VIA

Restaurant

General Information: 89 Shrewsbury St
Worcester, MA 01604
Google Maps - MapQuest

508-754-4842
E-mail: info@viaitaliantable.com
Official Website
No Smoking Handicap Accessible
Hours: 4 PM-9:30 PM Sunday
4 PM-10 PM Monday - Thursday
4 PM-11:30 PM Friday - Saturday
Price Range:
(Dinner)
$10.00 - $25.00
Largest Group: 35
Take Out: Yes
Reservations Offered: Yes, Establishment Recommended
Description:

Food: Italian

VIA's "Italian comfort food" is not southern Italian and it's not northern Italian - it's based on the best authentic recipes from throughout Italy. Many ingredients are imported fresh from Italy and there are 50 Italian wines to choose from. Where else can you find dishes like gnocchi pie and Italian paella? There's even an Italian table, where you can dine with strangers and make new friends.

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5 VIA Restaurant Reviews
ReviewerServiceSelectionQualityAtmosphereAverage Rating
(1=Poor, 5=Excellent)
3.40 3.40 3.00 3.80 3.40
alpinist
Aug 30, 2007
5 4 5 5 4.75
As a professional designer and an amateur foodie snob, I was more than excited to view Via from the highway. "What was that? I yelled.". My partner and I, having just returned from a trip to northern Italy this summer, had made a reservation for a Wednesday night. Upon arriving, I was impressed with the valet parking, the exterior design, and the overall glow from inside. Knowing already that these are the same restaurateurs as 111 Chophouse, and the 'Sole', my expectations we're high, and we we're not disappointed at all. Our table wasn't ready, but being busy is a good thing for a restaurant, and since we made reservations just that morning, I didn't mind. Come on, how many restaurants in Worcester need reservations on a Wednesday - clearly, this is a good thing! We sat at the bar, and my partner had a martini, and I chose a white wine by the glass. I was happy to see a decent by-the-glass menu, and I selected a wine from Alto Aldige, the northern alp area of Italy where we often visit in the summer, west of Venice, north of Milan. The selection was magnificent, the glass, thoughtfully weighted, yet thin enough to feel like a quality glass, and I noted that in these restaurants, every tiny detail is attended to. The lighting is perfect, marble and granite are used in appropriate places, fine wood, tasteful atmosphere, and it all made the experience, well, an experience. Which is just what one wants, if one goes out to eat. Even the bathroom was thoughtfully designed, usually the one place where you see the shortcuts when the budgets run out. I asked for a table outside, and if there were one complaint, it would be something that the owners could do nothing about. The view of the warehouses felt a little lonely, since in Italy, the streets would be busy with people, and the view would be Italian! We both ordered the fried olive appetizer, which was nice and briny, and deliciously freshly fried, they we're good, and we would order them again, since they married perfectly with cocktails. An aioli would have been a nice accompaniment, and we chatted with our mouths full about how options as a sauce, like something caper, or lemony, or tomatoes, but they we're fabulously simple as they were, which is very Italian. Our salad was simple, a yummy house dressing, and we both commented on why is it that most every Worcester restaurant used bottled dressing? How hard is it to make ones own? Same complaint goes for tomatoes, especially when they are in season, but I am sure that there are business reasons why restaurants can't be a limber with produce and costs, as a NYC one can. Resources in central Mass must be tough for such things as Argali and unusual lettuces. Our entrees were both the ragout of meats, so simple, that I had to get it. Even though I am of the ilk of Al Forno's in Providence, in Italy, I love to order just spaghetti, simplicity. The Ragu was, an orgasmic experience. Oh my gosh. It was so delicious that we both got goose bumps. Sure, this was August, and we we're ordering braised meat on a hot and humid day, but we could not resist. We are going back again, and it will be difficult to not order the same thing, and I am a food snob! The meat was succulent, slow-cooked in a wonderfully simply marinara that blows away any other restaurant in the city. All in all, we loved the entire experience. My complaint list is minor, a lot of it had to do with expectations, like, I expected a high-end restaurant, more like 111, but the experience that we had, was perhaps even better, a nice mix of high end, with a casual menu and casual feel, again, very Italian and authentic. The service, was very high-end feeling, (not very Italian!), but I like that. The tag-team approach feels very big-city. The menu cost was what I considered amazingly inexpensive for the quality and over-all experience. These owners are very smart. They know the consumer in Worcester, the menu reflects exactly the right position for an Italian Restaurant, in a city where Veal or Chicken Parm is considered authentic Italian. Of course, veal is, but this menu offers a beautifully home-cooking experience. The addition of wood-grilled pizza's sounds exciting, we still need to try them, but again, my expectations are a little higher than most, since I work near Providences famous Al Forno, so my expectation-bar is higher then most Worcester residents. Speaking of that, another slight disappointment is that although you can get away at 111 Chophouse without a seasonal menu that reflects regional produce, (since it is modeled after a classic New York Steak house style of menu,) I would have to say that the Via experience is more like a classic American Italian Restaurant in New York, and not one in Italy that might offer fresh local produce, but again, it's not that type of restaurant. This is real Italian family dining, it's not Rome, it's Selva, the small towns and alleys. But it does deliver extreme excellence and authenticity in every detail, there are even two working gaslights flanking the main entrance.... making it an invaluable contribution to a city that is gastronomically deficient.  
tresource
Aug 25, 2007
4 4 4 3 3.75
I was a little scared to visit VIA based on what I had read here, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The service was really very good - no confusion. Food was served casually - no rush, no pressure. The food was quite excellent (Swordfish especially was most excellent, scallops a little over cooked), after dinner cappuccino was the best in Worcester! We will go back.  
tpl13
Aug 11, 2007
3 4 4 4 3.75
I went to VIA recently, and to be honest, it was better than I had expected based on what I had been told previously. I had the Ragu of Meats...nothing overly original, but done to absolute perfection....which included meatball, sausage, chicken, pork, and beef. I was with a party of 6, and everyone found their meals to be above average. I will agree with a previous reviewer that, while not lacking for servers and staff, the service itself is a bit disjointed, with both servers assigned to the table asking the same questions and really one hand not quite sure what the other hand is doing. Our table was located pretty close to the kitchen, resulting in a very very loud atmosphere which made it tough for table conversation. Overall, I will definitely give it another try, and I hope that improvements continue, as the place has all the makings of a great place to dine. 
tbillings
Aug 10, 2007
2 3 1 4 2.50
Atmosphere is cute and trendy, but some details come across as just plain tacky & cheap (i.e., napkins). Trying to be super trendy and just doesn't quite make the grade. Food is nothing to tell your friends about. Service is not very well coordinated, you have two servers per table, but both times I gave Via a "try" all it ended up doing was giving me a headache, I was asked everything TWICE! Absolutely no coordination. I overlooked it the first time thinking it was the individual servers I had, but I had the same exact problem my second time with different servers. To summarize, Via is trying way too hard to be the new trendy spot in Worcester. Service is unorganized and the food is mediocre at best. It's way over priced for the quality of food and service you receive. The best thing about the place is the location.... I really hope they don't last, so they can make room for a restaurant worth dining at!  
pippi
Aug 9, 2007
3 2 1 3 2.25
Food was revolting. Do not try the gnocchi pie or Italian paella. My partner and I ordered them and they were completely inedible. THE WORST FOOD I HAVE EVER BEEN SERVED. Don't know how they are still in business. 

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Last Modified: August 2, 2007 at 8:25 AM