Via Emilia is an Italian restaurant on the main street of Mystic. It has 2 stories and we got a table on the second level by the window looking out on the street. It was a nice view. Music was in the background for the small bare wood tables set with armless chairs. A bar is on the first level and lights are lowered. In addition to the menu there were several daily specials orally presented to us, but when we tried to order one it turned out they were out of it. Service was spotty and our server was a bit manic that carried over to the diner. We got our cocktails fairly quickly but the timing of the rest of the meal was uneven. I understand small tables but restaurants need to understand you need room to eat without fear of pushing a dish onto the floor. That said, the food was varied in quality. If you’re in need of an Italian fix, this would be where to go but I’d recommend seafood in this town.
Carciofi was roasted artichokes with pistachios, golden raisins, and mint. The dish had lots of creamy sauce and plump raisins. Five halves of small artichokes were smothered with the other ingredients – and they were a little lost.
Calamari alla puttanesca was made with Rhode Island squid simmered with tomato, olives, capers, and wild oregano. The totally tender squid were all in rings in a very tasty tomato sauce. It left a great aftertaste and was the best of the first 3 dishes.
Clams with pepper sauce were a special that evening. They were cut into strips that made the clams unrecognizable and tossed with onion and arugula in a cold presentation. It was interesting with a fresh flavor but not terribly compelling.
The server also brought a small pan with thick slices of bread with whipped butter and oil options. The bread was nice and fun to dip in the red sauce with the squid.
Tagliatelle was paired with a traditional ragu bolognese with parmigiano reggiano. The ragu could have used more seasoning and had been not been cooked to the point the meat turned velvety. It was also not served with a spoon to help in eating the long noodles. It grew boring to eat.
Mezzaluna was stuffed with wild mushroom filling and served with butter, sage, balsamic tradizionale, and a scattering of mushrooms. There must have been a dozen of the good-sized stuffed pasta. The mushroom on the top had some flavor but the ones inside had lost most of their essence. It was dotted with balsamic when served. The pasta was tender and cooked nicely but the dominant flavor was sage.
We passed on dessert but got a photo of the menu.