This is a look at Via Vanti! right as a Metro North train pulls into the Mt. Kisco station. Busy little area.
Now consider this — and this is a topic the restaurant meetup and I discussed last night — Via Vanti! opens at 5 am, so conceivably a commuter could start the day off with a gelato, go to work, come home, get off the train, and end the day with another gelato. Sound crazy? You haven’t tried the gelato.
There’s a buzzing energy about Via Vanti! that’s infectious, from the name (note the exclamation point), to the decor and ambiance (bright, cheery and airy — an ode to Italy), right down to the colorfully vibrant, and excellent, food.
The group and I were fairly overwhelmed by the menu — a case where everything looked good — and somewhat uncertain on what to order. Via Vanti! has entrees, but it also has a large selection of “grazing” plates: Bocco boards, flatbreads, paninis, insalates, pizzettes, and so on.
Several of us decided to go tapas-style and share. Why have one dish when you can try a little of everything?
We started with complimentary bruschetta. I ate mine like an amuse bouche — one bite.
One person at the table ordered the lamb burger, which is supposed to be fantastic, while the rest of us shared the golden brown salmon burger.
Dante pizzette with Taleggio cheese, speck, and roasted yellow and red peppers.
I must have forgotten to take a picture of one of my favorites of the night, the ultra-crispy Beatrice pizzette, with gorgonzola, figs, walnuts and a drizzle of honey. Out of this world delicious. I believe I commented, “I could eat this every day.”
Tre Tuffi (Three Dips): Hummus, roasted red pepper tapenade and wild mushroom duxelles served with crostini and pita.
Panini with turkey, cheese and apple.
A killer wild mushroom lasagna filled with spinach, goat cheese and ricotta, topped with a light bechamel sauce. Creamy and rich, this was a dish I could have gladly eaten all on my own.
Same goes for the roasted chicken with potatoes. Meltingly tender, infused with the flavors of herbs and lemon.
Halfway through the meal the restaurant dimmed the lights, making my pics worse and worse. I did snap this pic of Shae’s risotto and braised beef.
Check out Doug’s (another Doug) Vesuvio dessert– oozing, molten chocolate cake with a scoop of hazelnut gelato.
The gelato — it would be a crime to visit Via Vanti! without sampling one. The artful way it’s displayed in the glass gelati and sorbetti case is mesmerizing — it’s tempting to just stand there and look at it. And we did. I sampled the pistachio (with large pieces of pistachio) before settling on a scoop of amaretto.
You can barely see them, but there were tiny little bits of nuts in there, hazelnut I think. So smooth and vivid in flavor.
My one complaint about Via Vianti! — noise level again. I know I sound like a broken record, but those hard surfaces really do bounce sound around.
But a loud, lively cafe is better than one that’s dead quiet. Looking around the dining room, I could tell that people were having a grand old time eating, chatting, drinking wine, sipping on espresso… Via Vanti!’s a fun place to be.
And as Sakura proclaimed about the gelato: “They’ll probably melt your problems away.”
2 Kirby Plaza
Mt. Kisco, NY