A little slice of Italy off Michigan & Trumbull

Wine bottle and tumblerThis post and the idea to share, started as many good ideas do – from conversations with good friends over a glass of wine.  

Welcome to the inaugural “Infinitely Hip” blog post focused on that ultimate group of hip people!  Not Gen X, not Gen Y or Gen Z.  

No, our group has something these other generations do not.  Our coming of age was molded by:

  • The rise of personal technology – the Atari game console, calculators became as normal a school supply as a pencil, personal and portable (26 lb!) computers, bag phones kicked off the mobile age, PDAs helped us manage our calendars and contacts.
  • The first massive wave of women college graduates.
  • A stronger sense of independence and the feeling that not all rules our parents obeyed applied to us.  
  • A family vacation meant a trip somewhere inside the borders of our home state, and didn’t require a plane ticket or a passport.
  • A memory of Detroit when Detroit was the place to be – eating, drinking, shopping, living, working.

These experiences have shaped us and surface often in the choices we make to eat, entertain, mingle, learn, and get the most out of life. Especially, a life in Detroit.  

And just what do hip, youthful, socially active, yet mature people do when it comes to planning their entertainment and lifestyle experiences?  They look for options and venues that are just like them!  And so we begin our journey, starting with an outing at Ottava Via.  A 2 year veteran of the Corktown scene, you may have overlooked this gem.   Cozy.  Lively.   Relaxed.  Three words that set the stage.

Start your experience with Ottava Via in the outdoor patio.  It’s like being served in someone’s backyard in Italy!  The old country brick patio, the outdoor fireplace, quaint overhead lighting and lawn area with two Bocci Ball courts.  I expected the waiter to ask if we wanted a pitcher of the house red wine to start the evening; just like they do in the neighborhood trattorias in Italy!  Pssst – remind me to make this suggestion to the owners.

The wine selection is nice, featuring several old world varieties.  

And oh, they serve the wine in small tumbler glasses like you get in Europe.  Fantastico!

Rustic wine tumbler

Rustic wine tumbler

And of course they have a few specialty cocktails.

The menu is a combination of artesian pizza, salads and small plates, with authentic pasta options (e.g., penne alla rabbit, pappardelle ragu).  A favorite is the Truffle Butter Pasta.  We devoured this so quickly, I forgot to take a picture! 

Are you a salumi fan?  They have the real deal – soppressata, coppa, prosciutto di parma that can be sliced and served as an antipasti.  The calamari was truly scrumptious; so tender and ever so lightly coated with a tempura like batter.

The tables on the patio provide the perfect seating for a different size parties.  The staff kept the fireplace stoked, providing us with a cozy backdrop to finish our bottle of wine.  Our server, Dan, even moved our table closer to the fire as the evening progressed!  Quite the experience to be 500 yards from old Tiger Stadium, sitting outside enjoying conversation, wine, laughter and the beauty of the outdoor fireplace.

Several tables around us were enjoying their food, libations and each other’s company.  One of the parties asked us to take their picture in front of the fireplace.  A thoroughly enjoyable evening!  Surrounded by metro-Detroiters enjoying the ambiance of Octtava Via.Ottava Via food collage

Ottava Via collage 2

Author: Terri Pierce

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