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Casta Diva
Casta Diva

Casta Diva Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.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
  • "I enjoy the creative menu in this relaxing environment. I look forward to returning again and again."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "It truly was a pleasant surprise with GREAT service and food. I will definitely go again."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We had a fantastic Lobster Boccatini at this gem of a restaurant! For starters we had the beet salad with aged goat cheese shavings and heirloom tomato/mozzarella salad w/ a lovely aged balsamic drizzle. A week later and we are still talking about this place. It was a wonderful place and the perfect beginning to our weekend in Philly."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "I've eaten in several restaurants in the downtown Philly area, several BYO, and this was by far the best food and service I have ever had! The server was at first reserved but our group soon got him laughing and joking with us all the while maintaining a great professionalism. We were 4 friends all with a different bottle of wine, and we did not feel rushed when the check arrived and we had not finished our wine as I had been in another Rittenhouse Square eatery. I will be returning here again and again. I work for an airline and this is the best layover for great food! Thank you Costa Diva!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "I've been there twice recently. Don't let a past bad experience fool you, it's much better now. However, go on a weekday. On a weekday it was quiet and the service was excellent. On a Saturday night it was unbearably noisy and the service was terrible. It was like a different restaurant. Too many tables in too small a space with no insulation."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "My husband and I tried Casta Diva for the first time and were not disappointed. Appetizer and a Entree portions were larger than we anticipated, food was very fresh and tasted great and prices were reasonable for the quality! We would definitely return and suggest to friends! Sit in the window for some good Rittenhouse people watching!"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Perfect for a date night, very intimate setting with great personal service, quiet location, great food, BYOB. "
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "Cash only and BYOB. Consistently excellent Italian food at its best- fresh, straightforward. I think we have had every pasta dish here, all delicious. Italian as in Italy, not as in a red sauce joint. (Wild boar tagliatelle, or walnut and truffle oil and wild mushroom on pasta shape you never heard of... Mmmm). Wine-poached pear with sweet cream gelato for dessert instantly transported my husband to his Italian grandmother's kitchen."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "Some of the best Italian food we ever had, and the service was very professional."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Made a reservation a few hours ahead based on reviews posted on Open Table. This was one of the best dining experiences I have had in Philly. The portion sizes are perfect. The Ceasar salad dressing was perfect. My son ordered the crispy salmon and it was among the 10 best salmon dishes I have ever tasted. Not a dud among the entrees. The torte is a must order for dessert. We will definitely go back again and I will be recommending Casta Diva to all my friends. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Went with a mommy friend for a relaxing night out and we both loved the ambiance and were impressed with the food. Nothing disappointed. Had the artichoke appetizer along with the olives and ricotta crostini appetizer, both amazing. And the ricotta gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce was my second favorite ever! Had the chocolate torte for dessert and didn't want it to end. To top it off this is a byob. Btw, cash only, which I didn't know. Can't wait to go back and take my husband!"
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "This is one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. The food is always superbly prepared and presented. We came with out of town guests and they were equally impressed. Casta Diva is BYOB, which we prefer but you need to know that they do not accept credit cards, only cash and checks. For those caught unaware, there is an ATM across the street. Our only criticism is the noise level which is better than it was, but still could be dampened a bit "
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "A BYOB RESTAURANT WITH AN IMAGINATIVE MENU ,GREAT SERVICE ,GREAT VALUE . EACH COURSE WAS OUTSTANDING AND A WONDERFUL PACE TO THE MEAL . REMEMBER TO BRING WINE NOT YOUR EVERYDAY ITALIAN FARE"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "The quality of the food was excellent. Portions were modest. Service top notch with cozy ambience. Cash only. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Casta Diva was recommendation from a native of Philadelphia. The special Fire Roasted Artichoke Soup with Shrimp was amazing. The two pasta dishes we ordered we just as great. I had the wild boar pappardelle and my girl friend had the veal Bolognese. The bolognese was presented beautifully. The prices were impressive. 3 Apps and 2 mains and 2 espressos came out to under $100. It's BYOB and only takes CASH. "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "Always enjoy my dining here. Menu is a very reasonable length and a few specials. Fish is cooked perfectly. The staff has always been very pleasant and attentive."
    Dined on 5/1/2014
  • "Wee really enjoyed this evening, byo and good service always help :-) We ordered the calamari and cheese paste for appetizers, they were pretty good, but nothing special.. For we ordered the special -scallops (very tasty but very small) and the pasta with porchini, which was standard, and also very small. Deserts were too sweet and all of them had a strong coffee flavor (that neither of us liked). In summary, maybe we took the wrong food but with what we tried, it seemed like an average tough very pricy meal. there are many other good Italian places with better good at the same price (and no cash is required)"
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "Started with an olive & ricotta plate and a special artichoke puree soup. Both were awesome. The olives had some lemon and orange zest which went really well together; the ricotta was freshly made and had a great texture; the artichoke puree soup was really good, loved the grilled artichoke garnish. We had the veal bolognese and the wild boar mushroom pappardelle. The veal bolognese was good and very meaty; the wild boar mushroom pappardelle was super delicious! It also had cipollini onions and a very strong truffle scent and taste. Waitress and server were very attentive; we were not rushed or neglected. There were so many other things I wanted to try, like the branzino, the salman, the peking duck, and the steak."
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "On a recent trip to Casta Diva, we were surprised to see that they were anticipating one or more large groups and had rearranged part of the restaurant to accommodate their arrival. I wondered if that would negatively effect our experience. I am pleased to note that it did not. Our service was very good and the food was fabulous. Casta Diva does not always have scallops on the menu but, when they do, they could always go for the "best in the city" award. On our recent visit, they served seared scallops and shiitake on a bed of parsnip puree with a pine-nut gremolata. It was fabulous. I had asked for a quiet table and they were able to accommodate this request even amidst their planning for large groups. Thank you!"
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "We definitely go back! Loved everything. The beer salad and crispy salmon were perfectly done. Try the home made gelato."
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "Casta diva is consistently excellent. The menu and specials change just enough that we don't tire of the fare. Service and attentive chef Steven make the experience pleasant and relaxing. I hope it stays just as it is for a long time"
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "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