Astoria, Brunch, Featured, Food and Drink, Restaurants
Mar 08, 2016

An Authentic Italian Brunch at Via Vai

Although Via Vai is located in a prime location on 23rd Ave and 31st Street, (across from Bareburger) it seems to fly under the radar. They’ve been open for about (…)

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Although Via Vai is located in a prime location on 23rd Ave and 31st Street, (across from Bareburger) it seems to fly under the radar. They’ve been open for about three years, but it’s one of those spots everyone (us included!) says they’ve “been meaning to try.”

But not for long. When they invited us to a complimentary tasting of their Sunday Brunch menu, we jumped at the occasion. The special, offered from 12:00pm-3:00pm, is a pretty incredible deal. It’s $28 for any two menu items, plus fresh bread and panna cotta for dessert. Since many of the dishes (lasagna, pizzas, meatballs, and various other pastas) are quite hearty, you can expect to go home with some serious leftovers.

We started with the lovely fresh focaccia with olive oil infused with garlic and herbs. You know it’s going to be good when the bread is warm to the touch, and this starter didn’t disappoint.

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The first menu item we tried was the Pizza Spinaci E Ouva, which tasted just as good as it looks. It was topped with spinach, soft eggs, and a generous drizzle of truffle oil to send it to another level. There’s no shortage of great pizza in Astoria, but if you haven’t tried this one yet, you’re missing out on an excellent pie.

 

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For a lighter option, we tried the Crespelle: crepes stuffed with ricotta, spinach, and asparagus. With all of the richness of the meal, getting some veggie action with red sauce added a nice light touch.

 

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There aren’t many things more comforting than a big bowl of high-quality noodles. The Bugatini Alla Carbonara was cheesy, peppery, salty, and meaty in all the right ways. The thicker-than-spaghetti noodles were the perfect companion to the creamy sauce, and the pancetta added an extra note of decadence.

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According to the cheerful and welcoming manager, the Rigatoni Alla Gricia was a must-try, as it’s very authentically Roman. You can tell they take pride in their pasta, and this dish gives them good reason to feel great about the final product. The pasta is served with pecorino romano, onion, and the kicker, cured pork cheeks. It was certainly my first time having pork cheeks in my pasta, and judging by how tasty it was, I’m hoping it won’t be the last.

 

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I’m not going to lie: saving room for dessert was a challenge. We needed a quick breather after all of the pizza and pasta, but the wait was worth it. Via Vai’s Panna Cotta is served with caramel and pistachio, and is the perfect sweet treat to finish off the meal.

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If you haven’t been to Via Vai yet, we definitely recommend trying out their brunch. But follow our advice: wear loose fitting pants, and be ready to take some deliciousness home!

Thanks again to Via Vai for treating us to a wonderful complimentary meal.

Via Vai (31-09 23rd Ave, (929) 376-5585 
viavai-ny.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

About Lindsay Goyette

Lindsay has been eating and drinking her way through Queens since 2011. A casting director by day and Astoria explorer by night, you can usually find her checking out live music, theatre, or the newest neighborhood spot to enjoy a craft beer.

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