My husband and I recently dined at Via Locusta with another couple. The Italian restaurant comes from Philadelphia restauranteur Michael Schulson, who owns some of my husband’s and my favorite restaurants in the city.
When booking the reservation for our Saturday night dinner, the most convenient time slots only had patio seating available. I was slightly nervous it would be too cold, but decided to take a chance. We arrived a few minutes late and our friends were already seated. My concerns were eased as I took my seat in the perfectly warm and cozy enclosed patio. Shortly after, our waiter arrived to go over the menu, offer suggestions of how to split courses and take our drink order. I opted for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
As a table, we decided to split their house-made focaccia, then order separately by couple for the rest of the meal. My husband and I decided to share two small plates, two pastas and one entrée.
The focaccia was soft, with a crisp, salty crust. It came with whipped honey butter, sweet and rich. My husband suggested adding the whipped lardo, but the busser brought farmer’s cheese instead. The lardo ended up arriving much later in the meal and mostly went to waste. Up next, our small plates arrived: snapper crudo with horseradish, Meyer lemon and dill; and zucchini with pine nuts, white anchovy and herbs. Both were light and flavorful, though I would give a slight edge to the perfectly herby zucchini. For the pasta course, we split bucatini with leeks; and garganelli with guanciale, pecorino and tomato. I preferred the creamy bucatini with peppery leeks. Our entrée was the roast suckling pig. The pork was tender, with a crispy finish and was paired with dandelion greens and figs. For dessert, we split pistachio gelato.
Our waiter was friendly, though a bit flaky, forgetting drinks and taking long breaks in checking on us. Overall, we all really enjoyed the meal. I would love to dine at Via Locusta again to sample more of the dinner dishes or to enjoy the brunch menu.
1723 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
tel 215 642 0020
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