VIA VAI

4.5
43 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian

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.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Monday-Thursday 4:00PM-10:00PM
Friday-Saturday 12:30PM-11:00PM
Sundays 12:30PM to 10:00PM
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Phone number
(347) 612-4334
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Antonio Morichini
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Catering
Cater your next special event with specialty food from VIA VAI. Call us for catering menus and further information
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Street parking and municipal parking lot in very close proximity, are available.
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Public transit
VIA VAI is down the block from the last stop of the N train, Ditmars Blvd.
Additional
Beer, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 43 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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3
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W
Charleston
30 reviews
4.0Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This was a real find; delicious food, gracious host and attentive service. Best eggplant parm I've had in a very long time. We will definitely go back.

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FB
New England
7 reviews
3.0Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

A very large party came after we sat down and the noise level was deafening. We should have been told this was the case before reservation was accepted. As this large party had every indoor table but ours and the seating at the bar. The food was very good however the service was ok but the noise level was way too loud. Would go back , but will peek in before entering .

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OT
New York Area
1 review
5.0Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every thing was excellent!

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R
New York Area
26 reviews
4.0Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We enjoyed a nice bottle of Barbera (a bit pricey, though!). The burrata & prosciutto appetizer was tasty, but also pricey! The arugula salad was excellent! My friend enjoyed her simple pasta with fresh tomato sauce. I enjoyed the special pasta with crabmeat! Overall, everything was yummy but we were disappointed that there was no ice so our Pellegrino was warm & so was our water🤨

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a
New York Area
2 reviews
5.0Dined on July 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every time i’m here, I remember why love Tuscany so much. Great friendly staff, with delicious food & deserts. What more could I want?

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OT
New York Area
23 reviews
5.0Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I come here once in a while because I also work in the same industry, “Italian good” when ever I have off from work, I bring my wife because I know the food is going to be great. Will be back soon, thanks Antonio and the staff

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OT
New York Area
10 reviews
4.0Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

It was really hot- felt like the air wasn’t working. But, our food was good. We got the carrot gnocchi and fettuccini. Both good!

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L
New York Area
42 reviews
5.0Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is true gourmet Italian!! Absolutely delicious

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j
New York Area
91 reviews
4.0Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

This is my third visit to Via Vai. The food is consistently good, but the service can use some warmth. The space can get a little crowded and definitely make reservations. It gets packed during peak hours. We recently celebrated Mother'd Day here for 5 and the bill came out to $250 inc. drinks and no dessert. The food is ample to share and you won't leave hungry for sure. The pastas are cooked perfectly al dente and the sauces are well seasoned. It's a neighborhood gem indeed. Italian with a few Greek notes! If you can disregard the brash service, it's a gem !

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C
New York Area
16 reviews
3.0Dined on April 27, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Relax atmosphere. Personable front man! Very attentive staff.

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MT
Philadelphia
67 reviews
4.0Dined on February 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Very good food in a pleasant atmosphere. Friendly servers. A bit crowded and seats are not the most comfortable. But, I’d definitely return for the good food at a less crowded time.

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E
New York Area
3 reviews
3.0Dined on February 14, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

It was okay. We went on Valentine's Day and didn't realize there was a special & more expensive menu. We were looking forward to the fig pizza here since we read such good reviews on it. There were no pizza options.

We came in and didn't realize how small the restaurant was. Nothing wrong with it, just was surprised. There were four people working. One waitress, a bus boy, manager and a guy who brought the food out. Even though it's small there were still about 12-15 tables of two's and thought there should have been another waitress to help out on such a busy night.

We had 6:30 reservations and arrived on time and were seated right away. My husband and I each ordered a glass of wine and the waitress was very knowledgeable of each wine. The wine, bread and water came moments later. A couple of minutes later we decided to order the calamari to share to start. The waitress advised on ordering the main dish at the same time. My husband ordered the eggplant parmigiana and I with the risotto. The waitress told us the risotto would take 20 minutes and if that was okay. Usually the meal takes about 20 minutes so we were okay with that. It was 6:40 and I said "it will come out a 7 then" and she nodded.

Calamari came out really fast, like they knew everyone was going to order it and had it waiting. And by the looks of it everyone did order it. It was delicious but they didn't bring out a side of Marinara and had to ask for it. I noticed that no one got one and everyone had to ask for it. Thought it was a standard. So far so good for the most part

Then we waited. And waited and waited. I get it's a busy night but the main dish didn't come out until 7:55pm. An hour and 15 minutes after we ordered. We nicely asked a few times if it was on its way and they said coming right out and it didn't come right out.

When it finally came out it was not good for both of us. Just was highly disappointed overall.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
5.0Dined on December 23, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic from start to finish. The ambiance was dim and romantic. Our server Eleanora was so attentive and sweet. I felt like I was in Italy visiting a neighborhood restaurant. This place truly is a hidden gem and you must try it. You won’t regret it, I promise!

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GC
New York Area
30 reviews
4.0Dined on October 28, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food, especially the homemade pasta. Sauce was very good. This would have been perfect if the waitress didn’t mess up my order and forget my entree. Thankfully we had extra apps. We will be back thanks to the great food and reasonable prices. Nice atmosphere.

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MN
New York Area
3 reviews
5.0Dined on October 27, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went with 3 other couples to Via Vai and had a fabulous meal. The octopus carpaccio special appetizer was right on the mark. The Polpette meatballs, served in a smooth tomato sauce, took what is usually a mundane standard and made it something special. I had the Gamberi black ink tagliolini entree, clearly house made and perfectly al dente. My wife enjoyed the Rotolo di Gnocco and our friends were equally happy with their food choices. Together we spilt a few bottles of excellent Sicilian Nero D'Avola and followed it all up with an assortment of dessert options from the chef. The bombolini and tiramisu were particularly good.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
5.0Dined on October 20, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent!!!!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
5.0Dined on October 14, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Very good italian food! Enjoyed the meal and the service was great! Very friendly staff!

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SR
New York Area
8 reviews
5.0Dined on September 22, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

True gem. Italian can be really boring, but this authentic Roman restaurant is firing on all cylinders: quality ingredients, creative but approachable recipes, & friendly knowledgeable service. I will be coming again and recommending it to all.

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OT
New York Area
61 reviews
4.0Dined on July 28, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is always excellent as is the service.

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OT
New York Area
6 reviews
5.0Dined on July 22, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our favorite restaurant in Astoria. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu. The pizza is delicious and crispy. Can't wait to return.

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T
New York Area
15 reviews
5.0Dined on July 12, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It's always a great time at Via Vai. Our server was thoughtful and attentive and my fettuccine bolognese was delicious!

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A
New York Area
31 reviews
5.0Dined on July 3, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Wonderful, authentic Italian cuisine at a reasonable price. Very pleasant ambiance. Nice wine list. We plan to come here often.

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T
New York Area
15 reviews
5.0Dined on June 10, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is always great! The branzino special baked in bread was delicious, and the tiramisu is one of the best. I keep hoping that they'll bring back the bomboloni!

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BC
New York Area
10 reviews
3.0Dined on June 7, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Ever ate fresh caught clams at a trattoria in Tuscany? Highly recommended while in Italy but if you happen to be in Astoria and craving a similar experience then head over to this spot. The owner/bartender/server was awesome. His Italian accent added to the ambiance of this place.

We started off with appetizers: calamari and mussels pot. The broth from the mussels outshone my calamari which could have been more seasoned. The entrees were generous portions of (1) short ribs in tomato sauce over a large order of polenta and (2) fresh made linguine over clams in a white wine sauce. Everything was tasty again my options came in second because I'm used to a more seasoned clam. Nonetheless I did choose the winning dessert; Nutella pizza was banging and the rich panna cotta came in an honorable second.

The food was solid and filling but the service was superb. I will be back and maybe try a cocktail this time.

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OT
New York Area
61 reviews
4.0Dined on July 5, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Small, inviting neighborhood restaurant. Excellent Italian food - traditional dishes plus a few with a modern twist.

I've sat outside both times I've gone, so can't really speak to the atmosphere inside.

A shared salad of kale, apple slices, avocado was not Italian, but the ingredients were fresh and the textures and tastes went together perfectly. I might have added shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano to it for an Italian twist.

The fresh bread and excellent olive oil is a meal in itself!

The Pizza Margherita was to die for. Perfect, crispy, then crust. The freshest toppings.

Risotto with beets, goat cheese, and balsamic reduction was excellent. The risotto was perfectly al dente and the flavors were perfect together.

Both nights, in the beginning of our evening the service was welcoming and attentive. As the evening wore on, we had to constantly look for our waiter and catch his eye. And yet, the restaurant was not at all busy. On one occasion, a friend of the waiter stopped by and they chatted and chatted and chatted, leaving us completely unattended. Not good.

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F
New York Area
51 reviews
5.0Dined on June 21, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food here is always outstanding. The service is always good. What an adorable place. We are lucky to have this restaurant in our neighborhood.

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BA
New York Area
59 reviews
3.0Dined on June 13, 2015
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

A nice italian restaurant in Astoria when you don't want to leave the neighborhood

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B
New York Area
32 reviews
4.0Dined on June 7, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Delicious pizza made with high quality ingredients in a nice restaurant setting.

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b
New York Area
59 reviews
4.0Dined on April 10, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

This was my second visit to this restaurant, and again, i enjoy ed it quite a bit. This is the place to go when you don't feel like cooking and simply want a night out, eating good, regular italian food.

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F
New York Area
51 reviews
5.0Dined on March 28, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our second time here, and loved it just as much as the first. Outstanding cuisine In an adorable restaurant. The service is superb. We were celebrating my mom's birthday and they were super nice. Everybody loved the appetizers, entrees and desert. A real gem in our neighborhood.

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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
4.0Dined on March 27, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great ambiance in a neighborhood you wouldn't expect. Great food and friendly staff. Limited choices but what I tried over three visits were all good.

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M
New York Area
13 reviews
5.0Dined on March 7, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything here is always fantastic. My fiancee and I dine here frequently and the food is hands down the best Italian to be found anywhere in NYC.

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j
New York Area
2 reviews
5.0Dined on February 14, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Vanentine's Day and had a great meal. Steak was perfectly cooked (needed a little salt - but it was a great cut of meat) Even came with a little entertaining when listening to the table next to us explain what the difference between sparkling water and seltzer was.... Definetly recomend.

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F
New York Area
51 reviews
5.0Dined on February 7, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a neighborhood gem. We are so lucky to live close by. We will tell everybody about this restaurant. The food was beyond anything we had a expected. Also excellent service in a beautiful place.

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JA
New York Area
2 reviews
4.0Dined on January 30, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Excellent meal and a wonderful ambiance. It's a great spot for a romantic dinner, or even with a group of friends. Service can be a bit spotty but otherwise servers are very friendly and make you feel at home. BRAVO!

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B
New York Area
6 reviews
5.0Dined on December 27, 2014
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is outstanding. Staff is super Freindly and went out their way for us.

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AM
New York Area
1 review
5.0Dined on September 21, 2014
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friendly service, overall warm (I.e.: Italian!) vibe, excellent service, delicious authentic food, very welcoming....what more could you want?! Via Vai is a fabulous addition to the neighborhood. I adore Italy, and experiencing Via Vai makes me miss it a little less. Buona Fortuna, Antonio!

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NY
New York Area
53 reviews
5.0Dined on September 19, 2014
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were coming back to NYC and decided to try this place as it was on our way from Laguardia. Wow. The ambiance is exceptional and the food was out of this world. I had the aglio e olio which, despite its simplicity, can be great. Via Vai's aglio e olio was truly special. My daughter had the fetuccine bolognese which, again, can be great. Via Vai's bolognese was outstanding. I can't say enough positive about this place. The service was very good and our server very attentive. A real 10 out 10.

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U
New York Area
1 review
3.0Dined on September 11, 2014
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Amateurish service due to well-meaning yet clueless waitress. Our mistake to go with a party of six, more appropriate for two to four, max. It's casual, I get it, but there's no excuse for confusing orders, bringing food out ineptly timed. Waitress didn't ask the right questions, obviously poorly trained or not trained at all. Best dishes were pasta and apps, specials seemed the way to go. Sit near the front, the rear is cramped and dark and the kitchen staff are not discrete. Menu features primi and secondi but apparently they're not accustomed to diners ordering both and expecting that, yes, you want your primi before your secondi! Would go again, nonetheless, the kitchen is promising.

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NA
New York Area
6 reviews
4.0Dined on September 6, 2014
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Very nice spot, the food was excelent. The meatball app was to die for, my gf got the spaghetti with marinara and she absolutely loved it. I got the pasta with the lamb ragu which was good as well. The restaurant is very nice and had the coolest ceiling fan I've ever seen. I would def go back. For the price, the place is outstanding. The wine list could use some work though.

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