“Fantasti Service, Ambiance, Food... the entire package!!!”
We have been waiting for a long time to try this place... finally, we made it on an early Saturday afternoon to ensure we got a seat by the bar. When we came in, the very friendly hostess pointed us towards the bar area and wished us a enjoyable time. When we entered the locale, the place seems like a little bit of a Picasso maze with stairs going up and down. This is the description of Porto Vivo from their own website:
"The design of the space emphasizes the history and the character of the building, while offering a contemporary rustic ambiance.
"The main floor dining room offers a grand entrance with floor to ceiling glass windows and marble tile. The open dining room is accented by authentic brick, dark hardwood floors, exposed duct work and original ceiling beams, and distressed brown leather booths in the center of the room.
"Rustic wrought iron light fixtures add to the stylish and lively atmosphere in the main floor dining room. The bar and lounge area on the second floor offers a sophisticated feel with a black marble circular bar, high bar tables and a blue stone patio just outside the bar area.
"The third floor dining room has a cozy feel with carpeted floors, rustic booths, a modern gas fireplace and onyx wood table tops. A catwalk between the two upper dining areas offers an open view to the lower dining room. The atmosphere is complete with an exclusive music list piped throughout the space and you will see occasional appearances from world-renowned musicians on the corner stage in the bar and lounge."
We opted for the bar, and the very friendly, handsome and chatty bartender Joe took care of us immediately. I've never seen a harder working bartender at the same time being efficient, friendly and making one of the best martinis we have tasted. My only draw back is that the bar is very small, not for the customers but for the workers who kept running into each other, having to get on a step-up to get supplies from the upper shelves and at the same time, serve guest, food and make the drinks for the entire place... It did create an amazing sight to see the waiters going up and down the Picasso-like stairs with trays full of drinks; which reminds me, the management at Porto Vivo need to add a system where the drinks order is printed at a station for the bartenders instead of the waiters having to come down to tell the bartender the order, go back to the table, come back to the bar and deliver the drinks.... just a little investment in technology goes a long way!
After enjoying our first round of drinks, we looked at the bar menu which was quite delicious just to look at. We ordered: (1) Fried Calamari Puttanesca with red and green sauce - $11.50, (2) Seared Carpaccio of Wagyu Beef with arugula and shaved parmesan - $13 (3) Bianca Pizza (alfredo sauce, onion and parmesan) - $13 and (4) Prosciutto, Arugula and Fresh Figs Pizza - $18.
The Fried Calamari was well cooked with the salsa verde being the biggest surprise as it was delicious and with a very nice flavor against the salty calamari while the red sauce having a little bit of a sweet taste to it. The Carpaccio was very good as well with a huge portion of it. The fresh bread that came with it was very warm and soft. The Bianca pizza was the best of all of the choices which left us with the desire for more. Sadly, the Prosciutto pizza was quite disappointing with too much arugula on top that you could not even see the pizza and the flavor was not as good as the Bianca.
We ordered a couple of glasses of the Argentinian Malbec ($10) with a nice portion served by our favorite bartender Joe. We took the time to enjoy the view of the evening crowd coming in and how the place was starting to get so crowded that every table at the restaurant was taken and even a few people having to wait for a table or bar chair.
Restrooms are located in different levels of the restaurant making it easy for all customers to use. The bathrooms were clean, with plenty of real hand towels (not paper towels - even though they are available). As we were leaving, the hostess opened the door for us and gave us a very friendly smile; wishing us a good night and prompt return.
The Final Verdict:
Restaurant Ambiance/Decor: 5.0 out of 5.0
Staff Service/friendliness : 5.0 out of 5.0
Seating Arrangement/Layout: 5.0 out of 5.0
Seating Comfort: 5.0 out of 5.0
Food Quality/Flavor: 5.0 out of 5.0
Wine/Alcohol Selection: 5.0 out of 5.0
Price Value: 5.0 out of 5.0
Bathrooms Cleanliness: 5.0 out of 5.0
Final Score: 40 out of 40 (100 out of 100% or A+ grade)
Final Comment: This is a place that ambiance, service and food quality will make you come back for more. That says it all...
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.