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  • Casta Diva

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Casta Diva
Casta Diva

Casta Diva Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.castadivabyob.com/
  • Email: info@castadivabyob.com
  • Phone: (215) 496-9677
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: Cash Only
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Stephen Vassalluzzo
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: BYO Liquor, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout
  • Private Party Facilities: Please contact the restaurant directly to discuss and schedule.
  • Private Party Contact: Stephen Vassalluzzo (215) 496-9677

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Locust
  • Public Transit: Bus 17 stops at 20th & Locust.
    Buses 9, 12, 21, 42 stop at 20th & Walnut.
  • Parking: No
A word from Casta Diva
Located just steps away from the Rittenhouse Square Park, Caffe Casta Diva brings to the table simple yet perfectly executed authentic Italian dishes, always using the finest locally and seasonally available ingredients. Bring your favorite bottle of wine to this elegant and sophisticated tratoria and enjoy beautifully prepared seafood and meat dishes, as well as pasta, desserts and bread made in the house. One of the "best kept secrets in Philadelphia" according to the Zagat review.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Diner Reviews
  • "Good food. Reasonable to high prices. Waiter was very inattentive. Would try again to see whether we were just unlucky this time."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Steve, you are the BEST. Every dish is presented artistically and every bite is heavenly. Bravo once again!"
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "We have been to this restaurant many times and have never been disappointed. Food is beautifully prepared, especially lived the Branzino. Last time we had 5 guests, all ordered different entrees and everyone raved about it. Only drawback is Cash Inly, a bit inconvenient."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Wonderful - as always. We've eaten at Casta Diva many times (usually for special occasions). Everything is perfect - from the bread to the desserts. The space is beautifully designed. My only concern is that it iwill become too popular for me to continue to get a reservation when I most want to go!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "I have been to Cafe Casta Diva many times and my husband and I have enjoyed taking our family there when they visit. Their food has always been so well prepared and delicious (i.e. think about it a week later kind of good)! Sadly, this time, I was less impressed. The steak we ordered was medium-rare and came out beyond well done. The veggies were poorly prepared and not very exciting. The Risotto gnocchi was pretty phenomenal though, light little puffs of deliciousness! When a friend told us that he was less than impressed with our recommendation for Cafe Casta Diva a couple months ago we thought he was crazy, but I'm starting to wonder if they are slacking a little and not taking the care the used to in preparing meals."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We like Casta Diva and, on this visit, met a friend who was in the city on business. The meal was a hit. The last time the 3 of us had been together was in northern Italy in the "slow food" region, so the comparison could have been tricky. We had 3 different entrees and shared 2 appetizers and 2 desserts. Casta Diva has a small menu that is supplemented with nightly specials. It is one of the few restaurants that doesn't over charge for specials. That is one example of how they respect their guests. I've read recent complaints about service. Ours is always fine. This is not a "hi, my name is Jennifer" type of place. We find the service to be quiet, professional and pleasant without any unnecessary intrusions or false familiarity."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Every morsel was delicious! We hadn't dined here in quite awhile, but will be back soon! Wonderful food, great service and a lively atmosphere! The presentations were excellent and the portions very ample! Casta diva is a gem!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "The food at this small gem of a BYOB was outstanding and I look forward to returning again and again."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "This is one of my favorite BYOBs in the city. We shared a dinner, having eaten a lunch too late. We started with their cheese plate, a real value for the price. The selection was perfect and the portions generous. We had the shaved roasted artichoke salad which was very different, very refreshing. Then moved on to the roast duckling. It was nicely paired with sweet potato gnocchi and other little goodies, and the portion was fine for sharing. Fig gelato was yummy. The only negatives were that the ginger gelato was a bit bland. And the room was a bit too loud. Other than that, the ambiance was very attractive."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Well liked and well attended local spot. We could only get reservations for 5 o'clock, so know that you need to reserve far in advance. Ricotta Gnocci and Crespelle was DIVINE! The Calamari presentation was different and delightful. BYOB made the experience very affordable especially when you bring the best wines (Thank you for the recommendation from Circa Wines)! Everyone at the table raved about the meal. Compliments to the chef! We did accidentally break a glass and we were not offered another, or replacement of the dessert that had broken glass in it. That was the only negative. But I realize that they needed to move us out for the next reservation, but that was a little rude."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Truly delicious food. Waiter rude to the point of absurdity. Small space that was full of people so it was quite warm and when we asked if the heat could be turned down the waiter refused. As we were about to order, my husband leaned over to ask me a question and the waiter literally said "I will come back" as a chastisement."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "One of the places that I should have had dinner before but never had the chance to go. Every single meal was delicious and it is byob, so it is more to my advantage. Give it a try and you won't get disappointed."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We nabbed a reservation to Casta Diva just a few hours in advance so we weren't expecting anything too spectacular. When we arrived our table was waiting for us in a cute nook in the back. Our waiter was not the most friendly and warm person I've ever met, but he did his job so it was fine. Our food, on the other hand, was amazing. The wild boar papadelle was to die for and I would go back just for that dish. The price was right on for a great Italian meal in Center City and because it was a BYOB it ended up being a very cost effective dinner!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We have been dining at Casta Diva since moving to Philadelphia 5 years ago. The food is consistently excellent and the service impeccable. On this occasion, one member of our party arrived close to an 1 1/2 hours late and the staff was extremely accommodating and understanding. The menu offers a variety of choices that should please most diners from vegetarians to pescatarians to carnivores. There is both consistency as well as change allowing for the fact that some diners like to count on eating the same food and others prefer to try out new dishes."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Steve is a great Chef. Everything is prepared fresh and seasoned delicious! Ella is the front of the house. She is friendly and helpful. This is a small very civilized restaurant. Elegant without being stuffy."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "I have dined here a few times over the years. This recent visit was a disappointment. It was way too crowded and loud to the point where it was close to impossible to enjoy the food. The servers had too many tables. It took a long time to get menus and give our order. I will not return on a Sat night."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Heard many good reviews of this restaurant, so I was looking forward to dining there. What a disappointment! Although the special eggplant appetizer and crème brulee dessert were very very good they did not overcome the blandness of the Caesar salad and the veal chop and duck entrees."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "We had an 8:30 reservation and arrived on time. We had a large party so it was understandable our table was not ready at 8:30. We were rudely asked by the woman who was acting as the hostess to wait in the hallway of the building since we were in her way. We watched about 3 separate parties and arrive and be seated immediately. Finally our table appeared to be ready about 20 minutes after our arrival and the hostess proceeded to seat a party of 5 before us even though our table was ready first. When I told her this was very offensive as we had been waiting in the hallway for 20 minutes she was extremely rude and said that it made more sense to get this party seated first. Our food and service outside the hostess was outstanding."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Food ranks #1 for me and I was very happy with the creativity, quality and presentation. Service was excellent. Being a BYOB restaurant was no problem because we picked our wine ahead of time after reading the menu online. Cash only was also not a problem because the prices were very reasonable considering the quality."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "This was my first meal at Casta Diva and I would go back. Simple, but well executed Italian food in small environs which could use a little adornment on their walls. As we were finishing, several groups were waiting for their tables standing just outside door. No place to wait on a cold night, which is typical problem for byob's. Portions are substantial."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "We have never been disappointed in the food or service. Have taken friends and they also came back"
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "The service here was remarkably bad - the main server was rude and borderline hostile. She did not smile once, was not welcoming, was very perfunctory at best, and seemed annoyed that we were there -- and we were going out of our way to be friendly and nice. It really put a damper on an otherwise okay meal. All of the dishes that we had were decent - not great, not spectacular. It's BYOB, so its not like there are good drinks to blunt the rude service and acceptable food. Given all the really amazing food in proximity, its surprising that the restaurant was so full. Will not being going back. (Cash only, fyi)."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "My wife and I had a previous wonderful dinner at Casta Diva. We returned for a second visit and we each had an outstanding meal."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "I took my girlfriend here for valentines day and for the most part everything was great! The only downside was that another couple was seated almost right on top of us. This place would be great for a table of 4 though!!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We ate there on Valentines Day. I got the carpaccio which was more like medium rare roast beef than raw filet. The menu did not say that it was going to be cooked. It was promptly taken back and replaced with a pretty good beet salad. For main, I got the duck which was cooked pretty well done, not medium rare as I had ordered, and disappointing. Husband's veal chop was also overcooked, which seems to be a theme. Brother in law's dry aged steak was mediocre. Sister did like her trofie with mushrooms. The ambience is a nice neighborhood BYO; I just wished the food had delivered. Maybe an off night because of Valentines?"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Every dish was exceptional. This is our favorite restaurant and the only place I wanted to be on Valentine's Day. We brought a great Barolo and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. We sat next two couples who had never been to Casta Diva and both discovered that it was their new favorite restaurant!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Casta Diva is always a good choice, but we usually go on a quiet night. This visit was on Valentine's Day and I was surprised that, in spite of being very busy, the waitstaff managed to create a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Bravo. Casta Diva has a small menu. The consistent addition of a vegetarian special would be very welcome."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My wife and I went there with a family group for a celebration--not typical for the restaurant, which has an intimate atmosphere. My wife and I have been there a number of times, but this time we took our adult children (plus two eleven year olds) because they said they wanted very good food. The food was delicious, imaginative, and beautifully presented. The service was impeccable--responsive, efficient, but also sensitive to the atmosphere we wanted to establish."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Met and I could say surpassed expectations. Casual but very attractive setting with pleasant and efficient service. Not sure if this is the norm for BYOBs restaurants in Philadelphia but no cooler was provided for my white wine. Food was fantastic, As appetizers we had the calamari and red peppers . For main course we had the crepelle and the veal loin. At $35 I felt the latter was a bit overpriced, but it was very good so I dont regret ordering it. We ended with Creme brulee (it was chocolate which surprised me since it wasn't specified in the menu, but was very good) and chocolate torte topped with ice cream, yummy! Will come back for sure."
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "Fabulous food, have gone often, never disappointed. Go early when noise level is low. Cash only."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Enjoyed the evening, wonderful food, nice atmosphere!"
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "We ordered 4 pasta dishes. 3 were a+, one was b. I have rarely seen any place that good"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Disappointed with attitude from server and policies. I made reservation for 4 people. Two of us arrived 15 minutes early and were seated. I tried to order an anti pasta appetizer while we waited for rest to join us. But server was abrupt telling me that I cannot order appetizer until the whole order went in at the same time. This policy prohibited us from appetizer as we were headed for a show. This policy cost the restaurant a sale. Also, this restaurant is CASH only. This was not publicized until we opened the menu. Its an expensive place but luckily we scraped together the money. I will not return. This would have been embarrassing and very inconveniencing if I had to leave to go to an ATM"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "We go to Cass Diva all the time and are never disappointed. My favorite entre is Steve's veal chop. It is the best in the city! Service is always friendly and welcoming."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Food was I fabulous; beautifully presented. Delicious. Exceptional choices and combinations. But the servers either have to cover too many tables or frankly don't care. They were minimally present and largely unavailable except to take orders and deliver the dishes. Nonetheless, the food was so good I'd return again and again."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "My parents and I were looking for a good Italian byob, a little less expensive and cute casual ambiance, offset a bit from the most populated areas. The food was very good, but it was overpriced for what you got. Byob is great but for example, we ordered the antipasti salumi appetizer. It came out on a beautiful wooden board and was arranged nicely, but it was 16 pieces of tissue thin salami and 6 little crackers...for 16 dollars. No cheese or olives or roasted red peppers? That's not antipasti. We each got a pasta dish which were all good but we were still hungry after. I don't eat much. When you drop at least an easy $100 at a byob, you should be full when you leave. We had a nice time, but It was too hyped up and I was disappointed."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Went here for "date night" this past Friday. It is a nice place however very small. We were seated at a small table and I must've bumped elbows with the guy at the next table at least 3 times. The food was great. We started with the best salad and the cheese plate... Both excellent. The service was friendly and accommodating. Despite the tight quarters, we would certainly venture back to try the rest of the menu."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Every couple of months our friend from Connecticut visits and we look for a restaurant that is new to our group of five. We were not disappointed with our choice. We each selected a different entree and no one was disappointed. The scallops were divine, and the calamari appetizer as well as the beet salad were excellent! I can't wait to return!"
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "Four of us ordered four different entrees, three different salads, and shared the Italian sausage pasta. All dishes were excellent and beautifully presented. Service was great but not intrusive. We love the BYOB format and pricing is very reasonable given the food quality. Only drawback is it is cash only. We will definitely be back."
    Dined on 1/14/2014
  • "Food and service was very good. The menu could have been a bit more expansive, but the four of us certainly found wonderful choices on the menu. Great neighborhood restaurant, and we love that it is BYOB"
    Dined on 12/31/2013