Via Carota is a good sized place that takes no reservations so be prepared to wait. When you arrive check in with the front person to get on the list. They have some outdoor seating but that was surrounded by scaffolding while we were there. There are a lot of seats at the long inside bar/counter as well as a couple other rooms off the main one which can also accommodate larger groups. Inside are brick walls, steel columns, wood flooring, tin ceiling and bare wood tables set with paper runners and cloth napkins. The wood chairs at the closely set small tables have an opening on the back where the menus are stored. Some interesting light fixtures add light to the well lit room which has one wall of windows to the street. Wine bottles serve as decorations and a long center table shows off dessert options. Despite the room being packed and many hard surfaces the noise level was not a big problem. They have 2 uni-sex bathrooms. The menu was supplemented by a couple daily specials presented by the server. The name comes from the name of the street where one of the chefs was born. Don’t be deterred by the wait – the food it well worth it!
The Negroni cocktail was featured on their menu so we enjoyed a round of them while we waited for a table. We chose their classic variety and it was nicely made with large cubes, so not much melting dilution.
Tables are given a few olives to enjoy while you make your choices. One of the daily specials was Tortino di Carciofi or eggs with artichokes and cheese. It was nicely moist with a pleasant browned flavor to the artichokes. It was very good and savory with tasty parmesan cheese generously grated on top as well as blended in with the eggs. It was a successful special.
Tonnarelli or cacio pepe pasta was rich with perfectly cooked pasta. The peppery, creamy and cheesy sauce made you want to lick the bowl. It was excellent, full of flavor.
Insalata Verde was leafy greens in sherry vinaigrette. It is a huge portion of well dressed salad of endive, herbs and Boston lettuce. The totally fresh leaves made a great salad and one that easily can be split.
Vai Carota Svizzerina is a hand-chopped grassfed steak. It was really tasty meat with a perfect char on the both sides of the patty. It was topped with a couple cloves of roast garlic and a sprig of rosemary. It was a true rare preparation and wonderful tasting meat. The patty had a nice textural component but the rich beef kept you coming back for another bite.
For dessert there were a number of choices all presented in an oral format. We split a slice of the olive oil cake that was topped with fennel. It was moist with a lovely olive oil flavor and good textural contrast with the crisp top and soft interior. Yum.
With an espresso came a crisp tasty biscotti that made another dessert in itself. Great finish for a fabulous meal.