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“Good Southern Italian food at reasonable price”

VIA UNO Cucina Italiana & Bar
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Ranked #13 of 98 Restaurants in Half Moon Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$4 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian, Bar
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Private Dining, Reservations
Description: Discover for yourself why VIA UNO was voted Half Moon Bay's favorite new restaurant by the locals in 2014 and recieved rave reviews in Sunset Magazine and the San Jose Mercury News. Enjoy big city taste in small town casual coastal ambiance including a modern-rustic dining room, dog-friendly heated outdoor patio, private wine room, and full bar. Our authentic 6,000 pound wood-fired pizza oven specially hand-made in Naples for VIA UNO creates light-as-air pizza crusts and our menu features Calabrian specialties you're unlikely to sample anywhere else unless you take a trip to Italy. Our produce is hand-selected from Half Moon Bay's local farms and our Old World-heavy wine list features varietals imported from Calabria. VIA UNO - where authentic Calabrian tradition gets a fresh new locally-sourced interpretation!
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Enjoyed a tasty meal at this new MIdCoast restaurant. Had a yummy seafood risotto, though my wife thought the flavors were too strong. My party had a pizza/calzone which was tasty, as well as the pasta special with fava beans. Flourless chocolate cake was devoured. Looked to be a pretty good wine list. I'd agree with other reviews that the bread (which was excellent) could be warmed before serving, but that's a minor quibble.

The only suggestion I'd make was regarding service. The hostess was quite pleasant and friendly, but our waiter disappeared for long stretches. Before ordering, after ordering (missing some details, after requesting dessert menu, before receiving check), but the busboy/woman was helpful.

Nice decor, with separate rooms and patio dining. Overall, I'd rate it as place to which I'd definitely return as it's an excellent value for the money.

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1  Thank jfarbstein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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98 - 102 of 113 reviews

Reviewed 12 May 2014

So many posts have mentioned knowing Francesco in other employment and we too have known him. I recall some 10 years ago when he was a very efficient bus boy and extremely personable that I said he should be a waiter. He became one and went on to become a manager at another 4-5 star local restaurant. I have a special affinity for Francesco for my family came from Italy some 70-80 years ago via Ellis Island in NY and, for the most part, our family has achieved the American Dream & Francesco now in this new venture seems to have deservingly so done the same. My Maternal side of the family is from Apuglia( the heel of the boot) but my Paternal side is from Calabria(the sole of the boot) and, in fact, his town was some 10 minutes from Francesco’s roots. I’ll try to not let this be a bias toward my recommendation of Via Uno.

First of all, their location is on the beautiful California coast and Italia as you know being a penninsula, has water on 3 sides and many lovely coastal towns as Half Moon Bay. We live north of the Golden Gate and maybe an 1 1/2 hours away but the drive down route 1 by Pacifica reminds me more of the "Costiera Amalfitana"( Amalfi Coast south of Sorrento) and like “Maratea" which is in the northwest of Calabria on the border with the Basilicata region. I have found their food more authentic than anywhere in NorthBeach(Little Italy in SF) and no one outside hounding you to come in while you look at a menu. They do this too in Italia in many Piazzas to get the tourists in the door. Half Moon Bay is not a big tourist area like Carmel/Monterey, Tiburon/Sausalito etc. so it is mostly a destination point & I see most reviews are from locals. So, I would guess that most of their customers are locals and they need repeat business so the food must be good. Most of the cooks in many Italian restaurants are Latins and although trained by Italians, for me there is nothing that can compare to the cooking of a native born Italian.

I am not going to mention food suggestions as everything we’ve eaten has been delicious. OK, I’ll weaken…had a special “fagioli" ( cannellini bean) soup and I wish it were a regular on their menu as it made me very nostalgic because "era come la mia mamma aveva fatta”, like my Mom made. And the pizza “e come mangiare una autentica a Napoli ”, like eating one in Naples. And I love Calamari( un Piatto Piccolo) despite being very busy, their “Calamari" appetizer with baby squid from Monterey Bay sauteed with fresh tomatoes is served with toasted bread but I asked for it with pasta and they gave me some “Pepperoncino"(Calabrian peppers). In Italy there is an expression “Fare la Scarpetta" (little shoe) where the bread is used to clean the sauce from your plate which I did joyfully…some in Italy consider this the best part of the meal. Let me tell you what is really a nice gesture, it does not matter how busy they are, but Francesco, Massimo and Anna all come by the table frequently, “tutto buono, tutto bene, tutto al posto” …is everything good, alright etc. For me, “vale la pena”, it is worth while the 3 hours or so round trip from the North Bay as it is an escape to Italia being in a Trattoria like setting, not formal dining with white table clothes, candles, waiters in black suits etc. which, although the environment is extremely upscale with first class appointments, there is a casual fun loving atmosphere a bit noisy but this is the way it is in Italia with people laughing & enjoying each other’s company and the food…for me it’s called “Vivaci” in Italian, (lively). Want a trip to Italy but don’t have the time & want to save the plane fare, come here.

Attenzione Tutti gli Italiani che visitano San Francisco, Il Paese di Vini(Napa/Sonoma) etc.: se diventate nostalgico per l’Italia ed alimento Italiano simili al vostro paese, visitate Via Uno, I camerieri, cuochi, proprietari sono simpaticissimi ma soprattutto il cibo e’ davvero eccellente ! Eo confesso di aver mangiato meglio di tanti ristoranti in Italia !

Buon Appetito

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1  Thank Guaglione
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2014

There are already a number of Italian restaurants on the Half Moon Bay coast. Apparently the owner of the new Via Uno was involved in some of them, and the two times I visited it demonstrated his knowledge and inspiration. The starter plate of giant sardines was bright and colorful. The orange slices gave the olive oil dressing a distinctive taste. The seafood risotto was also innovative, with the rock shrimp and tiny cherry tomatoes vying for best taste in a burst of flavor. The pizzas are individual and distinct. Via Uno also presents a calzone/pizza combination. I haven't tried the desserts yet, but their specialty cocktails suggest a real knowledge of sweets. Parking is still ample, as their reputation hasn't yet caught on. The dining room is large and comfortable, and the back room looks out on bucolic fields. The price is comparable to other Italian restaurants on the Coast, but Via Uno gives good value for money.

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1  Thank sally60713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

You could pass this place right up if you didn't know about it. Although it is right on the road there are a lot of places along Cabrillo Highway in Half Moon Bay. Definitely worth making a reservation and giving it a try. Wonderful Italian. We all loved our meals. Friends brought us, and we cleaned our plates! The cheese and pasta was particularly fresh and wonderful. It can get really busy and therefore noisy, but it is a small inconvenience and since the place is fairly new, they are probably working on it. Enjoy!

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1  Thank LinGal2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2014

My husband and I have eaten here twice. The first time our waitress was great, attentive, funny, prompt and informative. We had the Chilean sea bass. It was delicious! Our son had the Via Uno pizza/calzone. Great pizza dough - just like in Bologna, Italy! Our daughter had the tortellini in Gorganzola sauce. She loved it. Delicious appetizers too: Mozarella that melted in your mouth it was so fresh, and a lovely olive tapenade.

Our second visit we ordered the specials; pork medallions and the chicken cacciatore. While my husband loved his cacciatore, I was disappointed with the pork and let our waiter know. He whisked it away. The owner (Wish I had gotten his name!) immediately came over and apologized and asked what else he could get for me. I ordered a pizza Margharita and it was there in no time at all! He basically fell over himself trying to see that we had a pleasant evening. He turned what could have been a disappointing experience in to a lovely evening. We will definitely go back!

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1  Thank nativesanfranciscans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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