Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Vai Restaurant and Spuntino Bar
Vai, meaning “Go” in Italian, is a contemporary Mediterranean restaurant with Italian influence which has established itself as a neighborhood staple for the past 8 years.
Owner and Executive Chef Vincent Chirico delights his guests with a carefully curated menu featuring delicate & refined dishes, created with the freshest seasonal ingredients.
New York, NY 10024
Hours of Operation:
Daily 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
Sat, Sun 12:00 pm–3:00 pm
Between 80 and 81 street
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
We are accepting reservations for holiday parties. Please inquire with restaurant.
Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wine
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Vai Restaurant and Spuntino Bar Ratings and Reviews
Sputubi by Vai is even better than before. The restaurant had a warm and cozy feel. The new small plates menu for sharing adds another excellent reason to visit our favorite UWS restaurant. Scallops were perfectly prepared and the pork tenderloin was so delicious we ordered a second! Desserts were a perfect size to end the meal and were both excellent.
A meal or drink at this restaurant will be memorable-the wine is poured into your glass from the bottle at the table-people serving are very amiable-atmosphere relaxed but classy and the homemade pasta is an indulgence. Delicious wine beer and food but for the very hungry, the meals may be a bit small.
Fine quality food prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Creative but somewhat limited and pricey menu. Creative mixed drinks available to accompany meals. Be prepared to share dishes designed more for tasting (smaller portions) rather than offerings of individual full-size dishes. Dishes served as prepared and when ready — not all at once. Seating capacity limited. Dark bar interior space that tends to be loud with full capacity crowd and background music. Wait staff is knowledgeable, very patient and accommodating. Service tended to be on slow side with capacity crowd. Would return for the food combinations and quality. My tender rabbit cooked in sherry sauce with Maitake mushrooms and chestnuts was perfect for a fall evening.
New incarnation includes new seating arrangements and lots of room to have an extended drink or drink and snacks. New menu is a little strained (recherché) and could use some more depth in the food area (unless they are really mostly hoping to attract drinking customers who want a cocktail, wine and then dessert or after dinner alcohols).
My pork tenderloin was exquisitely presented, with lots of attention and multiple time-consuming to prepare parts. Meat was not super tender though and the dish overall lacked flavor and moisture. The scallop dish is not as elegant as the pork, just three large-ish scallops and a heavy textured sauce. No vegetables or anything else on the plate. Chocolate dessert was AMAZING. But there are only two desserts on the menu!
They are trying really hard to please and threading the needle between a very upscale menu and a more casual physical plant and neighborhood pricing. It might be a tough sell.
Food was excellent. Had scallops, octopus, cauliflower, and tried all three pastas. Everything was delicious. Only criticism is server wearing white chefs uniform who I think is chef/owner needs to learn how to serve food. Brought two dishes to our table and threw them down on the table and was downright rude.
Honestly I was a little worried that Vai would lose its charm, character and most of all great food. NONE of these fears was realized - in fact all of the above is even better (if that is possible) now! Vince creates amazing dishes (we shared the bronzino which is one of the best in town if not THE best!) and the staff is great - very knowledgeable and friendly and attentive.
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