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Party Size
For 2
7:00 PM
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Booked 19 times today

Vita Nova - University of Delaware

327 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Good for Anniversaries (10)
  • Special Occasion (10)
  • Quiet Conversation (9)
Vita Nova is the signature student-operated restaurant which is part of the Hospitality Business Management program at the University of Delaware. It 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 paninis, 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 cooked in our newly-renovated show kitchen. The evening ends on a sweet note with a decadent dessert trio. Vita Nova offers an extensive beverage selection including 20 wines by the glass, local beer and espresso drinks. The hospitality students also manage the Vita Nova Bistro, a more casual dining experience featuring an innovative small plate menu and a 3-course Theater Menu.
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 12:30pm Dinner: Wednesday - Friday: 5:30pm - 7:30pm, Bistro Bar & Bistro Dining Room: Wednesday - Friday: 5:30pm - 8:30pm
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Phone number
(302) 831-0500
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Joe DiGregorio
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Cross street
South College
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Parking details
The Trabant Garage is our covered parking structure--adjacent to restaurant.
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Special events & promotions
Vita Nova hosts Special Events on a limited bases during normal business hours, including cocktail receptions, meetings, lunches and dinners. The max capacity in the Vita Nova dining room is 40 guests and in the Bistro Room is 24 guests. Please e-mail us at or call 302-831-0500 for more information.
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 327 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8  based on recent ratings
Noise · Quiet
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0  Dined 4 days ago

The setting, food and service were all exceptional. I would very highly recommend it to everyone.

vipOpenTable Diner (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on February 15, 2018

It's been a while since we were last at Vita Nova, and our memories were once again verified.
Excellent service provided by Garret (our table Captain) and his right hand Jonathan. Food was excellent. Beginning with the Tri-appetizer which was a great way to try all three of the featured apps, were tasty and just enough to get the taste buds ready for an excellent entree. Crab Cake done Chesapeake style, with minimum fillers, and not overly crisp in its cooking process was our choice for our entrees. Not at all dry, very flavorful and approximately 5 to 6 oz. Served over thinly sliced sweet potatoes, and topped with wilted spinach. Very pleasing. Desert was the featured NITRO.....fresh cream,sugar,milk mix frozen table side with liquid nitrogen then served over a moist, flavorful bread pudding. Featured wines (chosen by the staff) were excellent, particularly the Classico Chianti. Tipping is NOT an option. there is a pre-set 12% "service" fee applied to the check, which I still feel is a shame. The service was more than exceptional. Yes, I understand this is part of the program as these students learn the ins and outs of the hospitality service industry, but I would have properly rewarded them for their excellent service, demeanor and attention to detail..Many "professional" servers need to take lessons from these students, who truly seem to be focused on making their customers experience an exceptional one. Kudos U of D !!!

4.0  Dined on February 15, 2018

Have eaten here on several occasions in the past. Food & service were always superb. I think there is a new professor running the program & he is not on top of the service. Had to ask for water 3 times & dishes were not cleared in a timely manner.

edwardc (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

Our dining experience was excellent. My wife and I brought four friends with us, who had never been to Vita Nova, and they were all really pleased and commented that they would return.
We were especially impressed with the service and as a UD grad (1963), very impressed by my fellow Blue Hens.
I do have one suggestion. I would like to see ice cream from the UD dairy added to the dessert list.
Thank you for a memorable evening,
Edward Colburn

JoAnneD (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on December 5, 2017

Definitely a neighborhood gem! Great for community ...or out of town guests who you want to impress! I LOVE Vita Nova!

vipeat2much (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on December 1, 2017

Vita Nova is one of our favorite restaurants, and may be the best restaurant in Newark. Food is excellent, good choices, good wine list and an excellent value. When you realize that the waitstaff are students and their restaurant service is actually a for-credit University of Delaware course it adds a whole new dimension to the dining experience. However, that also means the restaurant hours are limited to lunch five days a week and dinner Wed. - Fri. only during the academic semesters. So it can be difficult to get a reservation, but well worth the effort when you succeed!

vipnullap (Philadelphia)
4.0  Dined on December 1, 2017

This is our second visit and we were a little disappointed this time, keeping in mind, our first visit was perfection. This time, our service was slow and the servers were not as informed or as professional. Our appetizers were wonderful, the signature salad was great, the entrees especially the cobia were delicious, but the dessert trio was awful. Also, the cobbler should be served with ice cream not just for a party of 2.

Although, we will go again because overall it is a great experience thanks to the students.

EdUr (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on November 29, 2017

The food was tasty, as usual, and a good value for the money spent. It is nice to know that meals at Vita Nova contribute to the education of students at the University of Delaware.

Chefpat (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on November 17, 2017

Great food, great service! You should advertise, as not many knows of your existence.

OpenTable Diner (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on November 16, 2017

What a terrific dining experience. The students were friendly, courteous, and great servers. The gourmet cuisine was flawless and enjoyed eating items I would usually not prepare for myself. Cant wait to return next semester to experience the Chef faculty plan for my palate! The nitro ice cream itself was worth the reservation!

FoodLover (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on November 8, 2017

My son treated me to a birthday dinner at Vita Nova, and it was a very pleasant experience.
The food was delicious, and beautifully presented. The menu was varied, with enough choices for different tastes; and the staff were willing to make modifications upon request. Service was appropriate for a leisurely dinner. The staff were cordial and attentive. I was presented with a special dessert plate due to my birthday.
I would love to see this operation in a larger space, as the dining area is a bit cramped, and the noise level from conversation of the guests is somewhat high.
Overall, an excellent operation, and good value for the quality of the food. I would certainly recommend it!

OpenTable Diner (Philadelphia)
3.0  Dined on October 27, 2017

We frequently have dined at Vita Nova and have always been very satisfied but this visit was not up to par for the following reasons:
Table was improperly set with forks reversed (This is a culinary school)
Entrees included fish and pasta with rice and undercooked vegetables meat but two starches
Dirty plates were not removed promptly when we went up to the buffet causing a lack of space for our plates when we returned (And we were the only people in the restaurant for the first 20 min. of our visit)
There was a soup cup on the buffet that was very dirty with cocoa or something similar
Coffee was not refilled without asking several times.
The food was tasty and the students polite but since this is a learning environment, we were surprised at the level of choices made compared to what we have experienced at Vita Nova before.

OpenTable Diner (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on October 26, 2017

I went with my wife and daughter and we had a great dinner. It was a nice treat to have formal meal in the middle of Newark, DE.

The restaurant is actually a training facility for University of Delaware hospitality students. The food was excellent and the service was very accommodating. My daughter has some food allergies and our server was very willing to help her guide her choices and make adjustments to her order.

We will definitely go back.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on October 26, 2017

Food and service is outstanding. Great experience. I was surprised at an extra charge for service.

CAP22401 (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on October 25, 2017

This student run facility puts the competition to shame. Stellar service and tasty menu options. Bring cash for tipping though, as you cannot put the gratuity on a credit card.

OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on October 25, 2017

We always enjoy dining at Vita Nova. The food and service are excellent. The staff are very professional and personable.

Jenbo (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on October 13, 2017

Food was fresh and delicious. Cream of mushroom soup was rich but not overly thick. Excellent taste.
Salads were fresh and tossed greens had a nice tossing of dressing. Highlight of buffet was the salmon perfectly cooked with crunchy breadcrumbs. Popovers are always a treat. Mocha mousse and crime brûlée were wonderful. I would return in a minute!

Susan (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on October 12, 2017

Outstanding food and service in a formal yet relaxed atmosphere with charming students who make every effort to make your dining experience memorable and fun.

WeLoveFood (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on October 12, 2017

great place! we enjoyed the food and atmosphere. we went out on a lunch date. it is a good buffet selection.

OpenTable Diner (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on October 11, 2017

We had a lovely evening enjoying nice dinner. The service was excellent.