Ottava Via is one of the many restaurants on Michigan Avenue that makes Corktown a popular destination. It opened in 2013 but since it looks so fancy on the outside I assumed it was a high end restaurant and held off my visit until Gina insisted we check it out. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it is casual dining. The prices compare to an average Italian chain but the food is far superior, so too is the general experience. The open kitchen lends an extra element and the back patio with open fireplace is good for the winter and I can only assume even better in the warmer months. The nice thing about Ottava Via is that there is a second dining area in the back that provides extra seating options and inevitably a shorter wait. I’ll warn you though – there will probably be a wait. We showed up at 4:30 p.m. on a non-game day Tuesday and were seated immediately but people who arrived less than an hour later weren’t so lucky.
The menu includes two of my favorite items: calamari and truffle pasta. They were both delicious but the highlight of our meal was the pizza. It was so good Danny didn’t want to share – and he’s normally good about sharing food. The crisp crust and fresh toppings are irresistible and when we go back it will definitely be for another pizza.
Ottava Via stands out in other ways and currently tops my list of places to take people skeptical about Detroit. It’s surrounded by other businesses and is shiny and new on the inside – something that always appeals to people who mostly envision burned-out houses and abandoned buildings when they think of Detroit. There is a family-friendly environment and a simply menu that appeals to non-adventurous eaters. The menu even includes gluten-free pasta! The combination is hard to beat and I can’t wait to show it off.