Mamma mia! Pocket money pizza from Via Via
Regent Street eatery Via Via introduced the new service this week and believes it is a first for the town which will prove a mouth-wateringly affordable alternative to a sandwich.
Via Via prides itself on being a real Italian restaurant, staffed by real Italian chefs and waiters and selling real Italian food and produce. And they don’t come more authentically Italian than Via Via owner Lello Merolle.
Lello has worked in Knutsford for a decade but was born and raised in Naples – hailed as the home of the best pizza in the world. With prices starting from around £2.50 per serving, he hopes pizza by the slice will prove a big draw for everyone from office workers looking for a quick bite on the hoof, to those of a more moderate appetite who can’t manage a whole pizza.
Lello said: “We are unique in Knutsford but in Italy, a delicatessen like Via Via can be found on every street corner and this is another extension of the all-in-one service we offer.
“By selling pizza by the slice, we can compete with fast food outlets on price and convenience, but provide delicious, top-quality, hot restaurant food.”
He added: “As well as this, we can also make up a fresh pizza for people to cook at home if they are sick of eating frozen pizza from the supermarket and we can even provide pizza dough too if you want to impress your friends! All the special ingredients we’ve got here, we’re happy to sell.”
In many ways, Via Via is much more than just a deli and restaurant. Since opening in March 2008, it has gone out of its way to provide a range of additional services you wouldn’t expect any normal pizzeria to provide, such as Italian language lessons, which are currently held on a Monday night featuring complimentary food and wine, and cooking courses, which take place on Tuesdays at Knutsford Sports Club.
“It’s like a lottery really,” Lello said. “Since we opened, everything we’ve tried has been a bit of an experiment but most of it has proved very popular.
“The experience of the Italian Tavolata has been a positive one and we get a very good response – people love it. What could be better than to have a lovely meal with beautiful Italian food and wine on table, with a bunch of people you’ve never met before, learning the world’s most beautiful language? It’s just like my mother’s house, with everyone having fun and sharing and passing things around!
“The cookery classes are also very popular – we don’t just write down the recipe and let you follow it, we show you exactly what to do in person and people really appreciate that human touch, that interaction and level of expertise.”
Via Via can be found in the new Royal George development opposite Starbucks Coffee. It opens for breakfast from 9.30am every day and also now serves after-work drinks with tapas-style Italian taster dishes known as ‘assagi’.