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Via Vai report (long)

Wendy Lai | | Oct 8, 2001 01:17 PM

Due to the board's discussion on Via Vai, we decide to go try its pizza Saturday night.

Just to get it out of the way, their pizza was indeed excellent. We ordered one for the table as an appetizer. I forgot the name, but it had spicy sausages, capers, roasted peppers, fresh herbs and of course cheese. The thin and crispy crust had a little trouble holding up all the topping, but it was worth the trouble. The combination of spicy sausages, the sweet peppers, and the sour capers really worked towards a great pizza. I only got one slice, which makes me definite want to go back to order a whole one for myself!

For starters we ordered beef carparicco, prochiutto with melons, minestrone and fried calamari. The two bad things were the soup and the melons. The soup was flat, though it was chock full of vegetable, somehow it just didn't taste flavorful enough. The prochutto and melon dish came with a ton of prochutto but only four tiny slices of very unripe melons. I should have known it's not melon seasons. The fried calamari was one of the best fried calamari I've had. It was not oily, not chewy, perfectly fried, and paired with a great marina sauce.

For the entree I almost had to say, don't bother with their daily specials (did I break a Kitchen Confidential rule?) I ordered a spaghetti with mussels and clams, and it was terrible. The pasta was too aldente, not enough sauce came with the dish, I had to ask for more, nothing special about the flavor. While the everyday menu pasta dishes my dining mates ordered were all good, especially the egg noodle pastas.

For dessert, only two things were ordered for the table, an affagato and lemon sorbet. I have to say it was one of the best affagato ever. They chilled the espresso before pouring on to the gelato, so unlike the usual melted mess you get at other places, theirs were wonderfully firm but still full of flavor. The lemon sorbet was excellent as well. Tiny bits of lemon peel studded the sweet and sour sorbet. The right combination was achieved so that it was not too sour or too sweet.

Overall the service was slow and inattentive. Perhaps because they were extremely busy, but that should not be an excuse in my opinion.

We would go back again, but probably only for lunch and only for pizza and affagato.