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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Very good italian food! Enjoyed the meal and the service was great! Very friendly staff!
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.
Food is always excellent as is the service.
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.
It's always a great time at Via Vai. Our server was thoughtful and attentive and my fettuccine bolognese was delicious!
Wonderful, authentic Italian cuisine at a reasonable price. Very pleasant ambiance. Nice wine list. We plan to come here often.
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!
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.
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.
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.
A nice italian restaurant in Astoria when you don't want to leave the neighborhood
Delicious pizza made with high quality ingredients in a nice restaurant setting.
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.
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.