Adventures in Eating & Cooking

Italian on Broad St.

So this was something I had initially wrote for Midtown Lunch but it was sadly rejected because I did not realize there was a price limit on the meal. In my defense, I did manage to cheapen the bill by using a Livingsocial coupon. Well anyways, here’s my opinion on that cozy little Italian Bistro next to Olive Garden:

Whenever I walk down the Avenue of Arts aka Broad Street, I always linger for more than a split second at the Italian Bistro on the corner of Walnut. It screams casual class with a projected transparent booth, giving diners a romantic view of urban landscape. It was through this booth that I looked in at crowds of people enjoying eye-appealing food.


Being the poor college student I am, I split the Livingsocial voucher to this place with a friend (although the bistro does also offer a $20 four-course meal special). We started off with a bruschetta appetizer, which seemed to be made of rocks rather than baguette. The bread was exceptionally hard and dry, but I commend the tart taste of the vinegar-wine tomato topping.


Our entrees came with mediocre salads, but who really cares about Caesar salad at an Italian restaurant? (Well I suppose I did enough to take a picture of it…) The warm marinara melted into the soft pulpy eggplant of Eggplant Parmigiana. This was served with a lovely classic of pasta sauce spaghetti.

Eggplant Parmigiana

I also tried the Veal Voldostana, which had an amazing thick garlicky white wine sauce slathered onto the flat noodles. The pasta lavished in the sauce, but I’m not a big fan of the veal, which was relatively tough and funny-tasting.

Veal Voldostana

Moral of the story: First impressions can be deceiving. I definitely overestimated the quality of food at Italian Bistro based on its apparently numerous customers. However, the waitresses were very well-trained. (Our waitress for the night even had a shadowing trainee.) And the nightscape from the booth is gorgeous (I really regret not getting a picture), which is enough to make the bistro a top choice for many theater-goers.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Exceptional view at booth seats
  • Friendly service
  • Conveniently located on the Avenue of Arts
  • Offers $20 4-course dinner meal

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Mediocre food
  • Pricey side if you don’t do the deal
  • Yucky bread baskets
  • I have doubts about the freshness of meat they use

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2010 by in Philly: Center City and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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