VIA Italian Table should be credited as one of the first restaurants in the city to have recognized the value in hosting pairing dinners for local clientele who sought equal parts education and camaraderie. These days, VIA routinely offers a plethora of both wine and beer dinners for guests to enjoy. The carefully curated multi-course affairs tend to evoke an experience that is both thoughtful and memorable. Now, Corporate Executive Chef Mark Hawley has begun to play with the idea of multi-course group dining in an entirely new fashion. In January of 2018, Hawley rolled out the Suckling Pig Dinner, a family-style meal intended to spark interactive dining for parties of 8.

Hawley oversees all three Worcester Restaurant Group – The Sole Proprietor, One Eleven Chop House and VIA – kitchens and has proven his ability to construct tidy plates fit for foodies time and time again. The Suckling Pig Dinner was conceived as the epitome of convivial dining – an intimate and gregarious feast that places emphasis on quality ingredients and good company. For Hawley, this is the sweet spot where fine dining and family dining meet.

Guests begin with a selection of appetizers, like the crispy pork meatballs with sweet and sour glaze, bruschetta built on loaves of grilled Tuscan bread, and the caprese salad, piled high with fresh burrata. The main course arrives on a silver platter, taking Chef Hawley an entire day to prepare. Its delivery comes in a whirlwind of fanfare – first presented whole, then carved for consumption. The suckling pig boasts tender light meat with a crisp exterior. Around the table, portions are large, laughs are inevitable, and old tales are ripe for the telling. We should warn you: given such a spectacle, other guests are apt to stare. Sometimes it’s okay to be the center of attention.

Reservations for the Suckling Pig dinner are open to parties on Tuesday evenings at a cost of $365. Beverage pairings of beer, wine, or whiskey are available as well and promise to be hand selected by VIA’s exceptionally knowledgeable team.

We’ve come to understand what Hawley means when he says, “Sometimes, we just want to eat like a family.” This is your chance.

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