Equally as impressive is the interior of the restaurant. The decor in this place is pure class: beautiful wood tables, lovely banquettes covered with a tan and brown fabric, a sparkling bar, gorgeous lighting. It's modern and sleek without being intimidating. The waitstaff is young and seems to be mostly male, and while they are not perfectly polished they are eager to please.
The food: We went to Via Vite yesterday for Cincinnati's Downtown Restaurant Week -- a group of downtown restaurants are offering $35 3-course dinners all week. I chose to start with a warm goat cheese salad with truffle oil and pistachios. That salad could have been my entire meal, not that it was so filling but it was so GOOD. The flavors blended perfectly together and the vinaigrette they used was light and didn't mask the delicate truffle flavor in the oil. They paired it with a Pinot Grigio which was a really great pairing.
For my main course I had something called gnudi. It basically means "nude" in Italian, and it is the interior of what would be a ravioli or a tortellini (ricotta and spinach) with a light egg coating but no pasta. It was very delicate, served in a buttery sauce (which may have been a bit too heavy) and with shaved truffles. I LOVE those truffles, they just make my toes curl. They paired this dish with an Italian red wine...I can't remember which but it was good. And their glasses of wine are VERY generous.
For dessert, I had the espresso creme brulee. It was simple, but the texture was perfect and it was a bit lighter than most creme brulees I've had. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to be disappointed in either.
I feel like Fountain Square has been reborn, with the evening activities all summer and the new restaurants that flank its sides. Via Vite was packed yesterday evening, and I suspect it will remain packed as long as it keeps serving up such wonderful Italian food.