509 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.cucinavivace.com/
- Phone: 7039797676
- Hours of Operation:
Tue - Sun, 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM Closed Monday
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
- Executive Chef: Gordon Vivace
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wine, Wine Bar
- Special Events: We are happy to host private events from 20 to 50 people. Please call the restaurant and ask for Gordon to inquire.
A word from Cucina Vivace
Cucina Vivace is proud to offer innovative, contemporary dishes born in the oldest traditions of Italian cooking. We also offer an exclusive mix of Italian wines covering a wide geography and diverse tastes. Full bar service completes this four course offering in a casual environment.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Cucina Vivace reviews from OpenTable diners
- We were a stranded groupOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 10/30/2012We were a stranded group that went to Cucina Vivace the day after Hurricane Sandy. The chef Gordon came out to greet us and then he prepared for us, family style, the best Italian meal that I have every had any place any time. From the opening course with various seafoods in delicious broth, to the pasta course with spicy pasta, a chewy wonderful pasta and ravioli to the lamb, beef, green beans and red potatoes and the final fabulous after dinner Chardonnay drink with homemade biscotti. It was absolutely fabulous and beyond imagination. This restaurant should not be missed by anyone nearby or visiting DC. Get Chef Gordon's book from Amazon.Special Features:
- Expected a little more....jen48Dined on 10/27/2012My husband and I were not overly-impressed with Cucina - we arrived about 20 minutes before reservation - there was one table seated - and they had to had to make sure they could seat us then. When we were asked for drink order - we asked to see wine list - and the waitress told us that most of the better wines were not available because of event the night before. We were offered taste-testing of two recommended wines, which was nice. Dinner was good for the most part - roasted chicken took a while to prepare but delicious. Pasta with marinara adequate. Autumn salad was nice. Paper napkins ($$$ rating.) Waitress/staff were attentive and very nice. Will probably not visit Cucina again when returning to DC.
- Book this restaurant!OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 10/19/2012This was simply the most outstanding dining experience we've ever had--the service and attention to the table was supetb, every morsel of food was delicious. We ordered off the menu and Gordon (owner/chef) also prepared food as requested. This is a "Must Go To " Restaurant!Special Features:
- Very intimate setting, theOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 10/13/2012Very intimate setting, the food was great and service was outstanding. Had a wonderful time and would recommend Cucina Vivace to others.Special Features:
- The owner/chef and staff areOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/26/2012The owner/chef and staff are very friendly and helpful in selections of wine and menu items. If you have a special request or need, I feel they would do all they can to accomedate you. Our waiter was very attentive, we never had the feeling we were being ignored in the least. Never wanted for anything that wasn't attended to before we even thought about needing it. Don't let the tableclothes fool you, this is a casual-dress, casual atmosphere place. Top notch food and service, but not at all pretentious. We highly recommend Cucina Vivace!Special Features:
- We were celebrating a birthdayOpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 9/19/2012We were celebrating a birthday & this was the perfect place to go. It's a very small place and we met the chef who just made up a couple of dishes to surprise us. Not many places are so friendly. We were delighted! All in all - a wonderful place that we highly recommend!Special Features:
- Thanks for Our Anniversary Astin!!!WisePsychDined on 7/20/2012Unknowingly, my wife and I (visiting from Denver) had our anniversary dinner here. We walked in one evening when it was raining and just wanted some dinner. We found magnificent food, amazing service (Thanks Astin!) and a phenomenally romantic ambiance. After we finished our unforgettable dining experience, we decided that Cucina Vivace WAS our Anniversary Experience!Special Features:
- Keep looking. Trust me.OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 6/24/2012Approaching the restaurant I was not sure if it was open because the outdoor seating was empty and the interior appeared very dark. Upon entering we were met by the host/waiter (the single service staff we ever saw) and told that two "large parties" had just arrived and we would have to wait for 25 minutes before we would be served. No welcome to the restaurant. Did not ask if we had a reservation. We told him we had an Open Table reservation to which he replied that in that case he could serve us and that our orders would be prepared before any walk-ins' orders. Throughout the experience it seemed like our waiter was severely traumatized by his job. The two "large parties" were in fact six and four person tables. Etcetera ...
- The location is in a vibrantOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 6/15/2012The location is in a vibrant part of Arlington, very busy and exciting. Public parking lot is on the back of the block just behind the restaurant, so very convenient. This is a small place with a simple, classic decor, & soft lighting. There is some outdoor seating, which is great for late spring into early fall. We found the staff to be cheerful, pleasant, very attentive and knowledgeable. The food was wonderful, especially the chef's signature dish. The wait staff helped to advise us on the perfect wine selection. We had the pleasure of meeting the owner/chef, Gordon Vivace, who was very interesting and very interested in anything we had to say about our evening at his restaurant. It was a great evening and we will be returning!Special Features:
- Ate here again after a fewHadockeVIPDined on 5/18/2012Ate here again after a few month's lapse. As good as ever. Special pasta with crab and lemon was delightful....and enough to enjoy a second time the next day. The lamb was simply prepared with balsalmic reduction and rosemary...and simply delicious. It is wonderful t have a "real" restaurant along the 23rd street of otherwise uninspired food offerings.Special Features:
- Services was good. CeasarOpenTable Diner Since 2001VIPDined on 5/13/2012Services was good. Ceasar salad good but pasta was way too al dente....great grilled italian sausage though....so just ok
- Bene....VanceDined on 5/5/2012We had the grilled sausage, grilled pork medallions, & linguine with crab meat. All three entrees were very good; the pasta was cooked correctly & were not swimming in sauce. There was something wrong with the espresso machine, so it took a while to get cappuccino but it was worth the wait. The Caesar salad was also very good and they serve it with anchovies, which I like a lot. Lots more grilled items to check out on their menu, so we will go back.Special Features:
- A Gem on 23rd! Among theOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 4/27/2012A Gem on 23rd! Among the mediocre restaurants on the 23rd strip, this small cucina is a real gem. Wonderful pasta dishes! Nice wine list and nice ambiance! Service was very attentive, but not overly hovering! Would definitely go back when in thea area.Special Features:
- Wow!OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 4/1/2012Having visited Italy a number of times, I was delighted to find this restaurant. The Caesar salad was the best I have ever had; the gnocchi out of this world. One friend had Italian Sausage; we all took a small bite and wanted to stay long enough to place a second order. I will definitely be back and will be bringing my European daughter who visits Italy regularly. I know she will love this restaurant.Special Features:
- After a year or so of sometimesDonHVIPDined on 3/25/2012After a year or so of sometimes poor service and uneven food, CV seems to be hitting its stride once again. They could use another person in the front of the house when they're busy, but the fellow they do have regularly serving the tables is a huge improvement on some of the folks that worked some nights last year. And when Gordon is working the stove, you know the food is going to awesome.Special Features:
- Would not go backJasonDined on 3/18/2012I was not impressed with this restaurant at all. The food seemed preprocessed like an Olive Garden. The restaurant was empty and it is easy to see why after trying the food. I had the linguini and clams. There was about a pound of pasta and very few clams. The clams were chopped and from a can. We also tried the lasagna and it was bland. upon arrival, we were greeted by the bartender/host/waiter with a "what's up". It went downhill from there. We were served room temperature water. We were happy with the wine list as well as wine recommendations. Pasta is hard to mess up, but they found a way.
- Quiet but GoodOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 3/4/2012Recently hosted out-of-town guests, and had a really good time. Strangely, we were the only customers on a Sunday night from 6.30 til 8.30...but the service was food! Try the pasta and the lamb, both excellent. Steak was underdone and had to be re-cooked.Special Features:
- Amazing food. Fresh pastaOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 2/14/2012Amazing food. Fresh pasta was great, entrees even betterSpecial Features:
- Gordon Vivace does good Italian,OpenTable Diner Since 2003Dined on 2/14/2012Gordon Vivace does good Italian, and in a pleasant, upscale setting. This restaurant brings its neighboring 23rd street eateries up a notch in quality. The menu, and special menus for holidays, has excellent renderings of known and lesser known Italian fare, all homemade and of the best quality, This place reminds me of the good places in San Francisco that I frequent when I am there. They offer vegetarian options, too, always a plus for me. To be fair, the servers do their best and are solicitous, but on special events days they are overworked, and the wait times can be uncomfortable. The restaurant can use more hands on those days to keep things moving. But overall, this is a classy place with great food.Special Features:
- I took my GF there for ValentinesOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 2/14/2012I took my GF there for Valentines day. They had a decent 5 course fixed meal plan which had a decent selection. I asked for a beer and they didn't offer beer which was odd but no worries. The food came out at a decent time frame as I noticed only two servers who was both the waiter and hostess. The food was good, my favorite being the pasta. I'm not 100% sure how rack lamb is cooked but it looked pretty red. However, I didn't complain because again I wasn't sure how rack of lamb is supposed to be cooked (med, raw, etc) The biggest issue I had was a plate was hot and the server didn't say anything, so when we wen to move our plates we were both surprised to pick up a VERY hot plate (on one side).Special Features:
- For reasons unknown, the kitchenLovetoeatDined on 2/14/2012For reasons unknown, the kitchen was very, very slow the evening we were at Cucina Vivace. Unfortunately this detracted from an excellent meal.Special Features:
- Cucina Vivace is good, butFoodiewannabeVIPDined on 2/3/2012Cucina Vivace is good, but not great. It is a good option for people living in/near South Arlington or for business travelers. Although the food wasn't as good as some other restaurants I've been to, the service and ambiance make it a good option for those who want a decent dinner where they can sit and talk without shouting.Special Features:
- Wonderful good and great service.OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 1/19/2012Wonderful good and great service. Went on a weekday evening and place was empty- nice and quiet.Special Features:
- Been here quite a few timesOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 1/7/2012Been here quite a few times and, as always, our dinner was exceptional. Do yourself a favor and give this place a try if you like authentic, rustic, Italian cuisine that hasn't been watered-down or reduced to the lowest common denomiator.Special Features:
- Great food! Attentive staff!!!OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 12/24/2011Great food and atmosphere, but a LOUD table, actually one LOUD woman, pretty much put a damper on our conversation. We loved everything about the place except that if there are others who're having a particularly good time, there is little to soften the noise. Hardwood floors and open walls are clean and lovely, but do little to mitigate noise. Too bad as the restaurant gets the service and food SO right. We had the Seven Fishes Christmas Eve Dinner. Everything was delicious, very fresh tasting. Overall I would recommend the place, but bring some ear plugs, just in case.Special Features:
- All "High End" Wines and noOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 12/10/2011All "High End" Wines and no "standard ones" like Zifadel..... Did not like any of the wines I tried.Special Features:
- Terrible ServiceOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 12/2/2011We waited 20 minutes to have someone bring us a wine menu. The place was not even close to busy on a Friday (no surprise there) so we decided to leave. Upon leaving the wait staff who were hanging out in the back (not waiting on anyone) rudely yelled "have a nice night." The Mexican restaurant next store, however, was amazing.
- You MUST Eat Here!OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 11/19/2011Cucina Vivace does it again! Another fantastic dining adventure. Chef Gordon Vivace continues to impress with great food at accessible prices. Highly recommended!Special Features:
- Completely understaffed theOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/18/2011Completely understaffed the night we were there. Took forever to get anything at our table. Food was great though!
- Good was OK it was fresh.GreatExperienceDined on 10/5/2011Good was OK it was fresh. Felt sorry for waiter he was working by himself and worked very hard to try and accommodate. Resturant needs a little pick me up...it could be a great place. Maybe a little more from Chef to be creative in menu/ specials and more staff.
- There were some staffing issuesDonInDCDined on 8/13/2011There were some staffing issues the night we were there, so the service was extremely slow. In fact, two other parties commented to us as we waited an extraordinary wait that the food was worth the wait. It was. Our food was prepared to perfection. The pesto was remarkable. Desert was unique and individually prepared. We would recommend this restaurant, and will return.Special Features:
- Good meal. Had grouper andOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 6/19/2011Good meal. Had grouper and a spinach salad. You get your choice of veggie of the day or any small salad on the menu. Not huge portions, but ok.Special Features:
- The crab fritters were perhapsOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 6/17/2011The crab fritters were perhaps the best crab dish I have ever had, with the spicy Fra Diavolo dipping sauce helping to round out the dish. The Chicken Parm, and the super-spicy spaghetti (to which we added a very generously sized, and tender chicken breast for ~$4) were both fantastic as well. Drew, our server, was very attentive, polite, and knowledgeable, and his menu recommendations were delicious. Their prices are reasonable, with some of the meat entrees (fillet, lamb chops) being a little more pricey, as well they should. The wine list is very unique, and has bottle ranging from $25~100; all bottles are individually selected by the chef himself. Our Chianti was fantastic. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone, and will return!!!Special Features:
- Wonderful restaurant. CozyOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 6/11/2011Wonderful restaurant. Cozy neighborhood place that could hold its own next to any of the 'big boys' downtown. Authentic Italian cuisine that makes you feel like you're eating in a trattoria in Italy. And, Gordon (owner/executive chef) clearly cares that his guests and patrons are enjoying his offerings as he is no stranger to his dining room. Definitely take advantage of the specials; the veal bolognese with bone marrow (enjoyed on a previous outing) was spectacular, while the tilapia I had this weekend was a clean-plate-club standout. Oh, and the all-arrabbiata is the perfect complement to any meal - as long as you like it spicy! Yum! An absolute find.Special Features:
- surprised at how excellentegurianDined on 6/2/2011surprised at how excellent the food was. The campanata was special as was the bread pudding and the pasta were excellent. A much better Italian eatery than the ones that surround it.Special Features:
- My husband and I dined atOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 5/28/2011My husband and I dined at Cucina Vivace in the winter of 2011, and decided to have our wedding reception there. We brought my parents (snobbish foodies) to see the place several months later, and they absolutely loved it. The pasta is amazing, and the quail is excellent. Most importantly, we had a perfect wedding reception at Cucina Vivace, and 47 guests loved their dinner (option of Ravioli, Rib eye, or Quail). We highly, highly recommend this restaurant for a romantic dinner for two, or a group affair of any size and for any occasion. Gordon Vivace is so skilled, lovely to work with, and dedicated to making the experience memorable and enjoyable. Make the reservation, you will not be disappointed.Special Features:
- While we are long-time fansDonHVIPDined on 4/30/2011While we are long-time fans of Cucina Vivace, Saturday night was a bit of a disappointment. They were short of staff, the bar wasn't well-stocked, and the staff on duty didn't know much about preparing a cocktail. That said, the food, though slow in coming, was up to their usual very high standards.Special Features:
- This restaurant was listedTbearDined on 4/7/2011This restaurant was listed among the Top 10 in Crystal City, so we tried it as part of our vacation. However, something was missing. We were the first party in the restaurant as part of our 7 PM reservation - where were all the other diners? Shortly after, they began filing in. The restaurant seemed short-staffed and poorly equipped to handle more than a couple of tables. The food was slow to come out. Water glasses and drinks were slow to refill if at all. Food was OK, but not great. Dessert was out of the question, as we didn't want to pull an all-nighter experience...
- I made the reservation becauseTesaDined on 3/25/2011I made the reservation because of the award given to this restaurant by Open Table. The staff was attentive and the wine was good but the food was woefully unexciting. I ordered the special but it wasn't that "special." I am a huge fan of bolognese sauce so was really looking forward to this dish. Unfortunately, the noodles were all stuck together and I had to ask for hot pepper to give the sauce any kind of taste at all. I ate it because I was so hungry but I won't go back. Too many other Italian restaurants to try in the city to settle for such bland food.
- Great foodOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 3/5/2011Incredible crab cakes! Definitely a great spot for a romantic Italian dinner with someone special.Special Features: