Location: 832 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z6
Price Range: $$$
I’ve been meaning to try out Via Vai after passing by it a couple of times as it was actually a former art gallery, and have now transformed into a beautiful restaurant! The entire restaurant is covered with glass walls so I recommend going during the day to soak up the sun! Even though it might be chilly during winter, I can imagine when it’s snowing outside, it will create an alluring and romantic atmosphere when you are dining in.
The ambiance was quite relaxing and it wasn’t too loud either, C and I could hear each other perfectly, which is a big plus because I hate going to restaurants that felt like a night club sometimes.
High ceilings, clean white space and an impressive wine tower which beautifully winds all the up to the ceiling adds to the beauty of the space. I’m sold!
C and I each got a main dish and a dessert to share. Considering the price, the portion will be a bit small for some people, so if you are hungry, I wouldn’t recommend getting the pasta.
The pappardelle was slightly under-cooked for both of us and I wished there was more sauce as the lamb ragu was just perfect!! Very hearty with melted-in-your-mouth lamb pieces and seasoned perfectly, my favorite!
On the menu this dish was actually made with fettucine pasta, however it was sold out that day so the server offered me a different type of pasta, which I think was bavette (?). I could be wrong lol, I really need to educate myself more on different type of pasta…
For $26 the portion was quite small, however the pasta was al dente and you can tell Via Vai make their own pasta in house! There were a decent amount of seafood for $26 and they were cooked perfectly. However the tomato sauce was lacking in flavor and the whole dish was bland, so it was quite disappointing as I was really looking forward to this dish :(.
At the beginning our server was extremely friendly and attentive, however there was a big party of 12 that night so she had to attend to them, which was understandable. My complain was about the host, who did absolutely nothing to help our server with the big table, nor she didn’t even care about us. C and I inquired the host multiple times (since our server was busy with the big table) about our desserts, I even saw her asking the kitchen yet she decided to ignore us. Around 30 – 45 minutes later our server brought out the desserts, but no apology or explanation of the waiting time was given at all. Yet when we ask for the bill, both the host and the server were pretty quickly about getting us out of the restaurant…. And mind you, there were only 3 tables that night.
Anyhow, C got the Panna Cotta and it was pretty good. The panna cotta had the right texture and the tangy fruits helped to cut down the sweetness from the honey.
I didn’t like the biscotti as it was dry and tough to eat. The tiramisu had a strong espresso and chocolate flavor and the taste was just pure heaven. Surprisingly the base of the tiramisu was a sponge cake instead of lady fingers, which I didn’t mind as I found the tiramisu still held up really well. I also liked how there wasn’t too much mascarpone so the dessert wasn’t too rich nor sweet, and I didn’t think the raspberry sauce was needed =P.
The restaurant was gorgeous and perfect for a date night, however I wish the owner would have paid the same amount of time and attention into the food, as some of the dishes really needed some final touches to make them perfect. Overall I will most likely go back to try other dishes as I heard their pizzas and appetizers are ahh-mazing!