Side Dishes: At last, Spanish restaurant opens
Since March, foodies have been awaiting the opening of Via Loma, Burlington’s first Spanish restaurant. After a handful of delays, the eatery on the corner of South Champlain and Main streets opened its doors last Friday. “It’s been an interesting ride since December when we broke ground,” says chef-owner Rob Minichiello, who formerly owned a restaurant in Newburyport, Mass.
His new venture — which is open from 4:30 till midnight, Tuesday through Sunday — features plenty of tapas and pintxos (a Basque term for bar snacks), as well as items designed for two to share. So far, the fare includes lamb meatballs with roasted fennel, grape tomatoes and Romesco sauce; pork spareribs with a sherry and paprika glaze, pickled red onions, and beet microgreens; and paella with chorizo, Cape Cod scallops and P.E.I. mussels.
Want a drink with that? Except for one lonely French item, the wines come from Spain, Chile, Argentina and Patagonia. Via Loma patrons can also sip red or white sangria. Beers are from closer to home, with Switchback on tap and other Vermont varieties in the bottle. Coffee comes from Speeder & Earl’s.
For now, crema Catalana — an orange-and-cinnamon-scented custard — is the featured dessert. Soon, says Minichiello, it will be joined by churros and other weekly specials. Brunch or lunch should be available by the end of the year.
According to the owner, the restaurant is getting a warm reception from customers. “The guests who arrived on Friday and Saturday felt like we’d been open for months,” he says. “It was good to hear.”