Monday, June 25, 2012

Via Tribunali

36 SW 3rd Avenue
Happy Hour: 4 - 6 PM and 10 - close, daily

Via Tribunali is easy to find. It's right next to that very long line of people waiting in line at Voodoo Donuts. You know the line I'm referring to. It's the one that's there regardless of the hour or the day. There are all sorts of cute little restaurants and bars popping up right next to Voodoo. Seems pretty strategic to me. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night snacking all in one block. They've even taken over the street with outdoor seating. It's awfully convenient.

I first heard about Via Tribunali on the radio. I did a little research and learned that they started in the Seattle area and have since moved into cities on both sides of the country. It's impressive, I think. And so is their happy hour menu. It's small, but holds up just the same.

The best deal, in my opinion, is the half carafe of house wine. We ordered one to share and were able to pour two glasses each. For only eight dollars, it's a pretty substantial amount of wine. And if you're not interested in wine, they have discounted prices on beer and well drinks.

As far as the food goes, they've got five great options for five bucks each...including dessert. (And--if you've been reading--you know that dessert on a happy hour menu always gets the gold star from me.) There are three pizzas to choose from on the happy hour menu (and more than twenty on the regular dinner menu if you don't see something you like). We decided on the margherita. So simple but so very good.

We also shared the antipasto plate. It came with foccacia, grana padano cheese, freshly sliced meats (one of the slicers is right there on the bar, so I knew it was fresh), olives, and peppers. These two plates (the pizza and the antipasto) made for a pretty fantastic snack. It would have taken a salad and another pizza to make it dinner...but we weren't interested in a full meal so it was perfect.

Service was the only thing that I found a little questionable at Via Tribunali. (I say questionable, but maybe the right word is misleading.) The bartender was very friendly and was the first to greet us (which makes sense because the bar is what you first walk into upon entering) but it was not her job to seat or serve the two of us. And even when our drinks were ready and waiting on the bar, it was not her job to bring them to us. And there were others working in or near the bar, too, making it seem that the place was full of servers. But none of them were there to help us. They all had their own tasks and, as friendly as they were when the walked by, they were not there to serve us. There was just the one server working our table and it always seemed to take him forever to find his way to us.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Nearly Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets


Via Tribunali

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