RED BANK: LEAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT AT VIA45

030515 via 45 insideThe rustic farmhouse chic dining room of Via45 in Red Bank, above, and an enormous serving of eggplant parmigiana, below. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

030515 via 45 eggplantOn the consistently changing face of Broad Street in Red Bank, Via45 stands out as a bastion of culinary authenticity, staying true to its Tuscan-style roots.

Owners Claudette Herring and Lauren Phillips are the unified driving force in the kitchen of this BYO restaurant, dishing up rustic but refined menu options.

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VIA45: WOWING ‘EM WITH WATERMELON

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.

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RED BANK: VIA45 CHEFS GO TO MARKET

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Chef Claudette Herring slices some of the heirloom tomatoes she and partner Lauren Phillips picked up last Sunday at the Red Bank Farmers Market. Below, Herring and Phillips at Via 45, their Broad Street restaurant. (Photos by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

via45 (4)“We’re going to miss the tomatoes. And the corn. The corn was so sweet this year,” chef Claudette Herring of Red Bank’s Via45 says wistfully of the change of seasons. “We’re not going to have corn like that in the winter.”

Herring and Via45 chef Lauren Phillips did some shopping at the Red Bank Farmers Market last Sunday to get a read on what’s available as we teeter from summer into fall.

The chefs suggest keeping an eye out for the last of the season’s heirloom and grape- or cherry-sized tomatoes, and found some large yellow varieties at the market.

“These tomatoes are beautiful, and they won’t be around much longer,” says Herring.

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