Friday, March 7, 2008

Via Emilia

At Via Emilia the cuisine of Modena is spotlighted. Before you walk in you notice the red door to the right of the restaurant beckoning you with it's many written accolades. This modern, space with brightly colored art, red banquettes lining the wall, was an instant hit when it opened some months ago. Located on East 21st Street between Broadway and Park Ave South, I dined there for lunch. Now this spot is cash only and being pretty reasonable that works. Lovely thick, dark, salty focaccia is served right away. I opted for a grilled shrimp salad served simply over arugula with hearts of palms and pieces of parmigiano reggiano. This was a lovely light dish with the shrimp nicely charred and ready to eat. Costing $12.50, it was a nice balance of flavors and definitely plated to order. For lunch many there are many pastas from $8-$15 are available as well as comparably priced panini. Some tempting paninis included chicken and eggplant alla parmigiana served on stirato bread. A panini called Big Luciano is a pressed sandwich with fried gnocco and procuitto- very interesting. The small staff simply consisted of a waitress, busboy and the chef came out to help and brought me the check. There will definitely be a return trip here to try the pastas which are hand made daily except penne, spaghette and farfalle.

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