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La Stanza Diva

Address: 315 Main Street, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801

Phone: (781) 935-3088

Web Page: http://cheflynne.com

Type of restaurant: Italian

Entree price range: $9.95 to $45.95

Handicapped accessible: Yes

Review date: January 27, 2007

Review: La Stanza Diva - Florentino Ristorante is a wine and food lover’s delight. You can bring your own bottle(s) of wine to the restaurant. Walking into La Stanza Diva is like walking into a restaurant in the North End of Boston. The delicious smell of Italian Food is mouth watering. The tables are pretty tightly packed. The décor is intentionally tacky. It’s a fun and lively place. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. There are plastic light up grapes in green and purple colors with half of them not shining because the bulbs were burned out. They seem to add to the mystique of the place.

We brought our own bottles of wine to drink with dinner. We brought one white bottle, the 2005 Alban "Central Coast" Viognier, and one red bottle, the 1999 Chateau Montelena "Calistoga Cuvee" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. We were not sure ahead of time what we and our guests would be ordering for dinner so we figured we were safe with one bottle of each.

The menu at La Stanza Diva is quite extensive and they have daily specials. Every dish is made to order. There is definitely something for everyone. Some examples of the more exotic dishes include Deep Fried Alligator, Pan Seared Kangaroo and Pan Seared Ostrich Fillet. Neither Ken nor I are very adventurous eaters so we stuck to the more traditional Italian fare.

For an appetizer, I had the Lobster Bisque ($10.95). It was delicious. It was not too spicy which I liked. It was a different color than you usually see for Lobster Bisque. It was the color of caramel. It had large pieces of lobster in it. I enjoyed it very much. Ken had the Stuffed Mushrooms with Crabmeat and Mascarpone ($9.95). The mushrooms were topped with mozzarella and roasted garlic cream sauce with sage. They were presented beautifully with a couple of strips of baked linguine sticking out of the top of them. They were the largest stuffed mushrooms I have ever seen. They tasted delicious. Ken shared them with me and our guests. We all loved them.

For my entrée, I had the Handmade Eggplant and Sun Dried Tomato Ravioli ($22.95). I have never had eggplant ravioli before. I am a big fan of eggplant. It was very tasty. There were lots of sun dried tomatoes too. The sauce was very creamy. The portions were very good sized. I even had plenty to take home for lunch the next day. Ken had the Veal Marsala – Scallopina of Veal with Mushrooms ($18.95). Ken enjoyed the Veal Marsala very much. He described it as tender and quite flavorful.

We finished our delicious dinner with some decadent desserts. I had the chocolate lover’s favorite: Rigo Janci ($5.95). It was a dense chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate mousse. It had a thick chocolate frosting on top and was served with whipped cream. It was a good sized portion. I could only finish half of it. I brought the second half home for a tasty treat the next day. Ken had a Canoli ($5.95) which was very fresh and creamy. It was a nice finishing dish.

La Stanza Diva takes reservations for parties of 6 or more. We were a party of 4 and they took our name ahead of time but it was not a formal reservation. When we arrived at 6:30 on a Sat. night there was an hour wait for a table unless you were lucky enough to have called ahead the week before like us. They do take credit cards. The minimum entrée price was the Pasta with Gravy for $9.95 and the maximum entrée price was $45.95 for the Pan Seared Veal Chop with Lobster Tail. The chef and proprietor is Lynne Howell. Our compliments to Lynne. We really enjoyed our meal at La Stanza Diva and we will definitely go back. We highly recommend the restaurant.

Theresa & Ken

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