Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vivace


If you want a great view of the Queen City skyline, as well as a modern spin on classic Italian dishes, look no further than Vivace. Located in Charlotte’s Metropolitan development, Vivace’s neighbors include Trader Joe’s, Target and some of the city’s most upscale and fashionable condominiums, aka, my dream neighborhood.

A vast bar, ample seating and a large display of wine bottles occupy the main floor, and bright orange fixtures hang from the high ceiling. A stairway leads to an additional bar, where outdoor patio seating provides the breathtaking view of Uptown. After hearing rave reviews, my group and I decided to try Vivace for brunch, and we left nothing less than blown away.

Upon being seated, Cheddar Scallion Biscuits were brought to the table. Any restaurant that brings a delicious, complimentary starter gets an “A” in my book. These buttery and cheesy biscuits were like soft pillows of heaven, and they rival Red Lobster’s infamous Garlic Cheddar Biscuits - Vivace’s are much smaller, so you can eat more and not feel as guilty (that’s how us girls like to think of it at least.)

I fell in love with crepes during my trip to exquisite Paris, but I’m hesitant to order them in the States (not to mention at an Italian restaurant!) However, I couldn’t resist the description of the filling: Short Ribs, Gorgonzola, Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions. Yowza. The tender meat was saturated with a luscious red wine reduction sauce, which played beautifully against the creaminess of the Gorgonzola Cheese. The subtle sweetness of the Caramelized Onions took this dish to the next level, and each bite of the stuffed, paper-thin crepe was not enough.

Polenta is the Italian version of grits. Being a huge fan of cheese grits, Cheesy Polenta sounded like a side that was right up my alley. Oddly enough, the appearance reminded me of scrambled eggs, but it rocked my world. It was flavorful and comforting.

I’m thrilled I experienced such a magnificent brunch at Vivace. I look forward to returning for dinner, to see downtown lit up (and the wine selection). This was far from my last visit.

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