Yes it’s been a while. No I have no excuses. BUT I do have some exciting new adventures I’ve been on that I am super excited to share! So let’s rewind back to a few months ago…picture this if you might. We’re on the cusp of summer, the weather is getting warmer every day, hemlines are getting shorter and there’s just a general feeling of happiness in the air. Not to mention that my birthday is only a few days away 😉 It was time for our monthly meeting of the Fabulous Four and we decided to venture out to the newly opened Via Vai Pizzeria and Wine Bar located at the corner of Bay and Grosvenor. It’s not often I am “on it” enough to get to a restaurant right when the buzz is high but I guess I was on top of my game this time around.
The first thing you notice about Via Vai is the incredible space that it occupies. It’s a former art gallery with ceiling to floor windows across the space and a back wall featuring colorful murals. When I walked in it actually took me a minute to take in how beautiful the space was. How amazing would it be to hold a special event here!
Instead of wine which is my standard go-to at Italian restaurants, I opted to try one of their cocktails. Their list features some custom designs as well as Italian classics like the Aperol Spritz and Negroni. I decided to try their Bicicletta (Campari, pinot grigio, soda and orange zest). It was delicious but I always forget that Campari has a little bit of a bitter aftertaste which for me doesn’t make it an easy drinking choice.
Now on to the good stuff. The menu is comprised of pretty standard Italian fare. Nothing super unique or special in terms of what is available to order from but sometimes you just want options that are tried and true. On the menu for us was:
Insalata Via Vai – Treviso, arugula, grapefruit, DOP asiago, candied walnut and balsamic vinaigrette
Formagii Board – Chef’s selection of DOP cheeses, crostini, pickled vegetables, fruit and house made preserves
Paccheri pasta – chili, fresh tomato, fresh herbs
Marinara pizza – tomato, prosciutto, arugula, parmigiana
All of their pasta is made fresh and in house and you could absolutely taste it. The paccheri was a type of pasta I had never had before and the dish itself was super simple but delicious. This one also definitely had a kick to it which I appreciated. The pizza selection is definitely going after the Pizza Liberetto and Queen Margheritas of the world and they did a good job. Again their selection is not overtly that large but sometimes it’s better to do a few things really well. I loved the pizza but it’s also one of my classic go-to options – arugula and prosciutto, how can you say no! The cheese plate was also a really good size with plentiful options of the different cheeses. Could have used some more crostini/bread. I didn’t have any of the salad but it also looked fresh and had a very interesting combination of toppings.
And as it would happen since we were four girls we did order dessert but ate it WAY too quickly for me to snap a picture of it. They were featuring a flour-less chocolate cake which was to die for. I didn’t realize I could give up flour in a dessert and it still be plate-licking amazing.
So overall the food is just average – nothing that will blow your mind but also nothing that will disappoint. If you’re looking for some classic Italian food for an affordable price range but want to step up your venue selection then this is place to go. Definitely a spot if you to go if you are looking to impress.
Discover Via Vai: