Via Emilia

Restaurants, Italian Shoreditch
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A pasta place with a focus on northern Italian cooking.

Every morsel on the menu at Via Emilia, a modern, petite-sized pasta restaurant just off Hoxton Square, originates from the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. If you’re not up to speed on your Italian geography (I certainly wasn’t), this particular area counts parma ham, parmesan, balsamic vinegar and bolognese sauce as just a few of its delectable exports. So, with that in mind, there’s no way Via Emilia could not be good, right? Damn straight.

Let’s talk about the gnocco fritto. This deep-fried bread, traditional to Emilia-Romagna, is nothing like you’ve had before. Each piece is a warm, golden, hollow pillow of thin dough, crisp to touch but oh-so-soft to bite into. They’re light and buttery and you eat them with meat or cheese piled on top, or, as I did, with everything stuffed inside. Holy ravioli, what unadulterated deliciousness! Seriously, I think about them when I’m alone sometimes.

Each pasta dish is typical of a city within the region. Springy tagliatelle with ‘official’ bolognese sauce was wonderfully creamy (the traditional recipe from Bologna uses whole milk), alongside punchier flavours of red wine and salty pork mince. In another dish, silky slivers of sweated porcini mushrooms plucked from the Borgotaro Hills of Parma were woven among butter-soaked ribbons of thick pappardelle. Carbs don’t come much better than this.

The vibe is warm and friendly, though there’s still some Shoreditch cool here: think low-hung ceiling lamps and grey marbled counters. Not only is Via E affordable, it also takes reservations. And thank Christ for that. I need to know exactly when I’m getting another hit of that gnocco fritto.

By: Elizabeth Darke

Posted:

Venue name: Via Emilia
Contact:
Address: 37a Hoxton Square
Hoxton
London
N1 6NN
Transport: Tube: Old Street
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £75
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

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tastemaker

Five stars - absolutely loved it and so glad we found it! My boyfriend and I love Bologna and the whole Emilia Romagna region, that is the world capital of taste, delicious flavours, authentic cooking, simple but excellent ingredients and love of food! Via Emilia uses ingredients from the Emilia Romagna region only and the deliciousness of these ingredients will come through on every plate. 


First highlight of the meal was that we found Pignoletto on the wine list! Pignoletto is a sparkling white wine produced in the region with the most refreshing, citrusy, summery, delicious taste - it's so much better than Prosecco! We haven't been able to find it anywhere in London up till now so our excitement was big and that first sip (and the many more to follow) was perfect! We started our food order with Gnocco Fritto, a soft gently-fried bread and some cheese and meats - 24 month matured Parmigiano Reggiano of course along with their Cotto Platter (it included Spalla Cotta from Parma, Mortadella from Bologna that we love and Prosciutto Cotto from Modena). Next up was our pasta orders - they make their own pasta and each and every one sounds delicious and worth trying which makes it hard to pick. We had spaghetti with slow cooked tomato sauce and basil (a classic but the flavour was amazing) and tagliatelle ragu. Both were absolutely delicious and took us right back to Italy!


The place itself is quite small and cosy and the menu is not too big either - it's just perfect, full of fresh, authentic offerings from Emilia Romagna!  We'll definitely be going back to work our way through more pasta dishes and I can't recommend it enough!