VIA VAI - Astoria

4.6
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89 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian

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Casual

VIA VAI is a Chef-Owner run restaurant, serving contemporary and authentic Italian food that one would find in the best restaurants and trattorie in today's Italy.



The restaurant is rustic cozy and charming, with a slate and marble top bar serving only select Italian wines, and local and imported tap and bottled beer, that pair perfectly with the artisanal food prepared every day on the premises, and the brick oven roman-style (thin crust) pizza cooked in the imported Italian oven.



Chef-owner Antonio Morichini is Roman born and bred. He did his culinary education and training in Italy, working in some of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in Rome. His food is loyal to tradition, but forward looking.

What 89 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

The food at this restaurant was very creative and well done. Menu is a little limited ,but everything we ate was superior to most Italian restaurants. I did feel the glasses of wine were unexpectedly pricey for an Astoria restaurant. However, food good enough to return and recommend to friends.

R
New York Area
51 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Look no further, this is the Italian restaurant you have always wanted without the $1,000 tab for a visit to Italy! Flavors you thought you'd never find again are suddenly there in front of you. Pasta's better than your grandmother's and not the ersatz Italian food you find all over NY, but real Italian food. Enjoy it as long as you can because before you know your plate will be empty, and you'll be promising to go back soon.

ND
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Have eaten twice here and both meals were excellent. The pastas are exceptional.

A
New York Area
185 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Every dish...the mozzarella with prosciutto, the pasta dishes, the bread, the wine were all part of a perfect eating experience.

A
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was outstanding and seemed very authentic. Service was friendly and helpful. Each dishwe tried was memorable. What else can I say!

m
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Good food with very helpful staff. The decor and ambiance are also great. In terms of great Italian food in the neighborhood, this place is definitely on the list.

MB
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious, authentic food, amazing wine list, and great service!

MW
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came here on the recommendation of our Airbnb host and we were NOT disappointed! The food was absolutely amazing and our waiter was extremely helpful with recommendations and helping us narrow down our choices.

W
Charleston
34 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

You can always expect superb food at Via Vai. While I was hoping to have their one-of-a-kind eggplant parm, I was disappointed to learn the chef was no longer making it. Perhaps this impassioned review will help change his mind. The shrimp dish I had was outstanding, perfectly cooked and the threads of crispy filo put it over the top. The staff is gracious and helpful. It could have been a bit cooler as it was pretty warm. If you have not tried this Astoria gem, do so.

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Via Vai is the best Italian restaurant in NYC.

F
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful. Restaurant. And the food is amazing. Service. Great And. Chef. Antonio. Is. Far one of the. Best. I’ve. Seen. From. Italy. Food was. Excellent. ..

OT
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Overall food was delicious. Service was a bit slow due to the one waiter that was doing everything. Just way to expensive for a trattoria place. You can find cheaper and same quality food all over Astoria. Now I understand why the place is not populated and other places like it are!!

m
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Impeccable service, pleasant and elegant setting, stellar food

w
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was imaginative and absolutely delicious! We had the special --- risotto with scallops, and a lovely panne cotta for dessert. A casual, cozy place. I'd happily go back!

OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Via Vai is a great restaurant! We were all debating who had the better meal and they were all so good we could not decide. It is one of my favorite places in Astoria!

F
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The pasta alla gricia was outstanding, and the carrot gnocchi were also great. We loved the light Pinot Noir that was suggested to complement our main dishes, as well as the impepata di cozze we chose as an appetizer. We also loved the feel of the place, and we will be surely back soon.

t
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

food was great service was cordial but understaffed

F
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful dinner. the food is amazing one of best chefs in. Astoria. the. Service is. Amazing the. Staff especially. Manuel. He’s. Excellent. the wine is excellent . and the place is so. Cozy you feel like your in. Italy. All I can is it’s the best .

n
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently good food and service. Pastas are always delicious and fresh.

LC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We love Via Vai. It’s very clean and the food is great!

L
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to Via Vai for my birthday this past weekend and it was awesome! My fiance and I have been there a few times before and we knew we liked it, so this was the place I chose. Great service, awesome food, wonderful company! I would highly recommend!

n
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always consistently good service, wine, and food. I go often and recommend them to friends in the area.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We found this restaurant on the Michelin guide what a fantastic experience you can feel the passion of the chef we had the ravioli filled with shrimp and the branzino cooked inside the bread something out of this world . We finish with the homemade gelato and a Glass of passito. Service was friedly and professional!

OT
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic Italian with a real Italian chef in the kitchen the wine list cover almost all Italy you can found very particular wine from north to south Italy service is on point waiters knows what they are selling and they are prepared in all the detail...I had the buckwheat pappardelle with lamb ragu amazing and my friend try the tagliolini with scampi and crab meat what can I say hands down. Next time we gonna try the branzino the table next us took it and looks great and it was cooked inside the bread wooow!!!

L
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

I dont like doing this, but I feel compelled to spare others from this bad experience.

Ordered 2 apps, received none.

Went there for a pasta dish on the regular menu, they were unable to make it due to lack of specific pasta, was asked to choose other, did so, ask to choose other again, in the end only 1 type of pasta available.

Other pasta dish ordered also had to be changed due to lack of ingredients.

Warm beer.

Got the check, no adjustment for poor service or failure to deliver dishes ordered.

I need to stop listening to all these amateurs on Instagram.

AD
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

the food was delicious at every course along with the wine. everything tastes very fresh. tiramisu and panna cotta are excellent deserts, as well. very european ambiance, they allow you to take your time enjoying the meal. we got our food at a good speed, not sure if they were backed up because of Valentine’s day but the table next to us ordered before us and got their food after us.

D
Caribbean
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my favorite place for dinner in Astoria. No place in Astoria has better food.

F
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The best in. Astoria. Food is. Amazing Service is amazing. Wine is great. An. Exceptional. Restaurant. And most of.all Branzino is stuffed in ! Pizza. Doe and cooked in. Oven out of this world !!!! And. Manuel . Is the best waiter ever . 💯. Italian 🇮🇹

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious pasta, cozy atmosphere. Can’t wait to go back

JG
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice experience. Food and service were excellent.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

It was our first time at this restaurant. We walk by very often & did not realize that it was a high caliber restaurant. My wife noticed recently that Via Vai just received a Michelin Star. This intrigued both of us & we decided to try it. First impression was that the restaurant was small & tables are right next to each other. As we sat down for a bit we realized the sound level was not bad & we could talk comfortably. The mussels were great & the salad was delightful. My bronzino was baked in bread. It was very healthy but had the great taste of being cooked in olive oil. My wife’s gnocchi was so good she ate the whole bowl before I even noticed. Definitely somewhere we would go back to again.

r
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

OMG. I can't say enough. This was hands down one of the best, if not the best, dining experiences my wife and I have ever had. We travel a lot, for both work and pleasure, and primarily internationally. We were in Italy just a few months ago, for about the 10th time. I am very familiar with Michelin starred restaurants, travelling with the red guide in hand, and when researching where to dine close to Manhattan I noticed VIA VAI and saw say that they are Michelin recommended (that's why I made the reservations). Michelin cited their authentic Italian cuisine and their wine list, which sealed the deal for us to make reservations. Boy did VIA VAI hit it out of the park. From the warm and friendly welcome and service throughout the evening, to the delicious appetizers (we shared the polpette, lasgnetta and beets salad), to the insanely good pasta courses (I had the agnello and my wife the squid ink shrimp pasta -- all home made and ), to the incredible branzino cooked in dough -- described to us as their signature dish -- and lastly to their homemade ice creams, we experienced excellence. The ambiance is elegant but genuine, warm and cozy, allowing you to enjoy your dining experience and your company. My wife and I were so blown away that we came back on Sunday with some "foodie" friends, who seconded our experience. We look forward to many more fabulous meals at VIA VAI. Bravo!

JW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Normally quiet. Last I went here was on NYE, so it was crowded, but luckily we made a reservation. Food was excellent per usual, our bread- normally my favorite part- came out cold.

MC
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was amazing! Homemade pasta. Service was great, all very pleasant. I wish it was bigger. Very small and tight table. We sat by door and it was cold and raining. Next time I will ask for a table in the back, but definitely plan on returning!

v
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 1

5 star for the food, 0 for ambiance and service. They sat us on wobbly folding chairs in front of kitchen where staff constantly bumped into us. Another couple was placed awkwardly 3 feet in front of entry door where cold air and wind & rain would hit them each time someone entered or exited. Not acceptable when the bill is $350 for 4 people.

KE
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 2

The food here is wonderful. But the customer service is ALWAYS lacking. I went for NYE dinner and it seemed as though they put 10 extra tables in the restaurant to get more business. Nobody could get by one another and people were getting very upset. Our server was nice but really didn't know what he was doing. The head waiter is arrogant and unwilling to work with the customers.

m
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was our first time at this restaurant and it was great. Our waiter was kind and knowledgeable. The food was fantastic. It is a casual place but comfortable. We will definitely be back. Great neighborhood gem!!

OT
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I want there with my girlfriend was the first time for us , I was looking for a restaurant like this with a beautiful location and atmosphere, wine list and menu excellent like the service , the waiter that I talked to before she came in , he made our dinner really romantic .. the risotto was SPECIAL , thanks for make that Night really special for me ! 5 Star !

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic Italian food, fresh pasta, amazing service and great ambience. It was a real amazing experience, I’ll definitely go back again soon.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic experience from the apps to the house made pasta I tried the ravioli stuffed with shrimp my husband the risotto and then we shared a branzino made in a bread crust hands down this is a real Italian gem ! Incredible wine list and they are very knowledgeable about what they sell professional and friendly service ! I’ll spread the word! Thanks to bring a piece of Italy here in nyc .

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