I have committed to trying all the menu items at Via Cibo, Harvest Hills. With it being so close to home and the prices being fair for what you get, I plan to work my way through the items, slowly but surely! (I’m also trying not to gain back all of the 20 lbs I lost last year!) I’ll update the post as I go… it may take a while to get through it all! Thankfully if I go with Jay, I only have to try his dish for it to count 🙂
My ratings out of 5 are reflective of the fact that it is, essentially, Italian fast food. A 5/5 doesn’t mean that it’s a Michelin star meal… it just means that for what it is, it’s really friggin’ good. The place is really a fast food joint that lacks in service. I don’t even like that you are expected to tip when you pay for your meal (up front) – how do I know if my meal will be worthy of a tip? There’s not really much for service to tip on… Regardless, I will always through in a few bucks. Anyways, as I was saying – for what it is, a dish worth $16 or less, my rating is based on: taste, texture, portion size, price, presentation, etc. In short, am I getting great bang for my buck?
Visit #1 – Take Out – click here to see my first review with take-out
Visit #2 – Eat In With Jay
I ordered the Stracciatella Soup ($5) and Tuscan Braised Beef with Polenta ($16). The soup was quite tasty – I don’t think I could make a better homemade soup. Light, fresh, only slightly salty, with a decent portion of grilled chicken. For $5 it was a fairly big bowl. If weren’t feeling too well, a big bowl of this for take-out would probably make me feel just a little bit better! I rate the soup 4/5.
The Tuscan Braised Beef was pretty delicious. The red wine braise was seasoned perfectly, and the meat wasn’t so overdone that it just fell apart – no, it held together well but was still tender. I think it could have used a little bit more time slow cooking to make it just a little more tender, but I appreciated that it wasn’t mushy. The polenta was lumpy. Even I have made smoother polenta. It had a wonderful buttery flavour to it, but I wasn’t impressed with the texture. I’d rate the beef 4/5 and the polenta 1/5.
Jay ordered the Pollo Parmigiana ($16). Yum! 2 large pieces of lightly battered and seasoned breasts served with garlic toast and your choice of pasta (with tomato sauce or alfredo sauce) or salad. The pasta with tomato sauce wasn’t anything special – it tasted like others I’ve had before, but the chicken parmesan was great. Jay rated it 5/5 for value! (I agree). Jay makes a really wicked homemade chicken parmesan but it’s a lot of work. He said next time he gets a craving, he’ll come here. Plus, they make it into a sandwich which I’m sure would be delightful.
I mentioned to the cashier that my last take-out order didn’t include the Italian donuts that I had ordered and paid for, so she said she’d comp them for me tonight… they never came to fruition tonight either… I guess I’m just not supposed to have those bloody little things. I suppose my thighs should thank the cashier?