Porta Via Refreshes the Menu at Both Locations



Porta Via has settled in as a go-to option for many diners in the West Nashville and Cool Springs neighborhoods. I often hear friends tell me how much they appreciate the consistent food and especially crave the gelato. Of course there are always the grumblings of the occasional soggy pizza that comes along with the use of true Napoletana techniques, but we're not going to solve that debate here.

I forget that Porta Via has so much more to offer than just pizzas and gelato. For those of you (us), who might not be the biggest fans of their pies, the restaurant has introduced a new item that comes out of that same oven. The Italian version of flatbread is called ciclista. Porta Via has started serving these ciclistas with an interesting array of toppings such as black sesame seed Parmesan; tomato and arugula; and anchovies, capers and Parmesan. Perhaps this might be a good option for folks who prefer a crispier crust.

New pasta dishes include Gnocchi Porta Via, a potato and ricotta gnocchi dish served with classic Sorrento tomato sauce or four-cheese walnut sauce, and Genovese, a Neapolitan veal stew with onions, tossed in penne pasta. I must admit I'm a big gnocchi fan, and anything that includes veal will pique my interest. Daily fish specials will also rotate based on freshness and availability, and you can expect to see more of Porta Via's classic Northern Italian and Mediterranean offerings as well.

The lunch menu has also gotten a bit of a makeover with the addition of panini like Portobello-grilled-chicken or eggplant Parmigiana, stuffed bolillo-style sandwiches like chicken salad or meatball, and some more typical deli sandwiches including hot ham and swiss, pot-roast beef and grilled chicken Italian hero.

For the drinking set, Porta Via has introduced happy hour specials that include $5 martinis on Tuesdays, and two-for-one draft beer on Wednesdays, with both specials running 5-7 p.m. If you want to take in a movie after getting happy for an hour or so, Porta Via Cool Springs has partnered with the Carmike Thoroughbred 20 to offer a "dinner and a movie" deal for the remainder of June. With the purchase of any Porta Via entrée, diners will have the option of buying a discounted movie coupon for $7.50, a savings of $3.75 each. The movie tickets are valid through Dec. 31 and cannot be redeemed for 3-D shows.

I actually saw a movie in the theater for the first time in several years last weekend (Assemble!), and was shocked by how expensive the tickets were. If I'd known about this deal, at least I could have gotten a break on the ticket and a better meal than the popcorn from the day before. Now we all know better. ...

Porta Via Italian Kitchen

Nashville: 21 White Bridge Road, Suite 104, 356-0001

Cool Springs: 3301 Aspen Grove, Franklin, 771-7747

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