We went to Via Due, the new wine bar, connected to Via Carducci (Fullerton, just west of Southport) on Saturday. The maitre'd was quite social and made us feel welcome from the minute we stepped in.
The concept is Italian wine bar with small plates, and prices range form $6-22 (the higher priced plates can really serve as an entree if you're not into sharing). Wine selection was good, but not overly extensive, with 2-8 options per grape varietal. We selected a rosso which was a little fruitier than I necessarily would have preferred, but it was plenty enjoyable.
Food. We started with the beef carpaccio appetizer, which was good and I'd probably order it again, but I probably would have liked more lemon and salt, or maybe capers. The maitre'd talked us into trying the oysters, which were also good and very fresh. I had the scallop, leek and green bean salad which was great, dressed perfectly in a light lemon vinaigrette. My boyfriend had the ahi tuna, medium rare, served with green beans. Also very good. There were 4 pastas on the menu, but most were with cream or wine sauces. We enjoy Via Carducci next door a great deal, so our only wish is that there would have been more tomato based sauces on the menu.
Service was very attentive, and the ambience is great: high ceilings, lots of candles, velvet lined seating along the wall and a semi private couch space in the back. Music ranged from swanky to something of a clubby groove, but nothing too obtrusive to having a nice conversation. 2 flat screen TVs without sound on so you can still catch a game.
I'll definitely go back. Nice date venue or a great place to catch up with friends over a bottle of vino.