Unmistakably Detroit

The places and people that make Detroit unique

Ottava Via – Mamma Mia!

Last Saturday Mike and I decided to try somewhere new for dinner. Since he is in the know when it comes to South West Detroit dining, he suggested Ottava Via in Corktown. The owners of this fairly new restaurant are owners of Nemo’s and the Mercury Burger Bar, also in corktown, so they’re familiar with the area and we trust their judgement in providing great food.

Pulling in to the parking lot we saw that it was definitely a happening place. The lot was full and there was a trickle of people heading into the restaurant. The line of people waiting for a shuttle at Nemo’s accross the street added to the festive atmosphere.
I’m a bit sad that it was cold out–they have a beautiful patio in the back near a brick fireplace. It looks like a great place to spend some time on a clear evening.

The crowd was very mixed. On the way to the front door I happened to peek inside a window and saw two long tables full of young adults (around high school age) out for dinner in the back room. Once inside I saw that the age span was vast, ranging from the high schoolers in the back to those well into retirement. Although the Wings were in town that night, there was only one jersey to be seen in the restaurant. The majority of the patrons were business casual or better, as if possibly heading to a show after dinner.

The place was packed but the friendly hostess informed us the wait was only about 30 minutes. We put in our names but ended up sitting at the bar and eating there. The bartender was cheerful and attentive. His welcoming demeanor helped make the night a success. The menu had great variety and was very affordably priced. We will definitely have to come back to try the pizza soon.

Appetizers/Small Plates:
Bruschetta Three Way – I still love the “classic” bruschetta style the most, though the Mortadella & Pistachios as well as the Chef’s Choice (we never asked what it was) were a welcome change to the dish.
Sweet Italian Sausage & Peppers – My favorite part was the mashed potato bed. Yum! The dish was spicy but not overpowering.

Ragu alla Bollognese from the Ottava Via Facebook Page

Ragu alla Bollognese from the Ottava Via Facebook Page


Penne alla Arrabbiata – I love a good arrabbiata sauce, and luckily found it here. There’s nothing like adding a little spice to a classic Italian dish.
Ragu alla Bollognese – Mike really enjoyed this dish of veal, pork and pappardelle noodles. It might have been a bit small of a serving, but after the appetizers he was happy and full when done.

Overall the food and service was great. We’ll be back to help keep the corktown community thriving! We would have stayed for dessert, but it was time to head over to Two James to try the local spirits…

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