111 South 17th St
  • Phone: 215–563–4810
  • Website:
  • Cuisine: Northern Italian Steakhouse
  • Price Range: @ $31-50 pp
  • Chef David Boyle

The 22spots.com Editorial


"You have to love what you do, and for me, the passion is always there. It has to be because I spend more time at my restaurant than I do with my family."
       - Ettore Cesaro

There has always been a belief in Philadelphia that a second floor restaurant will never make it. If this is true (and there have been a host of second floor disasters) someone forgot to tell the folks at Davio's. This second-floor Northern Italian steakhouse has been going gangbusters for eight years now and every year their business gets even better.

If you plan to open a restaurant (on any floor) the smart thing to do is find an exceptional chef because the food is obviously critical, and find an exceptional manager to run the front of the house because great service is equally critical. Someone must have told Davio's about this because they have one of the best chef & general manager teams in the country.

Dave BoyleEttore Cesaro is the man who basically runs this restaurant and Chef David Boyle is the man behind the stoves. Both honed their skills at the Four Seasons Hotel, which has always been a superb training ground for culinary professionals. They both believe in keeping it simple and keeping it consistent. According to Ettore, "Our entire focus is on hospitality - people come here to feel good and have a great dining experience, and that's what Davio's is all about."

Chef Boyle has always been on the same page. "I believe the secret of great food is found in the ingredients. We buy the best of everything, and I'm not into complicated and fancy. It's very basic - I allow the ingredients to make it work. Ettore has a great staff in the dining room, and I have an equally great staff in the kitchen, and the restaurant just keeps getting better."

The wine program is under the direction of Michael McCaulley and his Wine Spectator Award of Excellence list includes some 360 selections with emphasis from Italy and California. There are 14 wines by the glass, and the concept at Davio's is serving unique wines with good value.

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