50 High Street,
(09) 302 2303
The ViewAuckland Review
They say first impressions last and it couldn’t be more right than with Vivace Restaurant and Bar.
My first impression of Vivace was a wee while ago when a friend and I poked our heads up the stairs looking for her husband. It’s a favourite haunt of his and it’s where we found him.
After a quick look around I could see why. Bright staff, lively atmosphere, an open fire, the clinking of wine glasses and the aroma of glorious food has stayed with me.
I returned some weeks later with another friend hoping my judgement hadn’t failed me. It hadn’t. Vivace was even more impressive this time round.
Our booking was early and I thought we might have the restaurant part pretty much to ourselves. I was wrong, even at 6pm on the dot there were several tables already occupied with half finished plates and happy punters marking the end of the working week with friends.
We were offered a table on the covered balcony area and took it. We made a trail through the solid wood tables and wrought iron chairs in the main dining area to the balcony outside and pulled up at a cosy table for two looking down on the people making their way along High St below.
Vivace has enough room to cater for all dining and drinking experiences, including an area for smokers and a private function room for corporate functions, engagements and weddings.
Drink and food menus were left with a smile while we settled in. A short time later our table candle was lit and drinks order taken. The wine list is long with a good selection of local drops and highlighted section for Italian, French, Australian and Spanish reds.
We gossiped while perusing the food menu and narrowing our choices down. It’s a cliché, but true in this case - Vivace has something for everyone - from tapas to share, pizza, a variety of risotto and pasta to more hearty mains.
The waiting staff couldn’t be faulted. Our waiter had perfect timing and took our food orders with an encouraging smile. I couldn’t decide between the roast chicken, tomato, bacon and basil risotto ($17 entree/ $23 main) and the kumara gnocchi with herbed chicken in a creamy tomato sauce ($16 entree/ $21 main) so asked for a recommendation. He didn’t really sway me wither way, but did say he’d tried everything on the menu and could testify it was all pretty good.
In the end I went with the gnocchi and had to stop myself short of cleaning the plate of the sauce with my fingers.
My friend went with chicken fillets wrapped in bacon on potato gratin with pesto cream sauce ($28). She, too, polished off her meal.
We both sat enjoying the ambience completely satisfied. Until dessert came. We probably both overdid it, but it was worth the extra effort to fit in a black forest cake and dark chocolate pudding.
By the time we both waddled down the stairs an hour and a half after arriving my belly was almost the same size as her now visible baby bump.
First impressions do last and I’ll be back to relive this one again and again.
Vivace Restaurant & Bar has been reviewed by 9 users