LOCATION: Via Vai (31-09 23rd Ave, Astoria, Queens, NY)
GUEST(S): Alan Fessenden, Michael McLarnon, Brad Kemp
ORDER: 1 slice of Fichi (fig marmalade, gorgonzola, prosciutto, arugola, truffle oil)
Roman around Astoria. Astoria residents Antonio and Cynthia Morichini opened Via Vai to give the neighborhood a place to enjoy the feel of Italian cuisine. Who better than Antonio who, in addition to growing up in Rome, brings decades of culinary expertise to the table. Using a rotating imported brick oven, the thin rounded crust of the Roman style pizza is baked evenly to provide a firm foundation for the high quality ingredients. Although the menu offers traditional Neapolitan pies, when in Via Vai do as these Romans do and get creative! Signature pizzas such as the Montanara combine mascarpone with porcini mushroom puree and speck. I opted and recommend the Fichi (pronounced "fick-y") which has a blend of sweet fig marmalade, just the right amount of gorgonzola, savory prosciutto, crisp arugula and hint of truffle oil. The flavors complemented each other in a way that is not only delicious but truly unique. And that's just the pizza! Via Vai specializes in house-made pastas, salads, and paninis as well. Pair any of these with one of their fine wines or fancy beers and you got yourself a meal and a new favorite restaurant.
|Pizzaiolo at work|
|Fichi cooking in rotating gas-powered brick oven|
|Completed Fichi (minus two slices removed before prosciutto added)|
|Slice of fichi and a pair of reading glasses|
|Underside of a slice of Fichi|
|Co owner Antonio Morichini and Sean Taylor|
|Chapter 2 of the Astoria Pizza Crawl of 2014|
2. Michael McLarnon is good at just about any recreational activity from ping pong to darts to frisbee to football to hanging out.
17/21 = .8095 x 5 = 4.0476