Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, King of Prussia, PA – A Review

by artfuldiner on February 23, 2018

in Artful Diner Review, Breaking News, Opinion, Pennsylvania, Wining and Dining

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse

200 Main Street, Town Center

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

(610) 337-4810


Davio's King of Prussia, PAShould you be contemplating a visit to Davio’s, there are a number of pertinent facts to keep in mind… First of all, the restaurant is cavernous and extremely noisy. Caught between the high ceiling, the hardwood floors and the bustling bar scene, when the joint is jumping, which seems to be most of the time, the decibel level does quite a bit of jumping of its own. It is absolutely no exaggeration to say that it is difficult to carry on a civilized conversation with the person sitting right next to you without shouting. If you and your spouse/significant other happen to be in the mood for a quiet little dinner tête à tête, trust me, you’ve come to the wrong address. At lunch, on the other hand, you may find the atmosphere a bit more subdued.

Davio's KOP - Interior, BarSecondly, Davio’s has become the latest culinary darling of the expense account set. On a recent cold Tuesday evening in January, for example, when most restaurants were begging for patrons, Davio’s was packing them in – and the corporate types were more than conspicuous by their presence. At least three gatherings of twelve or more people were situated directly within our line of vision (there could have been more on the other side of the dining area), and all three were corporate related. By way of contrast, couples were conspicuous by their absence. Other than my dining partner and I, there was only one other party of two seated in our immediate vicinity.

Finally, as if you haven’t already guessed… dining at Davio’s is an expensive proposition. Outlandishly expensive…? No… but. Factor in appetizers, entrees, separately priced side dishes, desserts, several glasses of wine or a bottle from the rather pricy wine list, tip & tax for two and – without benefit of a hefty expense account (see note directly above) – you’ll end up putting a significant dent in your wallet. Our most recent evening’s sojourn, for example, set us back $250.00 and change.

The above caveats notwithstanding, Davio’s serves up some excellent cuisine; and their portion allotments, given the elevated price points, are quite generous. And the service, even in the face of the madding crowd, functions with the unerring efficiency of a Japanese railroad.

The appetizers here are pretty much what you would expect: Oven Baked Lump Crab Cake… Tuna Tartare… Shrimp Cocktail… and Oysters Rockefeller. Of infinitely more interest, however, are the creative Spring Rolls accompanied by appropriate dressings. The Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls are paired with spicy ketchup and spicy mayo, the Chicken Parm with marinara, Reuben with Thousand Island dressing, Buffalo Chicken with blue cheese… well, you get the idea.

Davio's KOP - Crispy Chicken LiversThe real sleeper among the starters, though, is the Crispy Chicken Livers (pictured). They may not look like much; but they are an incredible feast for the palate. After the membranes have been carefully trimmed away, a bath in the deep fryer leaves them irresistibly crispy yet with a moist and succulent interior. They are then tossed with roasted pine nuts in an addictive port wine balsamic glaze and crowned with deep fried spinach leaves. If you enjoy liver, as I do, this dish is a wonderful treat and simply not to be missed. Kudos!

The salads are also first-rate… The Warm Spinach Salad is an interesting combo of roasted peppers, meaty portobellos and goat cheese; while the Baby Iceberg features tomatoes, bacon, onions, croutons, and an excellent herb buttermilk dressing. But the Chopped Romaine, which abounds with beans, chickpeas, crumbled egg, onion, bacon, and splash of blue cheese, proved to be the table favorite.

Davio's KOP - Veal TenderloinAs you move on to the entrées, the kitchen really hits its stride. Of course, the usual suspects are present and accounted for – Center Cut FiletsAged NY SirloinAged RibeyeBraised Beef Short RibsNiman Ranch Pork Chop – along with a variety of complementary salse. But if you happen to be in the mood for a slightly different take on meaty matters, I highly recommend the Sautéed Veal Tenderloin (pictured). This is, without doubt, one of best veal presentations it has been my pleasure to ingest on this side of the Atlantic. The veal itself is incomparably tender, with oyster mushrooms, cipollini onions, and roasted fingerling potatoes in strong supporting roles. It is, however, a rich and savory Marsala wine sauce that truly propels this dish into orbit.

Like the aforementioned Carni, the Pesce offerings are also quite extensive… And, contrary to popular urban gastronomic legend, you need not fear ordering seafood within hallowed bovine precincts (Although, the opposite is certainly NOT true. Anyone who orders steak in a seafood restaurant is almost certainly a masochist). Several years ago, when the consumption of red meat was momentarily out of favor, steakhouses were forced to learn to prepare seafood with a reasonable amount of proficiency in order to survive.

Davio's KOP - ScallopsFortunately, for the most part, they haven’t lost the touch… Davio’s certainly hasn’t. The two seafood offerings I sampled recently were first rate efforts in every respect. The Georges Bank Sea Scallops, for example, were beautifully pan seared to a golden brown, leaving the interior beguilingly soft, rich, and tender. They were then presented swimming in a sea of sweet creamy corn with a tiara of crunchy stick potatoes adding a flavorful textural contrast to the proceedings.

Davio's KOP - Seared Atlantic Salmon… And the Atlantic Salmon is equally recommendable. Arriving at table flesh side up on a pillow of sautéed baby spinach surrounded by a pool of warm eggplant caponata, the filet’s exterior was attractively seared while the core remained enticingly moist and succulent. Salmon has become a permanent – and somewhat pedestrian – fixture on most restaurant menus. Fortunately, Davio’s has managed to inject a healthy dose of pizzazz into the commonplace.

As in most steakhouses, the Contorni, side dishes, are in a separate menu category and may be purchased at an additional charge. They are, however, quite generous and more than suitable for sharing. The Baked Eggplant, Fresh Mozzarella is quite good, as are the Creamy Potatoes laced with butter and heavy cream. Other winners include David Bieber’s Crispy Onion Rings and the Truffle Fries, Gorgonzola Sauce.

Davio's KOP - Cheesecake w Choc CrustGiven the more than ample portion sizes, desserts – all homemade, by the way – may seem somewhat superfluous. But if you do decide to take the plunge, be sure to finish things off in true steakhouse style with the Chocolate Crusted Cheesecake and a potent shot of espresso.

Feel free to skip dessert… but the superlative wine list is something of a must. If you’re a lover of Italian wine be sure to check it out. Even if you decide not to purchase a bottle, it’s still a damn good read!

Bon Appétit!


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