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“Love It” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cucina Vanina Ristorante

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Cucina Vanina Ristorante
1844 Fort Union Blvd, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121
801-938-9706
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Price range: $11 - $20
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: We offer a culinary trip to southern Italy, with authentic southern Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner, in a warm Italian atmosphere. Buon appetito !
Usa, Japan
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Love It”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

A little hole in the wall with class. Great food, fun. A nice discoivery

Visited September 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    12
    6
    4
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
salt lake city
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Decent food but ppoor service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2012

Maybe it was just our waiter, because the other reviews all say the service was good. There are many servers (too many?), and they all only get a couple of tables to serve. My waiter was not very friendly, but that wouldn't have bothered me as much as some of the other shortcomings. For starters, we ordered the appetizer plate, and he encouraged us to order the main entrees at the same time, as he would hold them back till we finished the appetizer. That never happened, we had just started on the appetizer plate (very good) when he brought out the hot pasta dishes...And, he tried to grab the appetizer plate (more than once throughout the evening) even though it was half full still...
Then, I asked him to find out if I could buy some of the sauces on the appetizer, and he never came back with the answer. After dinner i had to ask him again.
Our water was never refilled once during the meal.
After the meal, i ordered espresso, and he proceeded to bring it and drop it off without any sugar. I had to ask for it. After he left our table, I realized there was no spoon to stir the sugar. I had to use my husband's fork handle (the fork was dirty).
The food was generally good, some things were outstanding - the clams in my son's dish were cooked really well. My "Involtini di carne" were a little on the salty side, and the side salad had too much lemon juice on it, but overall i enjoyed my meal. The atmosphere was lively and all the tables were full most of the evening. There was a trio playing some standard Italian tunes on a violin, bass, and acoustic guitar. They were enjoyable.
Although this is the closest Salt Lake comes to a real Italian restaurant, (forget Lugano or Michelangelo) it is still not as good as the real thing in Italy, no way...I am Italian and I just came back from a month there, I know what I am talking about...

  • Visited May 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Alpharetta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Dinner with my boys family style: Superlative!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2012

After a long day'of skiing well into our weeklong SLC vacation, my exhausted 20- and 21-year old boys' bellies were barren. Having curried their favor with burgers and pizza already, I was keen to dine, but without having to drive downtown from our den at the nearby Residence Inn - we were beat and famished.

Unpretentious in an easy to find shopping center not 5 minutes away, Cucina Vanina is one of those neighborhood gems that many other frequent travelers lust for - great food, great service, and great value which can do nothing but yield a great experience. Well lit and casually appointed, the 3 of 4 Trip Advisor "Excellents" who preceeded me didn't miss the mark. The enticing menu has a well-appointed variety of courses, so we asked Nico if we might sup family style. "Easy! We do it all the time!" He then deftly helped steer me to one of the best meals Italiano I've had - certainly matching anything I've enjoyed in Boston's North End. Nico served us both types of bruschetta, the delicious arugula/yellow beet salad with warm goat cheese, the pasti frutti di mare (with the chef's deft use of garlic), and Thursday's daily dinner special of gnocchis in a luscious gargonzola cream sauce - all were superlative.

With an outstanding 2005 Caparzo Brunello and friendly and attentive service to match, my completely sated boys left marveling at how a "wouldn't-think-twice-about-eating-there!" turned into a totally enjoyable casual dining extravagance they'll no doubt remember forever!

Molto bene!

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NonnaC
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Loud and Overpriced”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012

Service was excellent and the food was good but way overpriced for the amount on the plate. The one off dish was the eggplant parmigiana, a special that night, which was a whooping $20 for a small serving with mostly sauce, little cheese, and burnt tops. Wished we would have checked the price before ordering. We were warned that it would be noisy because of the band that night but the sound level without the band was LOUD!! We'd like to give it a second chance and a better review because the service was so great but the prices and noise will probably keep us from going back.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Exquisite food, superb service; don't miss it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2011

I visited Cucina Vanina for the first time two weeks ago and was completely delighted by the superior food and amazing service. The friend I was meeting was quite late through no fault of her own. When I told the server I thought I had the wrong night and would order something to go, she said, "Why don't you stay? We'd love to have you", as though inviting me to her home. I stayed, the friend arrived, and I dined on parmesan-encrusted tilapia and the best orzo I've ever tasted. The wine and dessert selections were lovely and we were entertained by members of the owner's family, who played violin, bass violin, and guitar, and sang a selection of American and Italian classics. I highly recommend this dining experience and can't wait to go back!

  • Visited October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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