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Vita Nova - University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Vita Nova - University of Delaware

4.8
4.8
604 Reviews
$31 to $50
Contemporary French / American
Vita Nova is the signature student-operated restaurant which is part of the Hospitality Business Management program at the University of Delaware.

Vita Nova features a "Best of Delaware" award-winning lunch buffet Mon-Fri and elegant fine dining Wed-Fri during the fall and spring semesters. For lunch, the students offer fresh, local dishes including gourmet salads, soups, pastas, entrees, fire-roasted flatbreads, cheese board and mini sweets. The five-course dinner begins with a fusion-inspired appetizer trio and choice of salad, followed by intermezzo and your choice of entrée. The evening ends on a sweet note with a decadent dessert.

Thank you for your support and being an important part of our unique student learning experience!

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Additional information

  • Dining style
    Fine Dining
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    Contemporary French / American
  • Hours of operation
    Lunch Mon–Fri 11:30 am–12:30 pm Dinner Wed–Fri 5:30 pm–6:30 pm
  • Phone number
    (302) 831-0500
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Executive chef
    Chef Alison Rainis
  • Private party facilities
    Vita Nova offers private dining throughout the year. The Bistro Room is also available for rent for business meetings, retreats and private events. For more information, please e-mail us at vitanova@udel.edu.
  • Private party contact
    Venka Pyle, vitanova@udel.edu : (302) 831-0500
  • Neighborhood
    Newark
  • Cross street
    South College
  • Parking details
    Effective 9/1/18, the Trabant parking garage changed to a license plate based system. The system uses an app called PassportParking that you can use to add time from your phone should this be necessary. For more information please visit www.ppprk.com. We recommend estimating 3 hours for dinner & 2 hours for the lunch buffet and the bistro.
  • Additional
    Bar Dining, Beer, Cocktails, Non-Smoking, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 604 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.8
4.8 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.8Ambience
  • 4.8Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Philadelphia County

    Best Value

  • Delaware

    Best Overall

  • Delaware

    Best Service

  • Delaware

    Best Ambiance

  • Delaware

    Best Value

  • Delaware

    Good for business meals

  • Delaware

    Innovative

  • Delaware

    Healthy

  • Delaware

    Good for special occasions

604 Reviews
  1. unknown

    Washington DC

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 8, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    Our reservations were at 12:30pm for the Lunch Buffet. The food choice was good but nothing out of the ordinary The main entrees were not good. The chicken was dried out like it had been sitting for hours and the steak chewy. The servers spoke so soft and to only one person at the table that we could only guess what was being said. Not sure I would try again.

    Is this helpful?

  2. Ziva1

    Philadelphia

    41 reviews

    5.0

    41 reviews

    Dined on April 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    We brought friends to Vita Nova who had never been there. They thoroughly enjoyed the food and the experience. We were delighted once again with Vita Nova.

    Is this helpful?

  3. ClarkW

    Philadelphia

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on April 4, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Dinner was an excellent experience perfect in every way

    Is this helpful?

  4. OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 1, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    We always loved coming to Vita Nova came here whenever we can make a reservation. We always enjoyed our experience. It is just on this date. We had a below expectation experience. It is the first day that the kitchen and service crew switched. Food not as good as the norm. Service was below par this is a “restaurant Lab” . I am sure we will be happy in another month or two, if we get another reservation. At the mean time, our best wishes to these aspiring students learning what they set out to learn.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on April 5, 2024
    Thank you very much for your visit and feedback. As you rightly surmised, this was our students first day performing their new positions in the front of house. They will progress and perfect these steps while they become more familiar as is part of the learning curve. As regular guests, we thank you for your support and participation in the education of our young students.

    Is this helpful?

  5. FoodieSharon

    Philadelphia

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on March 21, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent service and food. I will certainly return.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on April 5, 2024
    Thank you so much!

    Is this helpful?

  6. EdwardG

    Philadelphia

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Absolutely the best dining experience available anywhere near Newark, DE. The food and the dining experience are exceptional. The restaurant is staffed by students within the UD Hospitality Business Management program. The restaurant provides a superb gourmet dining experience with students as staff (lab course) supervised by faculty, including the restaurant's chef.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on March 18, 2024
    Thank you for being a wonderful part of the educational experience!

    Is this helpful?

  7. foodie28

    Philadelphia

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on March 1, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Service is exceptional as always. Food was create. They always change up the menu.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on March 18, 2024
    Thank you for your continued support!

    Is this helpful?

  8. OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 23, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Delicious food, excellent service from knowledgeably staff with courteous checks ins from “Maitra D”. Always an amazing experience and great value.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on March 18, 2024
    We're so glad you enjoyed your dining experience!

    Is this helpful?

  9. VicM

    Baltimore

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 22, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We will most certainly be back . The food was excellent, the staff attentive and sincerely interested in your comfort and experience. My only hesitation is out using even more superlatives is that more people will find out and it will take forever to get another reservation..

    Is this helpful?

  10. Christi

    Philadelphia

    18 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on February 21, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Vita nova never disappoints. Always a wonderful dining experience. The students are well trained and do a fantastic job. Kudos.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on March 18, 2024
    Thank you!

    Is this helpful?

  11. bythebay

    Baltimore

    33 reviews

    5.0

    33 reviews

    Dined on February 19, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful gourmet buffet lunch. We are gluten free and had plenty of options. Highly recommended.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on March 18, 2024
    Thank you! We're happy to know you were able to enjoy the buffet offerings.

    Is this helpful?

  12. Thesi

    Washington DC

    11 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Our visit to Vita Nova was for lunch, and it was great overall. The servers were outstanding, the food was very good and overall atmosphere was very inviting and classy. Thank you, students and their mentors, for reopening and working in the restaurant. We will be back!
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on March 18, 2024
    It's our pleasure to be here. Thank you for your visit and review.

    Is this helpful?

  13. ClarkW

    Philadelphia

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    A first class dinning experience second to none.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on March 18, 2024
    Thank you very much!

    Is this helpful?

  14. Crispy

    Philadelphia

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Delicious food. Excellent service. Love the salmon dish at lunch.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on March 18, 2024
    Thank you!

    Is this helpful?

  15. Klev

    Philadelphia

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great service, food and atmosphere! We loved the desserts too!
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on March 18, 2024
    Thank you!

    Is this helpful?

  16. Lalapor

    Philadelphia

    49 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    49 reviews

    Dined on December 7, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    The service was impeccable and the servers were delightful. The wine list was extensive and I found my favorite Banfi Brunello which was a nice surprise. The appetizer trio was the right amount of food and a nice selection of different flavors. My favorite was my second course, the arugula and pear salad. Unfortunately, my main course, the crab cake was not as delicious. The crab cake was a little mushy, salty and little oily. It was on top of four little slices of very oily/buttery potatoes with a cold tomato salad. It needed a warm vegetable in my opinion. I did not read anything past the crab cake, obviously. My dining partners had the filet and the Raviolo and felt they said they were good. Desserts were delicious and the ice cream made at the table was the highlight of the evening!! All in all it was as delightful as ever and I can’t wait to come back next year.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on December 11, 2023
    Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. We're glad to hear you enjoyed most aspects of your time here. Our menu changes with each semester and we appreciate your input about the crab cake.

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  17. LisaC

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 6, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Unique, high-end dishes in an elegant atmosphere that should not be rushed. Dinner consists of a four-course menu, including dessert. The least expensive (vegetarian) options run about $50 per person (including gratuity) which is a good deal considering the quality, variety, and amount of food. Plus it’s nice to chat with the Hospitality students and observe their training.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on December 11, 2023
    Thank you for sharing your experience!

    Is this helpful?

  18. JeffreyB

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 6, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    Service poor this time. Food not up to the standard of previous visits. Buffet almost empty as we went through the line. Chicken dry and not hot. Server did not come back to ask if we needed anything. Finally was able to request a cup of tea after my dessert was almost finished.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on December 11, 2023
    We are so sorry to hear that your experience did not match the standards we hold for our students and that our guests have come to expect. Your continued support of our program has meant a lot over the years and we will review our steps and hope to welcome you back next semester with the proper care and attention.

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  19. GailR

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 1, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Another wonderful meal at Vita Nova. This has become a tradition for us and we're looking forward to returning in the spring semester.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on December 5, 2023
    Thank you very much! We'll look forward to having you again!

    Is this helpful?

  20. Luvmy2boyz4ever

    Baltimore

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on December 1, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful dining experience. The students are amazing as well as management. We can't get enough of this restaurant.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on December 5, 2023
    Thank you!

    Is this helpful?

  21. CharleneP

    Philadelphia

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 29, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    excellent atmosphere and service from university of Delaware students, food was delicious and well presented
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on December 5, 2023
    Thank you for your support! We're always happy to have you!

    Is this helpful?

  22. JamesJ

    Richmond

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 10, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Every aspect of our experience was superb. The service was a notch above what one would find at the finest restaurants. Each and every interaction was pleasant as well as informative. Although it is located in the student union, it is nestled in a stylish, second floor space that is surprisingly quiet and well appointed. The menu offerings will please the most discerning diners. Well done, Vita Nova.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on December 5, 2023
    Thank you very much! We appreciate you being an enthusiastic part of the education and experience here!

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  23. Sach

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 10, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This was our first experience at Vita Nova. It’s difficult to get a reservation but I got lucky this year and scored a reservation for 4 at the lunch buffet. The food and service was impressive! The attention to detail (both food and service) made it feel like a very special meal, even though it was a buffet. I’ll definitely try to get reservations again in the spring.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on December 5, 2023
    Thank you! We'll hope to see you again in the future!

    Is this helpful?

  24. OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 8, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful dining experience. Food was tasty. Service was attentively and everyone was very nice. Very thoughtful for the maitre d’ to offer a birthday plate with dessert for the guest of honor.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on December 5, 2023
    Thank you for your feedback! It's so helpful as we strive to make each visit great for our guests!

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  25. foodie28

    Philadelphia

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on October 25, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food is presented in a creative way. Service is as excellent as a 5 star restaurant.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on October 30, 2023
    Thank you so much!

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  26. ScottC

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 19, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Reservations may be thought to get, but try hard, it’s well worth it. From the service to the food, an overall great experience. Plus a great value for the price.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on October 30, 2023
    Thank you so much! We do our best to make sure everyone can experience Vita Nova and we appreciate our wonderful guests!

    Is this helpful?

  27. JanetW

    Richmond

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on October 19, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We look forward to our dinner each semester with a new crew of students. Can’t wait for spring.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on October 30, 2023
    Thank you for being such an important part of their education!

    Is this helpful?

  28. FoodieSharon

    Philadelphia

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on October 19, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food is excellent. Service superb. Will definitely return.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on October 30, 2023
    Thank you so much (and we will pass along your kind words to our students)!

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  29. Patty

    Philadelphia

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 16, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Our meal was excellent. They had roasted vegetables that were wonderful
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on October 30, 2023
    Thank you for visiting! We're happy to hear you enjoyed lunch!

    Is this helpful?

  30. Leslie

    Philadelphia

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 10, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a lovely lunch and the student servers did a fantastic job! The food was delicious too. Thank you!
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on October 19, 2023
    Our pleasure, thank you so much for dining with us!

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  31. PriscillaG

    New York City

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on October 9, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My husband believes Vita Nova is the best restaurant in DE, and it's always his first choice for a special occasion, such as his own birthday (which the staff noted). The students do a marvelous job of everything. Prepare for great food in a welcoming environment!
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on October 12, 2023
    Thank you for the review and for celebrating his birthday at Vita Nova!

    Is this helpful?

  32. painter216

    Philadelphia

    59 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    59 reviews

    Dined on October 3, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Very nice buffet lunch! Service was very good and the quiet restaurant in the middle of the busy campus is always a treat.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on October 12, 2023
    We're so glad to hear you enjoyed. Thank you!

    Is this helpful?

  33. Tess

    Baltimore

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 20, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    A very elegant lunch buffet. Food was very good and high quality, service was excellent and cost was unbelievably low.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on September 27, 2023
    Thank you for sharing your experience!

    Is this helpful?

  34. Larry

    New York City

    13 reviews

    3.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on September 13, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    appetizer and dessert were excellent but I had mixed feelings about the entree and side dishes. The appetizer was a trio that was very good. Also traffic and parking were challenging. We won't be going to Vita Nova again.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on September 27, 2023
    We understand the traffic and parking on a busy Main St can be frustrating. If you have feelings you'd like to share about your food or service, please email us at vitanova@udel.edu to share your insight on how we can improve the educational curriculum for our students. Thank you for your feedback.

    Is this helpful?

  35. LanaDebH

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 12, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great experience! The food was excellent as was our server.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on September 27, 2023
    Wonderful! We're so happy to hear you enjoyed your visit.

    Is this helpful?

  36. foodie28

    Philadelphia

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on September 8, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Love coming here, students are professionals. Amazing variety of food.
    Vita Nova - University of DelawareResponded on September 27, 2023
    Thank you so much!

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  37. labgirl

    Philadelphia

    16 reviews

    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on May 10, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our favorite special occasion restaurant. Calm and unhurried fine dining. Extensive wine list.

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  38. KarenB

    Philadelphia

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on May 9, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great time, attentive staff and food was exceptional!

    Is this helpful?

  39. SamK

    Cincinnati

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This is a lovely place to experience fine dining without the fine dining price. The students, instructors, and managers make your experience top notch. The space is comfortable and private, despite being in a student union that is full of activity.

    Is this helpful?

  40. OpenTable Diner

    Philadelphia

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 3, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent meal and service, especially at the price. Students are very polite and professionally trained - can’t wait for the next one!!

    Is this helpful?

FAQs

Vita Nova - University of Delaware is rated 4.8 stars by 604 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Google Map for Vita Nova - University of Delaware

Trabant University Center-2nd floor 17 West Main Street, 17 West Main Street, Newark, DE 19716

Additional information

  • Cross street
    South College
  • Neighborhood
    Newark
  • Hours of operation
    Lunch Mon–Fri 11:30 am–12:30 pm Dinner Wed–Fri 5:30 pm–6:30 pm
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    Contemporary French / American
  • Dining style
    Fine Dining
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Parking details
    Effective 9/1/18, the Trabant parking garage changed to a license plate based system. The system uses an app called PassportParking that you can use to add time from your phone should this be necessary. For more information please visit www.ppprk.com. We recommend estimating 3 hours for dinner & 2 hours for the lunch buffet and the bistro.
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Executive chef
    Chef Alison Rainis
  • Additional
    Bar Dining, Beer, Cocktails, Non-Smoking, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Phone number
    (302) 831-0500
  • Private party facilities
    Vita Nova offers private dining throughout the year. The Bistro Room is also available for rent for business meetings, retreats and private events. For more information, please e-mail us at vitanova@udel.edu.
  • Private party contact
    Venka Pyle, vitanova@udel.edu : (302) 831-0500
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