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“Good location, decent pricing, disappointing food”
Review of Trattoria Prima Donna - CLOSED

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Trattoria Prima Donna
Price range: $30 - $45
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: City Center West
Cross street: between 15th & 16th
Transit: We are just blocks from SEPTA Suburban Station, the Broad Street Subway at Walnut/Locust and PATCO's 15-16th & Locust Street station.
Description: Our food is as pure, sincere & genuine as mountain spring water. No fusion, no gimmicks, no shenanigans. We remain true to the artisan way of cooking, brought to America by my mother, Clelia, featured in many newspapers & magazines for her award-winning recipes. In the 1950s & ‘60s, in Rome, she cooked for many famous people in the film industry. Her favorite pupil for 15 years, Ugo, is still in the kitchen cooking her delicious recipes for you to enjoy. P.S. In 2001 I told my mother, “Things are changing. The restaurants are now doing food designing, color combinations, etc. etc.” She looked at me & said, “If people want to see designs & colors, they should go to a museum, not a restaurant.” And that’s my mother: never makes long speeches. Enjoy your meal.
Barnegat, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Good location, decent pricing, disappointing food”
Reviewed May 14, 2012

Great location for pre-theater, decent service and pricing, disappointing food. Despite mixed reviews, couldn't resist the convenient location. All three pasta mains -- homemade gnocchi alfredo, fettucini bolognese and the special fettucini with shrimp and garlic white sauce were overcooked, and the fettucine with shrimp VERY salty. Caesar salad nearly inedible due to strong anchovy flavor (usually a server will warn on this.) Perhaps the meat or poultry entrees are better, but when an Italian restaurant that prides itself on "home cooking" can't provide decent pasta dishes, then there's trouble. Server was pleasant and ambience utilitarian but acceptable. Tab for two salads, three pasta mains(modest sized servings), and a glass of house wine was $78. If you are going to the Academy of Music or Kimmel Center, want a quick convenient dinner and don't care about how it tastes, this is the place for you.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank QuakerGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

14 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Worth a visit!”
Reviewed April 1, 2012 via mobile

Showed up after a theater matinee before they actually were open. The matre d invited us in and immediately took care of us. House wine was good, the calamari appetizer was very good. Lightly breaded and fried to perfection. Marinari dipping sauce was quite good. Bread was good and served promptly. We both had veal entrees, parmagianno and marsala. Serving size was adequate for us. Both cooked perfectly with great sauces. Did not order dessert but was presented with homemade tiramisu gratis. It was fantastic. Very reasonable. Had dinner at butcher and singer the night before and spent over $500 for a party of four. Dinner at bella cena was less than $100 for two and we cannot wait to return. Cant say the same for butcher and singer.

Thank Bill Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
“Closest to Italian food since Italy”
Reviewed November 8, 2011

Came in without a reservation on Saturday night, and was greeted by Giancarlo Jr who made us feel very welcomed and at home. He sat us down at a crowed restaurant and combined tables so we had more room at the window. Great food, great service! Giancarlo described the lamb loin special and i knew exactly what I wanted! Great waiter and host and he pointed out that his brother and himself manage his father's restaurant and introduced us to his charming little brother Michael as well. Great Time, and will be back!

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank vincentcuore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
“Great food with reasonable prices and you feel like family.”
Reviewed October 15, 2011

I've passed by many times but dined here with friends for the first time recently. The food is as good as any Italian spot I've eaten at in South Philly and I'm returning tonight. It's a family operation and everyone working there makes you feel relaxed and as though you were part of the family. This is genuine - not put on nor faked.

Both the food & deserts were no less than excellent. The Bronzino (fish) was available and I had it - it was as good or better than Modo Mio or anywhere else I've had it. I eat out twice a week and this is as pleasant an experience as I've had in a couple of years.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pebble Beach, California
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2011

I really wanted to like this restaurant because it looked so appealing from the outside. It was just a horrid experience from start to finish.

I went tonight, a Tuesday, and the restaurant was fairly empty except for a large party of 6 and two tables of 2's. In addition, there was a private party in the back room.

I was impressed by the menu...reasonable prices ($16/$18 for entrees, and $7 for a glass of wine). I ordered a glass of red wine which arrived filled to the brim with two fruit flies floating along the side. I waited for someone to come by to take my order and waited exactly 9 minutes while the waitress paid attention to the table behind me. She didn't check in with me and I flagged her down to point out the flies in the wine.

A gentleman came over with a replacement glass and offered an apology. I waited and waited until the waitress came by to take my order. I asked what the vegetables of the day were, and what kind of potatoes came with the entree. She had no clue and admitted she was on her second day. I asked what she recommended and she said the lasagna. At this point, a gentleman - maybe a manager - offered to help me with my menu questions.

I ordered the veal piccata and said I wasn't crazy about the sweet potatoes that came with the dish. He kindly offered to substitute it with a side of pasta. Fine.

It took 20 minutes for the entree to arrive. First came the pasta delivered by the clueless waitress. She presented it and asked if I wanted cheese on top of it. I asked her "where's the veal?". This was received with a blank stare and she left my table to find out what happened to the veal. Moments later, a gentleman brought over the veal which had the sweet potatoes with it!

The veal was ordinary. Nothing special, the potatoes were lukewarm, and the pasta was beyond al dente and very mushy.

At the end of the meal, the waitress came over to take away the empty entree plate and asked if I wanted anything boxed up. I looked at her and said there was nothing to box up because THE PLATES WERE BASICALLY EMPTY.

The check was the fastest thing to arrive at my table. No one came to collect the money so I got up to find someone. I told one of the gentlemen that the service was terribly slow and the waitress's needed more training. He said, "then she doesn't deserve a tip". Nice boss to not help that poor clueless waitress who obviously didn't have proper training.

I won't be back. Too many problems for a first time visit that it's too risky, financially, to hope that they can get their act together.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank artslvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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