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Sep 16, 2009 06:52 AM

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!

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  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.