We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Excellent food, truly knowledgeable staff” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hosteria Da Elio

Hosteria Da Elio
Ranked #1,738 of 4,317 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Price range: US$8 - US$20
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Neighbourhood: Bella Vista / Queen Village
Montgomery Village, Maryland
Level Contributor
58 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Excellent food, truly knowledgeable staff”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2013

We visited the restaurant based on a "Philadelphia Magazine" review (http://www.phillymag.com/restaurants/detail/hostaria_da_elio). This is the place to go for delicious food in an unpretentious setting. Our server knew the menu intimately and could describe subtle details in the different options -- cuts and preparations of the meats, ingredient differences in the sauces, etc. The eggplant appetizer was pleasantly vinegary-sweet. We had the veal cannelloni, which was very delicate and the clams in white sauce, which had a perfect balance of clams, garlic, and oil. All the sauces were light and complimented vice overwhelmed the meat/pasta. And the Italian wedding cake is light and not too sweet.

The only potential down-side is that the restaurant is the layout of the restaurant. Some of the kitchen storage appears to have migrated into part of the dining room -- the freezer for the desserts and boxes of extra cups and napkins -- which distracted from the experience, and the Ladies room opened directly onto our table. Request a table in the front or the back garden (not back dining area, where we sat) and this should be less of a problem.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Dog-man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

20 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    13
    2
    0
    1
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York, NY
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“"Hostaria," NOT "Hosteria"! But the Food Is Wonderful!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2012

We wanted to eat at a traditional "red gravy" restaurant, but they were all booked on Saturday, so after a quick online search, I found Hostaria, and am I glad I did!

This is a small, no frills (though lovely) small restaurant you'd never notice if you weren't looking. However, the food was marvelous! Not typical Italian food, though many traditional dishes ARE on the menu, what we ordered was absolutely delicious!

I started out with the mozarella and tomato appetizer, which was quite tasty, the cheese especially fresh. For my entree I had the restaurant's signature dish: sweet potato gnocchi with a spinach cream sauce. The dish did NOT disappoint, and for gnocchi, they were especially light, as was the cream sauce. For dessert, I had the Italian Wedding Cake, which was absolutely delicious and light as a feather.

The staff was charming and very friendly--Elio himself spent much of the time chatting with us and making recommendations--and it's BYOB.

Bear in mind the restuarant is off VERY busy South Street, but we had no difficulty finding a cab back to Walnut Street after dinner.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank JAS576
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Princeton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
66 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“This is very high quality "old school" Italian dining”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2011

This was an accidental visit and a dining experience unlike anything I have seen in years. Serendipity can be wonderful.

What you need to understand is that this is a small place with a very proud Italian owner who is committed to "the right way" to prepare classic Italian dishes. He is committed to tradition. This is how it has always been done; this is how it will be done.

By the way, small does not mean cramped or noisy. It does mean very attentive service with the owner actively helping his staff. Unlike many other good places in Philly, you can actually have a conversation over the meal and actually hear what is being said.

If you're the "skinny mocha double shot vanilla powder no whipped" kind of person, this is not your place. If you want quality classic Italian dishes made with quality ingredients and meticulous attention to detail for a modest price, you need to stop here.

  • Visited November 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Chessplayer17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level Contributor
75 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Stumbled upon”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2011

We had intended to go to a Morrocan restaurant but it was so dark that we left. So we were walking along when we discovered this little Italian place. It doesn't look like much on the outside but the food smelled divine outside. A couple was leaving and we inquired and they said reasonable priced and good but it is BYOB.So we decided to try it.
There were four of us and we each chose two different appetizer. The mussels were delicious in the garlic butter, the fresh mozarella with a delightful herb and balsamic vinegar was excellent.
Our main courses varied from veal, salmon, lasagna and lingiune with red clam sauce, each prepared deliciously and served hot to the table. We enjoyed our meal immensely. The owner came to our table and conversed with us briefly which we enjoyed about the preparation of several dishes on the menu.
We stumbled on the Hosteria Da Elio by accident so we did not have wine with us. Next time we will be bringing a good wine with us.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank quasimoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Philly
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Don't go for the love of your life”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2011

Wen here for my birthday and boy was my B-day ruined. The place is kinda cool inside but thats about it. The soup was cold, the apps were terrible and ordered a veal chop stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella, there was a half of slice of prosciutto and hardly any mozzarella. The veal was way dry and over cooked and just plin terrible. At a price of 40 buks it is an absolute rip-off that was poorly executed. The chef/owner should be embarresed to serve anything like that. We had a slice of tiramisu which was equally as bad, it was hot and mushy and just not good. Save your money and do not go here. Even if the garden is open its not worth ruining your palate over.

  • Visited November 2010
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Viny316
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Hosteria Da Elio also viewed

 

Been to Hosteria Da Elio? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing