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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 12 times today

Vai Restaurant and Spuntino Bar

4.5
74 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mediterranean
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
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.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Mediterranean, Italian
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Hours of operation
Daily 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
Sat, Sun 12:00 pm–3:00 pm
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Phone number
(212) 362-4500
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Vincent Chirico
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Catering
We are accepting reservations for holiday parties. Please inquire with restaurant.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Between 80 and 81 street
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Gift Card
Additional
Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 74 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Food was of very good quality. Food pairing were very interesting and smart. Definitely recommended.

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2.0Dined 4 days ago

We have eaten at Vai many times; however, our last meal did not measure. Appetizers were served and then an hour passed before our waitress even sauntered by our table. We asked what was going on with our dinner? The neighboring table was served before us and had sat down almost an hour after us. I asked to see the manager. He never came to the table. Instead our dinner was served with no apologies. The comped us two desserts and never apologized for the lapse in service despite our request to see the manager. Poor choice on their part.

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

We had lunch at Vai and the food was delicious. The menu is not huge but it is because the produces are simply excellent. There is a touch or creativity while preserving the natural flavor of quality ingredient. The owner trained by great French chefs has a simple and delicious cuisine. The atmosphere of industrial New York is perfect for all occasions.

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4.0Dined on April 11, 2018

Lovely comfortable spot. Can get loud — especially on weekends. Small menu but everything is delicious

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5.0Dined on April 10, 2018

Excellent as always!

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday lunch with family. Great overall experience.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Best on the West

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5.0Dined on March 30, 2018

お店の雰囲気も良く、店員さんもとても気さく。そして、何よりも美味しいお料理!
注文したもの全て、どれもとっても美味しかったです。
時間帯が遅めのランチだったのもあり、ドリンク半額でした。
オススメのスパークリングも美味しかったです。
今回はファミリーで利用しましたが、デートにも女子会にも向いているステキなお店だと思います。
またNYへ行く際には、必ず立ち寄りたいお店です。

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3.0Dined on March 29, 2018

The food is really good here but we had to wait over one hour and fifteen minutes for our entrees and mine was room temperature when it finally did arrive. This makes me not want to rush back again anytime soon.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Great brunch, food excellent and wine was 50% off!

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5.0Dined on March 6, 2018

Food and service was excellent

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5.0Dined on February 27, 2018

Great menu and nice ambiance

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4.0Dined on February 24, 2018

Great food and service, but their choice of music was ghastly, and made the ambiance dreadful. Would consider going back, but only if they learn how to play background music that enhances the atmosphere.

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5.0Dined on February 23, 2018

Vai is a great neighborhood gem! Vincent and his team have found the right blend of high quality creative cuisine with excellent service in a pleasant environment, and at a reasonable value. That's why we keep coming back.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

We went for our valentines/ anniversary, had the chefs 5 course dinner and it was outstanding.

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4.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Little known gem on the upper west side. Service is always excellent as staff work under the watchful eye of owner, Vince. Spuntino menu with wine pairing is especially unique and delectable.

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5.0Dined on February 12, 2018

I think the food in this restaurant is excellent. And i enjoy the dining experience. I do go there when i am on the west side. I prefer to go early on a week day. When it is crowded - like on weekends - it is WAY TOO NOISY.

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5.0Dined on February 10, 2018

We have been devote customers of Vai since the days it was a delightful restaurant on 77th St. For various reasons we have not been able to pay a visit since the renovation on Amsterdam. And what a return! On top of the subtle, yet effective improvement to the decor, Vincent has somehow enhanced his simple yet delicately attentive menu with some wonderful additions (mushroom appetizer and Brussels sprouts are two dishes that somehow stroke wonderfully new and delicious approaches to popular, if not overused, base ingredients). And the whole branzino remains an outstanding performer. In a nutshell, the food is tremendous, the atmosphere warm and inviting and the service and subtle touches by Vincent and the staff complete the experience.

Can’t wait to go back.

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5.0Dined on February 10, 2018

The cocktails were fantastic, the wine selection was lovely.....the food was superb! Every dish! The Branzino was to die for. We had a group of 6....everyone loved the experience. What a gem. Live in Bed Stuy and would easily trek back for another meal. Outstanding!!

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5.0Dined on February 9, 2018

Great Service and food! We have lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years and Vai Is personal favorite.

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4.0Dined on January 26, 2018

Very small but inventive menu. Friendly service. We had to wait 15 minutes for our table.
I thought it was expensive for the kind of casual restaurant it is.

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5.0Dined on January 23, 2018

We’ve been going for years. Fantastic food with lots of protein. The drinks fit perfectly with the season.

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5.0Dined on January 22, 2018

Went with a large group on a Monday night - Vai serves only a chef's tasting menu on Mondays with wine pairings. I was a little nervous about leaving the food and wine choices to them, but Vincent and his team didn't disappoint. Hamachi, octopus and brussels sprouts were particularly good. Wines were a mix of good and average but overall experience was great.

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5.0Dined on January 19, 2018

Excellent neighborhood restaurant that is even worth a trip across town. Limited menu, but it was all excellent, and porotion sizes are big enough that appetizers - which are resonably priced - can easily be mains.

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5.0Dined on January 19, 2018

Very much enjoyed the food and the prices were reasonable. Will be back again

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2.0Dined on January 13, 2018

No salads on menu! No vegetarian options except 1 pasta dish. Limited menu. Tables right near door and freezing cold. Wine was served late - after appetizer.

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5.0Dined on January 12, 2018

Delicious food! Creative menu! Fun, easy going place.

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5.0Dined on January 9, 2018

The most DIVINE Italian food - really, there's no better meal to be found anywhere in Italy. The chef is extravagantly talented, and his food is served by an incredibly lovely, friendly and customer-focused team. The menu is well-priced, the room is lovely and warm. UWS diners are very fortunate indeed...

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5.0Dined on January 5, 2018

Always perfect

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5.0Dined on January 2, 2018

Food was outstanding. Wait staff was friendly and responsive. Makes me wish I lived in NYC.

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4.0Dined on December 29, 2017

Good food and service. Music was oddly loud.

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5.0Dined on December 23, 2017

fantastic place
great chef
great staff
great time

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4.0Dined on December 23, 2017

This was our first visit since they renovated. Really liked the food, staff and ambiance in the original, love it in its new version.

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4.0Dined on December 22, 2017

Well prepared and delicious food. Love the bread and ricotta. Scallops recommended.

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5.0Dined on December 22, 2017

Thoughtful,friendly service--waitress went beyond to make suggestions, and introduce us to her favorites which were spot on. Didn't have to wait long for food. The only aspect that our family noted was the music did not match the type and quality of food nor the spirit of the time (holidays)...but it was not objectionable and everything else so wonderful that I have already recommended this place to many people. Food delicious.

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5.0Dined on December 18, 2017

Always perfect

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5.0Dined on December 18, 2017

We went to Vai on Monday night, totally unaware that it was "no menu Monday." We've been eating at Vai regularly for several years. This meal was THE best we've ever had there and one of the best we've had anywhere. The food was amazing. And the value was incredible. Five courses with wine pairing - $49 per person. Vincent really outdid himself.

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5.0Dined on December 15, 2017

We think this is a Great place, and need to frequent more often. We have been 5-6 times over the past few years, every time the Food, the Service and the Overall value, leaves us asking ourselves, Why don't we get here more often? Four of us went this past Friday, and shared the Scallops, Roasted Beats, Heirloom Carrots, Octopus and Short Ribs. Excellent, cooked to perfection.

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5.0Dined on December 8, 2017

The dining concept for this restaurant is perfect - medium sized plates to be shared. I was thrilled when the server explained this because there were many items on the menu that I wanted to try. The scallops were some of the best I have ever had. Everything we had was fabulous - brussel sprouts, burrata ravioli and veal tenderloin. Can't wait to be back in NYC to go again.

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2.0Dined on December 8, 2017

We made a reservation for 6 people. We were given 3 tables shoved together, all different heights. The noise was deafening. The food was barely edible. Everything was room temperature. There was no salt, and when we requested some we were brought chunks the size of peas. I requested the necessary mortar and pestle and the waitress finally brought salt. There is nothing good to be said about any of the six meals.

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