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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

First Looks: Tasty & Alder, Via Chicago, Ciao Vito

Posted by Chris Onstad on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Apple, cheddar, bacon, honey. Tasty & Alder.
  • Apple, cheddar, bacon, honey. Tasty & Alder.

At 1pm on a very recent Thursday, the very new Tasty & Alder was slammed. We took a spot on the waiting list, were carefully minded, and twenty minutes later wedged into a two-top in the middle of the room. Staff handled the capacity crowd with ease; dishes were checked up on, water always filled, payment ran quickly. In both vibe and menu it was basically like walking into a larger, more well-lit room off of Tasty & Sons. John Gorham and company clearly didn't miss a beat with this place (the man himself was raptly surveying the scene while we ate), which was born with a first-class ticket in its pocket less than two weeks ago.

Deep dish at Via Chicago, now on NE Alberta.
  • Deep dish at Via Chicago, now open on NE Alberta.

Via Chicago has finally gone truck-to-table (is this the term we're going with?) up on NE Alberta, and a quick slice one rainy afternoon last week revealed a strikingly new space that has a lot of filling in to do, but already feels ready to host lunch or dinner. One slice for a respectable snack, two for a meal. The roll-up doors will provide welcome outdoor seating this spring, and there is no finer food match for a cone next door at Salt & Straw.

Spanish Tortilla at the newly adapted Ciao Vito, NE Alberta.
  • Spanish Tortilla at the newly adapted Ciao Vito, NE Alberta.

Ciao Vito's new Barcelonian chef Jose Chesa, who took over for chef Vito DiLullo in July, is filling out Vito's Italian classics with a good assortment of tapas. I stop in regularly to build a dinner off their happy hour menu, which features the above beautiful tortilla (only $4), potatoes bravas, croquetas, and at least a dozen other excellent snacks. While a July changeover isn't exactly "new" news, this quiet, dark, comfortable neighborhood place doesn't get as much buzz as it deserves, so I'm doing what I can to make sure I can't get in any more.

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