via45 (4)Claudette Herring and Lauren Phillips at their Broad Street restaurant last September. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

Via45 NYT 040614A food critic at the New York Times gave Red Bank’s Via45 a laudatory review in Sunday’s edition.

En route to a “very good” rating, reviewer David Kocieniewski highlights Via45’s commitment to the slow-food movement and ponders the “audacious” inclusion of watermelon in a late-winter salad.

From the review:

Via45 is a proponent of the slow-food movement, which advocates using regional produce whenever possible. In winter, when the routine at many farm-to-table restaurants involves a FedEx delivery between farm and table, it can be a risky proposition.

But one bite of that watermelon — served in a salad of feta, mint, red onion and white balsamic vinaigrette — proved it was a gamble that paid off. Summer-breeze sweetness. Unlike so many off-season melons, it tasted like a mid-August watermelon rather than a cucumber or a Jolly Rancher candy. (The owners would not disclose their sources for produce.)

Kocieniewski called the service “warm and attentive.”