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
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
We had a wonderful time at Vai. We went on a Friday night before a show at the Beacon Theater and really enjoyed it all - the ambiance, friendly staff, our knowledgeable waitress, and the delicious food. Really great option for the UWS and would come back here again.
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.
the renovation of this neighborhood favorite seems to have been a success, it's attractive and has a more open feeling than the previous configuration. the food remains excellent. we had the delicious hamachi appetizer, heirloom carrots, and branzino. the carrots with a balsamic glaze are a wonderful new addition to the menu, and the branzino, which we have always considered a signature dish, is so good that we have given up eating branzino anywhere else. finally, the prices seem perfectly reasonable given the originality and quality of the food. go there and eat!!
Fantastic meal and great service. For someone who has ate at many restaurants in NYC, this is one of my absolute favorites The staff is warm and friendly and makes for an amazing ambiance. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a romantic dinner with a wine bar atmosphere.
Spuntino 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.
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