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“Great Italian. Good Service”
Review of Vivace

Vivace
Ranked #57 of 552 Restaurants in Charlottesville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $20
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: Vivace Restaurant, located on Ivy Road near the University Of Virginia , opened its doors in July of 1995. Housed in the former main quarters of a peach orchard, Vivace attracts patrons with its diverse atmosphere. From the cozy intimate upstairs, which hints at the comfort and ease of Nona's home, to the vast expanse of our multi-tiered outdoor terrace, the ambiance at Vivace appeals to all. The 1940s hand-crafted serpentine bar in the lounge provides a festive setting for the light-hearted. For the romantic, enjoy a glass of wine by our inviting fireplace. From the moment you arrive, you'll discover that Vivace is full of Italian charm. Our unique decor and old family photos will transport you to a quaint Italian village, creating a welcoming atmosphere. Providing authentic entrees has been our primary goal for the past eighteen years.
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great Italian. Good Service”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

We were craving Italian and out first choice was booked due to Parent's Weekend at UVa. The wife and one of our other couple friends had been to Vivace a few times. The food was really good. I had the chicken picata. Was pleasantly surprised because many places overdo it on the lemon. This was just the right amount. The food for all four of us was great!

Our server was definitely full of energy. he was running from table to table and barely stopped long enough to take our order. We actually had to call him over a few times because when he delivered our food, water, and bread he forgot to ask if we had everything or needed anything else. The only table he paused for was when a group of about 10 girls came in.He definitely serviced them the way I wish he did for the rest of his tables. I think they were from a sorority and it was one of their 21st b-days.

Overall, food was great. Service was good but decent for what I expect from a college kid .

I would d

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TomCat27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ruckersville, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
88 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Love the tomato sauce!”
Reviewed October 20, 2012

We ate here for our wedding night (small group) and we eat here almost every anniversary. Very romantic setting. I love their tomato sauce, so I ordered the eggplant parmesan. The plates are a good size, and I did not leave any. So good!

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ereina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Consistent & Reliable”
Reviewed October 13, 2012 via mobile

Returned to Vivace for the second time after an initial fine meal. The wait staff is always so pleasant and full of energy. The service was excellent. Started with the Bruschetta appetizer which was excellent. Great tomato mixture with balsamic. The salads were crisp. The entrees were great. The tuna was cooked perfectly and the old standard veal parmigiana was expertly cooked. Very tasty. The decor may be old and tired but the charm is there. Highly recommend you will not be disappointed.

Helpful?
Thank Palapaman24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Good hearty Italian pasta at ~$25 per plate”
Reviewed October 10, 2012

Vivace is equivalent to the Italian place around the corner that you go to when you don't want to make the spaghetti yourself. I've been there twice. Waitresses are friendly, service is alright but sometimes slow. But most importantly they are polite, which is top of my priorities list. Decor is old and rusted and could certainly use a lift to make it more lively. Toilets are not the cleanest. It spells "tired" to me.

I won't make any judgments about the price per plate of pasta because everyone has different interpretations of what is "good value". Just keep in mind that it is $25 per plate. The pasta is good, bolognaise was really tasty, but then again it's hard to go wrong with Spaghetti Bolognaise. I tend to order an extra sausage on the side to add some spice to it. My husband ordered the grilled fish with capers on a bed of spaghetti which he found "okay". The safest option at Vivace is really to go for one of the pasta dishes. Desert is not mind blowing, basic ice cream and cakes.

So, as I said at the start, Vivace really is the corner Italian you would go to for a quick fix on a Saturday night. Sadly, I would not count on them for a special occasion like anniversaries / birthdays simply because the decor does not do enough to create the right ambience and service can be a little bit on the slow side. I also think that it would do much better marketing itself either as honest hearty Italian food (think red checkered table cloths with basic chairs) and dropping their prices slightly to meet expectations, or doing a full renovation with more lighting, immaculately clean toilets, new chef that can experiment with his dishes, and a faster waitstaff that has not lost their friendliness. Right now, it is neither and in between the two, charging prices equivalent of an upper class restaurant with food that is basic and decor that looks like it has not changed since the restaurant opened.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Cindy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Spotty quality”
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Dinner there this past weekend, Sept 2012. Calamari was subpar with coating falling off (probably was dipped wet into the batter). The chicken with pasta was mediocre, not much meat, and taste fair.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank informedtripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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