italian Market area because I had never been to Villa di Roma and Andy was in the mood for some non-fancy red Italian food. Villa di Roma is a popular restaurant in South Philly known for it's no-nonsense waitstaff and authentic food. You can check out their menu here courtesey of Philadelphia
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We started with the Fried Asparagus ($7.95). Oh man, this was phenomenal! I seriously could have eaten this whole plate by myself, and when I go again, I might just get two orders of it for dinner. The asparagus were fried perfectly, not overdone or soggy with oil. The spears were placed in a gentle pool of awesome butter sauce, but it was too viscous to just contain butter alone. The server wouldn't reveal any secrets, but I'm pretty sure there is a breadcrumb addition to the sauce that gives it body and texture. Try these asparagus when you visit Villa di Roma, I promise you will not be disappointed.
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The menu is large, with numerous vegetarian and multiple meat (chicken, veal, etc) choices, and I was truly at a loss for what to try. I asked the server what she likes to eat and she suggested the Chicken Bucca Bella. It sounded wonderful, and I knew it was going to be as soon as she put my dinner in front of me!
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I only got more excited as I made the first cut into my chicken. Two cutlets were stuffed with proscuito and provolone, then breaded and pan fried, served in a brown butter sauce with spinach. Oh dear! I'd like to say that after the fried asparagus appetizer that I couldn't finish my entree, but I totally did. This was one of those meals where my stomach hurt, but my mouth just couldn't get enough.
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Andy went for what he was craving, Eggplant Parmagiana with a side of meatballs. I didn't get a photo of the meatballs, but I had a little bite and then were nice, good texture and flavor, and served in a pool of their red gravy.
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As if that weren't enough, we had coffee and canoli too! Earlier this year I declared Vacarro's canoli as the best in the East, but I think they have a rival here at Villa di Roma. The shell was thick and crisp and the ricotta filling was sweet and spiked with anise flavor.

Villa di Roma
936 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 592-1295

Mon-Thu: 4pm-10:30pm
Fri-Sat: 11:30am-10:30pm
Sun: 2pm-10pm
Villa di Roma in Philadelphia
Cash Only!


  1. Taylor said...
    So many Italian restaurants in Philly. I've only tried a few, and have not been bowled over by any. I'll keep this one in mind next time.

    Glad you liked the Lily Allen show. She's quite catchy and addictive.
    sher said...
    It all looks great--but that asparagus?? Swoon!
    Sapere Aude said...
    great food, great service, thanks for the recommendation!
    Anonymous said...
    Very "Mom and Pop" authentic type Italian food. Try the mussels and be sure to mop up the sauce with some of their Italian bread. YUMM!!!
    Anonymous said...
    Next time, try the Veal Bella Bucca - and the canoli likely came from Isgro's. Nothing better than going to Villa for dinner.
    Katie said...
    I'm going to be in Philly in a few weeks on business and have never been to the Italian Market section... definitely going to try to make it there and to this restaurant!

    Katie from Katie's Cucina

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