It is no secret that I’m a lover of Chef Suppa’s food at Vivace. I go to brunch here at least once a month. I also tend to get cravings for the carbonara once in a blue moon. So when I heard that Vivace was debuting a ‘Bar Bites’ menu, I knew I needed it in my life. I used my ‘phone a friend’ lifeline and had my friend Mary join me on this food extravaganza.
The ‘Bar Bites’ menu consists of ten simple, yet delicious items. They offer it Monday-Friday between 4-6pm at the bar. It is perfect for an after work happy hour. As I read the menu, there were a couple things I knew I had to try.
Before our waitress or Mary could say a word, I immediately ordered the fried olives.
I could not get these off my brain leading up to this day. We also needed the caramelized onion pizzetta in our lives. Anything that resembles pizza is a winner in my book. We left the third option up to our server who recommended the sesame eggplant dip. We also ordered a glass of wine, the La Maialina ‘Getrude’ to be exact. It was delicious and is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot. Oh, hello…
After we took our obligatory iPhone food pictures, we dug in.
I went straight for the olives. Holy cow. I could eat a bowl full of these. A completely lethal happy hour indulgence. Forget the peanuts and pretzels. I didn’t even need the lemon crema that it came with. These puppies could stand on their own.
Next we tried the sesame eggplant dip.
I will forewarn you that I’m not the biggest lover of eggplant so I was probably already biased here. Verdict? It wasn’t super ‘eggplant-y’. It was smoky and I definitely got the sesame and lemon undertones, however this just wasn’t my thing. I did love the grilled bread it came with though. The texture was super smooth, which surprised me; usually eggplant dips are a little coarser.
The pizzetta was next, and boy did this not disappoint.
I love Brussels sprouts. Combine them with deeply caramelized onions and mozzarella and I’m sold. This was a winner. The rosemary was surprisingly forward in this, but it worked. I could probably have eaten this for dinner alone.
After we made those three tough decisions on what to order, our waitress asked if we wanted anything else specific to eat or if we want to let the chef sent us whatever he pleased. If you know me at all, you know that I chose the later option.
Nothing makes me happier than going into a restaurant, especially a good restaurant, and letting the chef prepare for me whatever his heart desires. Done.
Next Chef Suppa sent out this insane beauty of a dish.
It’s not on their bar bites menu, but it is part of their regular one. Vivace’s house made burrata. Had I died and gone to heaven? I know burrata is literally everywhere, and possibly overrated, but it’s one thing that I truly enjoy, so go on with your bad self burrata, you make me happy. This was great. I loved the crusty bread, which let’s face it, was just a delivery device to get the burrata into my mouth. That pesto was packed full of flavor.
I could eat this everyday.
Along with the burrata, we tasted the stuffed figs that are on the Bar Bites menu.
This was probably one of my least favorites. I love figs, but the gorgonzola was a little too strong for me. I love the concept of this, but probably would have enjoyed the figs stuffed with a milder blue cheese or perhaps a stronger goat cheese. Loved the balsamic touch to it though and they look gorgeous!
I thought we were finished at this point, but with a second glass of vino in hand, we had yet another dish in front of us.
From here on out, everything we ate was part of their regular menu.
We tried their Brussels sprouts next, my childhood self was screaming, but my adult self was overjoyed. I flippin’ love sprouts. These were prepared in a way that I had never had before – roasted and with pancetta (which was normal) but Chef Suppa added peaches, ricotta salata and a black pepper crema to these lovelies. Whoa. Who would have thought peaches and Brussels sprouts would go together. This was surprisingly delightful combination!
The last savory plate we had was a small pasta tasting. I tried the penne first. This was light and lovely. House made pasta with that delicious pesto, lemon stracciatella and smoked chicken. What?! Loved this and if I wasn’t so full I’d probably eat a whole bowl of this and be a happy camper.
On the other side of the plate we has the eggplant panzotti.
I know I said I didn’t like eggplant before, but I liked this dish. The eggplant was not overpowering – in fact it was sort of subtle, which I appreciated. The saffron sauce and tomato ragu were delicious as well!
Ok. At this point we were seriously full, no joke. We couldn’t even finish all of our pasta, which made me incredibly sad.
So when I saw two plates of gelato coming our way, I started laughing.
Yep, it was true. In front of us sat three, dainty scoops of gelato. Well, YOLO! Hands down both our favorite was the salted caramel. I also went back multiple times to have more tastes of the luscious vanilla bean and refreshing sorbet. It was a nice flavor sampler.
The hospitality at Vivace is great and I can’t wait to come back for a happy hour, dinner or brunch with friends in the near future. And by the near future, I mean probably within the next week or two…