Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bread, Boar, Booze and Broadway????

Look at that guy - doesn't he look like he's having fun??? Oh he was - he just hates to admit it!

I have to admit - I'm hard pressed to put up pics of food after this night!

So if you haven't been to Vito's Cafe - which you most likely haven't - it's an interesting and entertaining evening!

The restaurant is located in Fort Thomas, KY just off the corner of Grand & Highland. It's a really cute little "village" of buildings and Vito's is at the back.

It's very old-school Italian - red walls, white table clothes, etc... but they bill themselves as the only restaurant with SINGING SERVERS!

Yes - it's like you're stuck in High School Musical 3 - randomly throughout the evening - they break out into song! And it's just not singing - it's musical theatre!

The singers are pretty good - the female is more trained operatically while the male is a bit more "musical theatre" - but both are good. Honestly - it's pretty cheesy - but it's also a lot of fun! Just while you're eating for them to come up and break out into Phantom of the Opera - it brings about a giggle!

They were very fun too - they came and sang Happy Birthday to Ron and brought him Key Lime Pie with a birthday candle! Then the soprano sang a song from Carmen to all the boys at my table. Thats the picture of Scott at the top...I have equally incriminating photos of Ron & John on my Facebook page!

Should I finally talk about the food? Oh fine - jeez!

Vito's has a new chef - Romy Jung - previously from The Palace in downtown Cincinnati. He's
instituted a new menu and it's got some fancy nice stuff! (That's the technical term for it!)

I started with the Gorgonzola Garlic Bread (top food photo). AMAZING! Literally delish! Has a white wine sauce and was so good. The bread was garlicky but yet buttery and flavorful - oh i just can't say enough about it!

Next up - our entrees. I had the Wild Boar Ragu - which is a reminder of a Palace Dish (Lamb Ragout). It's a strong dark sauce - the Palace serves it with goat cheese and this was lacking that - so I asked for some and Vito brought some for me! Oh it made ALL the difference in the world. I really love this dish - and the boar instead of lamb was nice. It is missing veggies - mushrooms would be a very nice addition to the dish.

My friends had the trout, shrimp and Lamb Stinco (last photo). They were all tasty - I tried each and I'd say the trout was my 2nd favorite. My cohorts also ordered the warm goat cheese salad (delish) and the mushroom croquettes (pretty good).

The food is definitely "fine dining" - the dishes are different than you find at a normal Italian place (ala Buca di Beppo, Maggianos, etc...). There are a few pasta dishes but there are a lot of meat/fish dishes. The prices aren't cheap - entrees range from $20-$30...salads are $8-12. So by the time you're done with a drink and a tip - you're easily at $50 per person.

And...the singing. In my opinion, it's a bit of a schtick, but you can tell the owner is very passionate about it. Vito even gets up and sings throughout the evening. The patrons were a bit older than our party for the most part and it seems they go for the entertainment.

I really enjoyed myself at Vitos - part of it was the company but the food is really good and unique and the entertainment contributed to our good time. It was a hoot! I do think it's a bit of a special occasion place. I can't imagine going on a regular basis...but it was fun. My mom would LOVE it! I think it would be really fun for a group of people too...

I would say if they want to become more of a regular stop - lower the prices and sing a little less. I mean - just a LITTLE - I know that's part of the charm - but maybe one song at a time rather than three.

So for the rating - 3 stars - the food is really enjoyable but the prices are a bit high... For a special occasion, give it a try!

Vito's Cafe
654 Highland Ave. Suite 29
Ft. Thomas, KY 41075
(859) 442-9444

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