Restaurant Review: Vivo

So, I finally made it out to Vivo this weekend. I have wanted to go for awhile, as I absolutely love Italian food. The restaurant is in an unassuming strip mall in Lessard, make sure you’re looking for it or youmight just miss it. The décor is typical of new restaurants, although a bit too dark for my liking. The concept at Vivo is family-style dining, meaning all the plates are meant to be shared. I would not recommend going here as a couple (unless you eat a lot in one sitting) as the sizes/prices are better suited to a group of four or more. We went as a group of four and we don’t need a lot of food to fill us so we found the half orders of all of the plates to be enough.

 The service was impeccable. Our server was very knowledgeable of the menu, ingredients and preparation and offered suggestions on sizes, dishes and wine. Be warned, that all groups of six or more will be automatically charged a 20 per cent gratuity.

The wine selection was fairly good, especially if you can afford to drink off of the reserve list. They don’t have many wines by the glass, however I did have a nice cabernet sauvignon from a boutique vineyard in Napa.

 To start we had the night’s special. It was in-house smoked duck salami with fresh BC pears, fresh baked fig and olive bread and an arugula pesto. It was all very good.  

 Next we ordered the caprese salad which was beautifully dressed with five kinds of tomatoes, and some half sun dried, the creamiest, most flavourful bufala mozzarella I’ve ever had and basil pesto. I’m not normally the biggest fan of caprese salad, as I usually find it a bit bland, but this was incredible. I would definitely recommend ordering it. We also ordered the beef carpaccio to accompany the salad (and although I did not have any I was told it was good).

 For our secondi dishes we ordered the risotto de mare, which was a creamy, tasty risotto dish with prawns, blue tipped mussels, clams, halibut and scallops. I really like this dish, but then again, I love shell fish! We also ordered the gnocchi dish with toasted walnuts. I was disappointed with this order.

                                                                                                                                The gnocchi was too mushy and the flavour very bland (and just generally not tasty). Wish we had just ordered a larger dish of the risotto.

 By the time we had finished all of this we decided we were to full to order a meat dish and thought we would just have some dessert. Again we were disappointed. They only desserts they had were fruity gelato, tiramisu and one more thing that I can’t remember. We were hoping for some sort of torte or chocolate. So we left without dessert.

 All in all, I don’t think that I will be going back to Vivo. While the service was fantastic, the prices are a bit steep for the quality of the food (also, the majority of their ingredients are not local). If you are in the mood for Italian I think that your money would be better spent at Corso 32.

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