Cafe Via in Birmingham, MI?
Has anyone tried Cafe Via in Birmingham? I'm looking for a place in the Birmingham/Royal Oak/ Ferndale area for a birthday dinner. I'm a little hesitant to go there (even on a weeknight) because there's a no reservations policy.
It's on urbanspoon with 10 "I like it" clicks = 120% liked it. No reviews tho. The Freep did review it. You can check the paper archives.
UPDATE: Went to Cafe Via (Maple and Woodward) for a birthday dinner. Overall impressions:
Caprese: Mah. The tomatoes had been refrigerated, so the flavor was lost and they had gone a bit mushy. Not a great deal for the $10, and I'm not sure where the "grilling" part came in.
Crab cakes: Pretty good. Crisp exterior, nicely fried, soft & crabby inside, with a tasty remoulade and corn salsa that had a slight kick, amid the creaminess.
Meat: They mean it when they say "medium rare" in a way that most establishments don't. Our (hubby's and mine) meat entrees (beef tenderloin au poivre and lamb chops) were almost purple, but with a great sear that made up for any slight hesitations about the color of the meat. These people aren't afraid to deliver a juicy, well-cooked (read: RARE) piece of meat that retains its texture and clear flavor.
Dessert: The strawberry shortcake with poprocks was about 3 steps removed from a poptart. . . .Now that I'm past the wine-haze, the rectangular shortbread they used--covered in whipped cream, and sprinkled with poprocks--makes me think they were going for "poptart." I'm not anti-poptart (overly processed bundles of jammy pastry goodness!), but this seemed like a gimmick for gimmick's sake. If you want to do a poptart, commit! (Bake the damn thing! Don't cheat me out of icing!) Messing with a shortcake, though, with overly-macerated berries and soggy pastry... just not cool.
Ambiance: Birmingham "fabulous"with a nice patio.
Overall: Worth a trip, but not a long wait (6:30 on a Tuesday 45 minute wait for an inside table, and they don't take reservations. Grrr. Argh.).