Monday, April 12, 2010

Via Vite

Via Vite, great restaurant in the best location in Cincinnati.

My first visit to Via Vite was a 30th birthday party I organized for my wife.  Phenomenal visit.  I was raving about Via Vite for weeks.  It has to be the best venue I have been to in Cincinnati for a fancy large group dinner party.  We had their biggest of 3 private rooms (holds 30 people, the two others hold about 15 each).  The entire second floor of the restaurant is reserved for private parties in these three rooms.  The largest of the 3 has a bar and bar service.  We almost maxed the place out with 29 people and it was still very comfortable.  We had access to the balcony which overlooks the action of fountain square.  I was amazed when they gave us the option of ordering a la carte with such a large party and also running tabs for everyone.  Extremely accommodating.  The service was a tad bit slow, but I expected that with 30 people ordering at once.  The wait staff was very nice, professional, and attentive.  The cocktails and bar service were great, and the food was terrific.  I had a pork chop which was very memorable.  I chose the place for the group party due to the wide range of prices on the menu, allowing some guests to order pizzas and pastas on the low end ($11 to $20), and others to splurge on $25+ entrees and multiple courses.  It served everyone very well.

I recently returned for a special night out to thank my mother in law for watching our kids for a few days.  Again, another great night.  Not as magical as having 30 of your best friends in a private room, but very fun nonetheless.  The bar here is very cool, and the dining room is fancy with great views of fountain square all around you through the large floor to ceiling windows.  The menu is a bit on the expensive side, but there are cheaper options (pizzas and pastas from $11 to $20), though you feel cheap if that's all you order.  If I had one complaint, it is that we were constantly being offered the trade-up options (first the Pellegrino, then the multiple appetizers, desert, and coffee).  The starters and salads are NOT cheap, with an average price of about $10.  Don't get me wrong though, it is not overpriced, just be prepared for an expensive night out.  The food is great and the location spectacular, all things worth paying for.

I started with a special appetizer which was little cherry peppers stuffed with tuna and sold per individual stuffed pepper for $2 each.  They were small but fantastic.  I went for a carbonara pasta from the specials menu for my main course.  It was good, but a bit over the top with the cream sauce.  I thought something was up when it said "carbonara sauce".  In my book, carbonara is an almost sauceless pasta with its moisture from eggs and oil.  This was a real sauce, and heavy on the cheese and egg yolk.  Good, but very rich and a bit too much for a whole big bowl of pasta.  The ladies I was with had the eggplant parmesan to start, which they both enjoyed, and two other pastas for main courses.  We all enjoyed our meals and then indulged in the chocolate mouse for desert.  Again, delicious.   The wine list is great.

I will go again and again on the right occasions.  Great place, unbeatable location, and a launching pad for any type of downtown activity you might want to do.  It would be an excellent date spot place to impress out of town guests.

Here is are the peppers stuffed with tuna.
And here is the carbonara.

Via Vite on Urbanspoon

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