HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >


Via 45 ~ Red Bank

My husband and I went here for dinner last night and I must admit, it was very good. We have been a fan of Claudette's cooking when she owned the place in Old Bridge. I really like the fact that the menu changes daily. It is all about freshness, and that is what you will get.

Claudette greeted us promplty and even told us if there was something we wanted that was not on the menu last night, she would make it. We started off and shared an appetizer of fresh littleneck clams in a delicious tomato sauce. Lots of garlic, which we both love. The clams were all fresh, so smelly clams here! Even better, was dipping the great bread into the sauce....yum!!

For dinner, I had the soft shell crabs. They were prepared in almost like a francese sauce, but not overly battered. Came with green beans that were sauted to perfection! My husband had penne with cubes of chicken breast, tomato, and basil. I know these dishes don't sound really unique, but what I really love about a place is when you can taste every single element that went into the dish. This is why I keep saying "Fresh" because you really will see just how fresh and cooked to order everything is.

Claudette even had this conversation with us and she told us some people do not get this concept. Most people, which I agree with her, want their dinner in 10 minutes and want to be rush-rush. I see that almost everywhere here in the restaurants we all go to. What a bad way to live! Some of these people need to go to Europe, and see how much more relaxed it is! I enjoy eating slowly and I hate when the entree comes out too fast. That tells me either the dish was pre-cooked and they reheated it, or it was 1/2 way cooked and then they finished it off. Either way, I hate it.

Some people may disagree with me about dining slowly and enjoying every last minute with whomever you may be with, but this is how my husband and I dine out!

With this said, the food was incredible. No room at all for dessert, and have leftovers for today! The total came to $ 60.00 before the tip. Excellent deal for the quality of food, plus it is a BYOB.

I highly recommend and I look forward to another dinner at Via 45!


No website for a menu, since it changes daily, but you can call and ask what is on the menu for the day! Enjoy!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. That sounds wonderful! We are big fans of lingering over well-paced meals. In fact, we once went "open to close" lasting the entire night and having a blast.

    1. Angelina, sounds great and we should have joined you. We were in RB for an early dinner before seeing a movie.
      Went to Gaetano's, which was a mistake. Totally forgettable meal.

      At least the movie was good :)

      1. Wow! Angelina, an excellent *Italian* restaurant in this area? Who woulda thunk it? lol

        I presume the restaurant where Claudette previously cooked was A Tavola? If so, we went there once not long before she left. If memory serves, I had veal picatta. It's a dish I often order at Italian restaurants the first time I go because it is so basic, and if the kitchen can get it right, there's usually hope.... ;)

        I shall now add Via 45 to my "go to" list.

        About leisurely dining. I'm sure it will come as no surprise that I totally agree with you. It is one of life's great pleasures! Of course, that presupposes that the cuisine is at a high level, so you don't want to rush. However, if the food turns out to be awful, then, the quicker, the better in order to put it behind you. lol


        We haven't been to Gaetano's in ages. So sorry to hear that you had such a disappointing experience. Sounds as though it's gone seriously downhill.

        Did you see "The September Issue"? I saw it in NYC two weeks ago. It was terrific!

        9 Replies
        1. re: RGR

          We were in RB early, wankring around and decided to try Gaetano's. My pasta with Bolognese sauce was tasty but swimming in sauce and my wife's pasta with seafood was average at best.
          Saw Via 45 and walked past it, maybe next time.

          We saw "My One And Only" both funny and sad. Very good movie.

          1. re: RGR

            I totally know you like to dine the same as me, RGR. Great minds always think alike! :) ha ha!

            I know we are overloaded with Italian here in the area, but this place is not another "Chicken Parm" restaurant as I call them. I really love the fact that a different menu everyday. There are only about 3 pasta dishes, 2 fish, and maybe 2 or 3 meat dishes. Like I said before, all fresh! I am sure if I go back it will be just as delightful as the first. (I hope, otherwise, NO ONE will ever listen to my reviews!! haa haa!)

            Yes, Claudette was at A Tavolo.

            That is too bad, Tom about Gaetano's. I was there a few months back and had lunch. Nothing special, just shrimp scampi over linguine. I think they used 4 sticks of butter in my sauce alone! haa haa! It was just ok, nothing incredible.

            Definately check out Via 45. I hate to see a good place go under because no one knew about it!

            1. re: Angelina

              Totally agree Angelina!

              I've been twice and liked it better the second time.

              1. re: seal

                Thanks, seal! I trust your opinion!!

                1. re: seal

                  I'm happy that many of you have enjoyed Via 45. However, my last experience at Claudette's prior restaurant Vivere wasn't that good and since the menu looks very similar I doubt I will give it a go. Good Luck.

                  1. re: bgut1

                    I'm a bit confused. One of the most intriguing things about the place was the "different menu everyday" that Angelina noted?

                    1. re: MGZ

                      It is different, but the style is the same. Claudette cooks in a very mediteranean (sp?) way with italian pastas and fresh cooked meats and seafood and it seems as if she always will.

                      I consider this a good thing as I love the whole slow food movement and enjoyed my time in Barcelona this summer eating like this every day. We are much too focused on what's right now instead of what's right sometimes here in America. But, as always, I will not try to convince anyone to do anything but enjoy their meals, and I have enjoyed my meals at Via45.

                        1. re: seal

                          Thanks, seal! I wish I was with you in Europe last summer as I was...enjoying every last morsel!!!! :)

              2. sounds great; look forward to trying it.

                1. We live right around the corner from Via 45.. I wouldn't go as far to call the food near incredible, but it is an enjoyable night out.

                  It is BYOB, as they reminded us before we sat down as we had forgotten wine. The food is fresh, not perfectly executed, but still relatively tasty. Some dishes we have been more thrilled with than others, but overall, our services and the overall experience means we will return next time we are looking for a casual Italian place.

                  1. This was hands down the worst meal I have ever had! I was not alone two tables left what happend I don't know but the cheif went out to find them. The lady next to us sent her meal back~My friend at our table said hers wasnt cooked well and they took it and we never saw our waitress or her meal again. Instead some guy brought us scones and the bill. Service horriable food horriable over all bad experience!!!!!! You will have no problem booking a reservation here its empty for a reason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Jann123

                      This place seems to be a magnet for pissy first-time posters . . .

                      1. re: MGZ

                        True MGZ. Restaurants all along R/B's Broad Street have come and gone so quickly. How many in Via 45's location alone? It appears to be a challenge to keep customers coming in and for even seasoned diners to take a chance on yet another dining experience in R/B.

                        A friend and I enjoyed our first trip to Via45 but not the 2nd. The entrees as ordered arrived with totally different ingredients and the staff the 2nd night were down right rude to us and the few customers they had. I don't have the answers but I sure expected more.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          I never pay any attention to those first time posters trashing a place, but HillJ I take seriously as a poster whose opinion I respect. I do plan on returning to Via45, but now I am more wary and will be very critical of the service when I go.

                          I strongly disagree about not having many good dining experiences in Red Bank. Like any other town locally, I have had some disappointments, but I have also had many memorable nights and afternoons eating out from Red to Willy's to the Eurasian Eatery to the Inbetween Cafe and lots more.

                          I love Red Bank and have since I was a kid. Just because that one spot may be cursed doesn't reflect on the whole town.

                          1. re: seal

                            Many memorable nights, afternoons & early morning business breakfasts myself Seal. Thank you for your kindness.

                            If you haven't tried The Downtown yet, give it a whirl. The entertainment is equally special. http://www.thedowntownnj.com/menu_nig...

                            1. re: HillJ

                              the downtown is owned by red, correct? so i'm sure the food is pretty good.

                              1. re: Mr. Bingley

                                Correct Mr. Bingley, same successful owners.

                    2. i didn't particularly care for this place. I dont know why rb has such bad italian Buona Sera, Sogno { just closed} Dannys, gaetanos, pastaria, buyer beware at all of these youve been warned worked in rb over 20 years can someone make it like grandma or whoever. I see a lot of mexican chefs behind the stoves at a lotta these places and theres not an italian in sight working the sauce. and no im not being racist just an observation. have yet to be blown away by an italian in rb to the poster mr bingley the food at downtown is pretty bad IMHO Red is better

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: livingloving

                        you should try 2Senza, but the clock's ticking for them hear... i think the best italian restaurant (though there are a few non-italian choices on the menu)... or just head for brothers' pizza!

                        1. re: livingloving

                          i've never cared for 2senza; thought they were always extremely over-priced for what you got. buona sera is mediocre at best and way too loud a space.

                          i always thought the best italian food in red bank was the simple, classic cooking at villa eduardo, which is sadly gone now for a few years.

                          thanks for the heads-up living; i do like the food at red!

                          1. re: Mr. Bingley

                            yeah, a little pricey at 2Senza... btw, I hate Buona Sera

                          2. re: livingloving

                            Hate to break it to you but pretty much all the restaurant kitchens in this region are staffed by Mexicans, mainly from Puebla. The only exceptions seem to be the Asian places. Not a complaint really, Pueblans dominate the kitchens of many of the top kitchens in NYC too...

                          3. I have to agree with equal_Mark on this. Most fine dining establishments in New York have cooks from all over Latin America. If you read "Heat" , Bill Buford memoir about cooking at Babbo (one of the best critically received Italian restaurants in New York) he speaks about the cooks he works with, and how most chefs prefer cooks from that region. Mostly they are following the recipes or orders from the Executive chefs or owners.

                            1. My husband and I ate their on a Tuesday night for their special 2 for 54 dollars and were very pleased. The service was wonderful and the food so fresh. The only down fall was they had run out of all but one if the desserts and that sucked as I was so hoping for something really yummy. Tortufo just didn't cut it.
                              I loved the spices and portions were nice-sized.
                              Can't wait to go back!

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: jenieo

                                My GF and I also ate at Via 45 for the first time after doing some walking in Red Bank. The bread to start the meal looked typical but had a nice, little bit different flavor to it. I had a chicken dish with goat cheese and caramelized onions, it was very tasty. My gf had a pasta arrabiata that was very tasty with a rustic, almost smoky flavor.

                                Overall, very tasty food and very good portion sizes as well. We were both so stuffed after clearing our plates that we couldnt fit dessert although the waiter said that everything was made in house. Give it a try, but be sure to read the menu before going in, because it changes quite frequently and is pretty limited (3-4 choices of appetizers, pasta, and meat dishes).

                                Via 45
                                45 Broad St., Red Bank, NJ 07701

                                1. re: KeithH

                                  Went back last night for the first time in a while. Quick version is they still are cooking good to great food and the service is still spotty.
                                  Still, every time I eat here I am glad I did. Also they were not only full, but I saw them turn away more than a few walk ins - best to reserve if you want to eat here on a Saturday it seems.

                                  1. re: seal

                                    Thanks for the reminder of this place, seal! I have to get back there..it's been too long!!

                                    (Just wondering, have you heard from RGR? I miss her, and even my personal emails have not been answered. So not like her. I hope she is ok. I don't know who else to ask here. Thanks!! RGR is a true asset here!!)

                                    1. re: Angelina

                                      I heard that a wrist injury is keeping her from comfortablby posting these days. She is sorely missed here.

                                      1. re: seal

                                        Thanks, seal!! I wish her well and can't wait to read some more of her delightful posts!!

                              2. We had a very good experience at Via 45 last night.

                                J and I decided at the very last minute to check out a show at the Count Basie and were able to secure what may have been the last table - on opentable. Good thing we booked ahead, as soon after our 5:30 arrival, the dining room was completely full.

                                Via 45 reminded me of many of the small trattorias that I've enjoyed in northern Italy with its shabby chic decor, tile floors, warm wall colors and tight quarters filled with happy diners.

                                We ordered a salad and mussels to start along with the strip steak and the night's special of salmon for entrees.

                                J's salad was more than a simple mix of greens. It included fruits and nuts along with possibly a few other items. The mussels were outstandingly huge, jumbo, really big - yet quiet good. They were served with a tomato based broth. I thought the handwritten menu said fra diavolo, yet there was no spicy heat in the sauce. Regardless, the mussels were very good and the basket of bread was put to great use!

                                J's salmon was a generously large and flaky filet, cooked with a light mustard coating and served over asparagus. She enjoyed this compared to a similar salmon entree she had at nearby Dish last week.

                                My strip steak was simply one of the best I've had outside of a steakhouse. There was an excellent charred grilled flavor on the outside and it was cooked to a perfectly well-rested medium rare. At $28, with hash browns and broccoli rabe included, it was a very good value.

                                We finished the evening with a ginger cake and a not so good cup of espresso. The cake was OK but I'd probably order another dessert next time and cross the street to Starbucks for my dopio espresso.

                                Service throughout was just OK. It didn't affect our evening but seemed a bit off at times.

                                We've put Via 45 on our list of places to visit again, if in the RB area.

                                Via 45
                                45 Broad St., Red Bank, NJ 07701

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Foody4life

                                  Thanks to some of your posts, I went here tonight since I was in town on business. I must say, I thought it was very good. Mind you, it's not haute cuisine, but the food is prepared very well and makes good use of ingredients. Everything was flavorful without being over-sauced or over-spiced. I had mussels Fra Diavolo to begin. They were good but lacking the diavolo, more like mussels marinara. I followed with penne puttanesca which was an excellent rendition of the dish - redolent with garlic and pepperoncino. The cracked green olives added a real touch of authenticity. Dessert was a tart of mixed berries and a mascarpone cream. The cream had just a touch of fresh mint - very nice. Service was warm, the place inviting and all for $39.00! I wish I lived closer.