We stopped by on a 5pm on a rainy Saturday afternoon for a nice family dinner. I had reservations for 3, though I don’t think they were needed as there were only a few tables occupied at that time. We were seated immediately and brought drinks. I was surprised to find that they had children’s menus, as I had imagined Vivace as being a more “grown-up” restaurant. But it was a good surprise for my 6-year-old. Usually in situations like this he just snacks on bread and then eats a sandwich when we get home. The regular menus aren’t very extensive. Though they have a good selection of appetizers, the actual entrees are limited. There are very few of what most Americans would consider traditional Italian dishes. My husband was disappointed they didn’t have any Veal Parmesan or calzones.
I decided on the hanger steak pretty randomly, though many of their dishes sounded good. My husband picked the pork chop, and my son got the kid’s cheese ravioli. I also ordered the Mara Barbera d’Alba red wine on the recommendation of the server, to go with the steak. Afterwards I remembered I had intended to order a cheese appetizer, so we quickly ordered the 6 cheese plate. Then I remembered I should probably get a white wine with that, so I asked our server to get a white wine too. I felt bad making her run back and forth so much, but I really wanted to make sure I got all the food and drink I had intended to. She got me the Vernaccia white wine.
First she brought out some crusty white bread with a kind of bean spread. I suppose it was something like hummus. I think perhaps plain butter would have been better. Then came out my cheese plate. Well, it was a huge wooden slab with 6 giant chunks of cheese. Of course my son didn’t really like much of it, but he did find 2 that he liked okay. My husband tried all the cheeses but didn’t eat too much of them. I got left with the biggest helping of all of them. I don’t remember what they all were, but I like the mozzarella and the one with almonds the best. They tasted fantastic with the almond and honey, and the fruit compote. The Vernaccia wine didn’t compliment the cheese particularly well, but it was better than water. I prefer chardonnay with cheeses. I didn’t like some of the others nearly so much, but I tried to eat as much as I could. I think the plate of 6 cheeses is too much for 2 or 3 people. I couldn’t imagine how many people you would need to share the larger plates with. It was just so filling.
Then came out the plates, before I was even done with the cheese. Our entrees were piled high with food, and I figured I probably wouldn’t make it through. My hanger steak was perfectly done, red on the inside and just slightly burnt on the outside. I loved the potatoes too, they were delicious. I wasn’t too thrilled about the spinach though. I ate it, but I didn’t love it. The Mara Barbera wine really went well with the steak.
My son’s ravioli looked really good, and I really thought he would eat most of it. Unfortunately it had a distinct sweet, lemony taste to it which threw him off. He ate a few bites, but we ended up taking home the rest.
My husband liked his pork chop well enough, but he was still disappointed it wasn’t veal parmesan. I told him I had linked him the menu before we even came and he gave it his okay, but I guess he hadn’t really looked at it. I ordered a tiramisu for us to share, even though I was stuffed, because I knew the tiramisu couldn’t possibly disappoint.
The tiramisu was awesome! It was served with something like a toffee syrup on the plate. I don’t know what it was or where they got it from, but that syrup was divine. I want a bottle of it to take home and put on my pancakes and ice cream.
The prices are a bit more expensive than most, $18 for both entrees, $12 for the cheeses, $6 for the kid’s ravioli and $7 for the tiramisu. But I was really happy with the food I had there. I left there quite stuffed, and with enough leftovers (mine and my son’s) for a good meal the next day. I wouldn’t mind eating at Vivace again, but I think next time my husband is going to want someplace that serves more of the “Italian” foods he’s used to.