Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Pizzeria Vivace: Tucson Restaurant Review

This past week I finally had the opportunity to dine at Pizzeria Vivace with Ditte Lokon. Anything that Daniel Scordato does seem to work well. He’s the guy with restaurant magic.

 Pizzeria Vivace is located at St. Philip’s Plaza and it competes with itself with Vivace and Albert Hall’s Acacia. On the Wednesday night we were there, the Pizzeria was buzzing at 8:15 while the other two restaurants had almost emptied.

 First, the wine by the glass prices – yikes, wine is reasonably priced.  My pet peeve is going into a restaurant and not being able to order a glass of wine for less than $9. Wines by the glass ranged from $4.50 to $6.75; bottles from $15 to $48 with most in the $20-$30 range.

Ditte opted for 14 Hands Riesling for $6/glass and then later Poggio Chianti for $4.50. It was the biggest glass of wine I have seen poured in awhile. We could’ve bathed in it. I drank a bottle of Moretti beer for $3.25.

Here’s a lowdown on Pizzeria Vivace’s menu – appetizers range from $7.95 to $11.95 plus $1 per person for garlic toast; salads $3.95 to $7.50; 12-inch pizzas $12 to $17; desserts hover around $5.

We started with antipasto for two ($11.95). The roasted asparagus, spinach-cheese frittata, three kinds of salumi (Italian meats) and three kinds of cheese plus garlic toast were artfully placed on a white square platter.  The presentation and portion size was a good fit. 

There are nine pizzas to choose from. Amazingly, we both leaned to the prosciutto, arugula, and fresh tomato pizza ($14.50) with Parmigiano Reggiano shavings over fontina and mozzarella.  This pizza reminded me of a similar pizza that I ate at Vero Amore about a month ago, except at Vero Amore the crust was thinner.

 Of course, we couldn’t finish the pizza (Ditte took it for breakfast) but that didn’t stop Ditte from pushing me over the edge and ordering dessert. When the chocolate hazelnut gelato with chocolate sauce and hazelnuts ($5.50) came to the table, all eyes in this part of the restaurant followed it, some people’s mouth were even agape. The dessert was huge. I asked the waiter, “Are you sure that’s only one dessert?” He nodded affirmative. Four people could’ve shared.

 The above prices quoted are the dinner menu. I didn’t look at the lunch menu; there is no takeout.

There’s no shortage of decent pizza in Tucson and now Pizzeria Vivace just added to the competition.

Pizzeria Vivace is located at 4280 N. Campbell Avenue, suite 55 (formerly 58 Degrees), 529-2700. Lunch is served Monday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; dinner Monday-Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 4 to 10 p.m. No reservations are not accepted.

Karyn Zoldan – eat.tucson@yahoo.com   Follow me on Twitter!

  1. Wow, you actually liked this pizza? I love Daniel Scordato and think that Vivace is one of the best restaurants in town, but I think his pizza place is an utter disaster. This is the first positive thing I’ve heard about the place since it opened. I’d probably go to Dominoes before I’d eat there again.

  2. Jason, Dominoes is pretty bad in my opinion, so them’s “fightin words”. :’) Would you care to shed a little light on your experience that made it so bad? All for the sake of discussion, of course.

  3. I haven’t tried it, but like Jason- this is the first positve review I’ve read. I am looking forward to trying it- thanks.

  4. I was excited when I found out that the Pizzeria was opening because I love Vivace. I recently moved here from NYC and I’m 30.

    I was so disgusted with the ambiance. It was full of ugly fake floral arrangements and it was so brightly lit despite it being dinner. If Scordato wants to find a new niche in Tucson – Think out side of the box.

    Your food is good – but get over this tacky Tucson style which brings no mood to your environment. Study what other cities are doing in there restaurants. Look outside Arizona!

  5. The pizza is over-priced and soggy. It was just falling apart as I was trying to eat it. And the pizzas are never the same size. Sometimes you get a big one, other times a really small one, even though they’re supposed to be 12 inches…You can hear chefs yelling in the kitchen. The cheesecake was good, though/

  6. Kasey, thanks for being so descriptive about the food. I don’t like soggy food either. A national restaurant that has soggy food is Chipotle — their tortillas are steamed and are disgusting. Moe’s is much better, in my opinion.

  7. I was really excited about trying this pizza, until I read the comments that followed your review. We are going out with clients tonight….I think I’d better re-think it.

  8. Oh, Lynn just go for it. Then come back and give us a review. Dan Scordato doesn’t make those many mistakes.

    P.S. I used to write your real estate advertorials when I worked for TNI.

    Small world that you found my blog.

  9. I’m sorry but we are from the Chicago area and loved this pizza, we were there for 4 weeks an ate there five times. The crust was crispy the sauce was excellant every time we were there, it was a great pizza, salad was great also, will miss thsi pizza from Tucson. Midwest and sad no vivace here

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