Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Tucson Dining: Vivace

Are you like me? Do you get into a rut and dine at the same restaurant or same circle of restaurants? It’s like my mind goes into a dark hole and doesn’t venture out.

Tonight I was meeting a friend (Lora) from Oro Valley and trying to figure out a half way mark to meet. Okay, I cheated, Vivace was nearer my house but she didn’t seem to mind.

Here is why Vivace consistently ranks as one of Tucson’s most favorite restaurants.

The owner (I believe Daniel Scordato) greets you at the door. That’s class. He makes you feel at home. So many times a frigid hostess will give you the big chill.

The menu is a cross between Italian and Californian. There’s no pizza and not too much heavy red or cream sauces. Some pastas are served in clear light broths.

I opted for the goat cheese-artichoke cannelloni in mushroom broth on a bed of sauteed spinach. The pasta was almost crepe-like. Yes, it was homemade.

Lora opted for a heavy rich dish of a chicken breast stuffed with crab meat in some kind of rich crab sauce. It came with vegetable rice.

We shared a pear, walnut, and gorgonzola salad on romaine for starters. It was beautifully presented, fresh, and delicious.

Bread in the basket was crusty and fresh. Garlicky-pesto dips and butter accompanied the basket.

There were a handful of wines by the glass both red and white. Lora opted for a pink pinot grigio and I had the traditional pino grigio which was an apt pairing for the cannelloni.

Lora wanted dessert but since I wasn’t going to share (I’m still not eating sugar) she nursed her wine and I had a pot of mint tea.

Anyway we caught up on each other’s lives for the past few months and had a delightfully delicious dinner with better than average and downright wonderful service.

On a Monday night, Vivace was more than three-quarters full. You know it will be jammed as the week goes on.

I highly recommend Vivace in St. Philip’s Plaza. Although we chose to sit inside, on these temperate nights, eating on the twinkling light studded patio, would’ve been perfection.

Vivace doesn’t appear to have a website; that’s a shame.

  1. Are you kidding? this place is heart attack waiting to happen. There is nothing light about their menu. It’s full of cream and butter. I love the food at Vivace because its gushy and comfortable. It may sound Italian and look Italian but it packs on the fat, calories and carbs like a true American restaurant. As far as the “classy” goes, Daniel is at the door sometimes and he can be a little whinny. It’s a good thing their food is good and cheap because their service will leave you as cold as ice. Must be worth it….I keep goin back.

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