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“Operated by UD HRIM students and a total campus gem” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Vita Nova - University of Delaware

Vita Nova - University of Delaware
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Ranked #54 of 353 Restaurants in Newark
Price range: $30 - $45
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: South College
Description: Vita Nova offers fine dining at the University of Delaware campus. The newly renovated restaurant is run by Hospitality Management students and offers three different dining experiences. During Lunch, Vita Nova serves a gourmet buffet lunch Mon-Fri from 11:30am. Come back for dinner to enjoy a delicious four-course fine dining experience in our main dining room or a more casual meal in the Bistro where we offer an innovative small plate menu and a 3-course Theater Menu Wed-Fri from 5:30pm. Vita Nova offers an extensive beverage selection and a 100 bottle wine list.
Oxford, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Operated by UD HRIM students and a total campus gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2012

This restaurant is on the second floor of Trabant University Center (that's the big student center with all the neon lights) and it is run by UD's Hotel Restaurant & Institutional Management school. The servers are all students who are learning, one course per semester (and by course I mean appetizers, entrees....) how to consistently provide incredible food and customer service. The result is a phenomenal multi-course gourmet dining experience in one of the places you'd least expect it. Their hours of operation are very limited so check out their website and make a reservation!

  • Visited October 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Nicole S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    24
    4
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    1
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Newark, Delaware
Level Contributor
76 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Awesome service, awesome food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2011

Always a hit. Always a nice variety of food, great quality, all you can eat at lunch, fabulous service (students who are really making an effort and not just there for a tip), and overall a great experience while supporting the University.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank DEtraveler83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aomori, Japan
Level Contributor
311 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
“Newark's Hidden Gem - Delicious Food & Outstanding Service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2010

Bottom line up front: deliciously deluxe dining experience presented by super-friendly college students in University of Delaware's hospitality management program. (Full disclosure: our daughter currently happens to be one of those students. Even so, I'm a discerning diner who calls things as I see them.)

Wife and I had dinner at Vita Nova on Oct 7. The restaurant offers a four-course meal for about $35. We started with delicious appetizers (Spanish piadas w/goat cheese, caramelized onions, and greens). Then came a selection of breads and butters. But don't fill up on bread, because there's plenty more good food to follow! Our Caesar salad was then made to order at the table -- it was excellent and authentic. Following a sorbet palate cleanser, the student waiters presented our delicious entrees (ahi tuna and a rich pork tenderloin) with great flair. Finally, we enjoyed yummy desserts (creme brulee and home-made ice cream, from UD's own cows). Wow.

UD students perform all the different jobs at Vita Nova, rotating thru the positions to get hands-on experience with restaurant operations. To a person, the students with whom we interacted were professional and friendly. We felt very pampered.

The restaurant's wine list is surprisingly extensive and offers excellent values. For example, we paid $38 for a bottle of 2007 Rex Hill pinot noir, for which (according to a website look-up) you would pay $28 at the winemaker's own vineyard in Oregon.

In summary, I highly recommend Vita Nova. It's a lovely, enjoyable restaurant for anyone looking for a special, leisurely meal. It is a hidden gem in a college town that does not overflow with interesting culinary choices.

Note: because it's a student-run restaurant, Vita Nova is open for dinner only on Weds thru Fri.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Andrew1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, DE
Level Contributor
85 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“UD Students Excel Here”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2010

This is the last lab for the UD Hotel and Management Seniors. They rotate through all of the duties and stations. They are under constant supervision and try to please both clients and instructors. This is not the fastest meal you will have, but their attention is meticulous. I have entertained friends and clients and we have never left without an most excellent impression.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank wildmommms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A hidden gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2009

Vita Nova is a gourmet restaurant serving lunch and dinner roughly Sept - May in a classy restaurant setting. My wife & I, as senior citizens, stop off here on the way to Philly from DC, to break up the driving. We have been here for both lunch and dinner. We have not been disappointed, and look forward to our next visit. Reservations are a must.

This, however, is only part of the story. Vita Nova is also a teaching facility. Students in the U of D culinary school prepare and serve. Their professors are present quietly correcting the young men and women while teaching them and making a great experience for their guests -- the restaurant patrons. The patrons, in turn, become part of that teaching while experiencing a gourmet meal in a great atmosphere. The service is better than that we have received in most restaurants!

Note I said that you help teach. Let me relate two incidents on our latest visit for lunch:

1. Our young waitress began serving us while visably shaking. (We learned later it was only her second day.) We assured her to calm down. I'm sure as she serves more and more people she'll be a pro.

2. The young lady Maitre D asked if I had been there before. I replied "yes. both lunch and dinner." She said she had never been to dinner, and when she did she wanted to invite her parents. I told her her parents were proud of her (no, I didn't know them), and would love to be invited for dinner whether she had been to it or not. I added that she could introduce them to her fellow students.

Try Vita Nova; You'll love it. Remember: open during the school year. Reservations absolutely necessary.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank gerry2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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