With so many restaurants around, sometimes years can pass before you return to dine somewhere. For example, I last dined at La Stanza Diva in 2006. I dined there a few times and did previously review it. I did not return there until this past weekend, for a friend's birthday celebration.
Why did I wait so long to return there? There is no specific reason. I had enjoyed my previous visits but there just always seemed to be another restaurant that I wanted to visit. And time sometimes seems to fly past you. I thus was looking forward to dining there.
Little seems to have changed in the past two years. The restaurant is still very kitschy looking, with an odd assortment of lights and decorations. The menus are still Xerox copies of a handwritten menu and you receive a voluminous stack of sheets with a wide multitude of choices. You can order an Italian dish or some wild game. Plus, it is a BYOB place and plenty of people bring their own wine and beer. We brought a number of our own bottles.
I was a bit disappointed that they seemed to have very little wild game available that evening. I had wanted to start with the pan seared kangaroo and then have a nice ostrich steak for my entree. But they basically only had buffalo available.
We decided to start our meal by sharing a bunch of appetizers including: Escargot Sautéed with Mushrooms ($8.95), Fried Fresh Mozzarella ($7.95), Lobster Ravioli ($14.95), Baked Pecorino ($9.95), Jumbo Stuffed Artichokes ($9.95), and Pan Fried Frog Legs ($9.95). Each dish was quite large with plenty of food. Their portions have always been quite large so you really get a good value for the buck. And the food is very tasty. We had a few people who had neve tried frog legs before and enjoyed them.
Dinners were also quite large, enough food to feed at least two people, and often you end up taking some home with you. I had the Buffalo Steak, two good-sized pieces of tender meat in a flavorful port wine sauce. It was accompanied by a large mound of truffled potatoes and veggies. Another of my friends also got the Buffalo and enjoyed it very much too. I did not hear any complaints about the food from any of my friends.
There were a few problems with our service. Granted it was a very busy evening in the restaurant but they should be able to handle that. For example, I asked for my Cabernet Sauvignon to be decanted but all that I got was the bottle being uncorked. Another example is our server came out to tell us that thet did not have the kangaroo appetizer but she immediately left without asking whether we wanted something else in its place. The appetizers did not come out all at once, instead being delivered when they were done, in about four stages.
Despite the few service issues, I still recommend this restaurant. It is a fun place to eat, where you receive plentiful portions for a reasonable price. Plus, the BYOB policy is very nice.
La Stanza Diva
315 Main St.
Phone: (781) 935-3088