Went to Vivas last night in Belmar NJ and overall it was a disappointment. We were expecting the flair that Will Vivas showed when he was at Bistro Ole but our meal was mediocre at best.
Bread was brought out as we sat down. Doughy and pretty ordinary, the infused olive oil had nice flavor.
We started by sharing the Polenta and Shrimp which consists of grilled yellow corn polenta, sauteed spinach, grilled shrimp and garlic-poblano sauce.
The good is that the shrimp were fresh and tasty. The bad was that the polenta was mushy and the garlic-poblano sauce was bland and and too thick, almost starchy. How a garlic-poblano sauce can be bland is beyond me:)
DW had the Halibut crusted with potato on top of spinach with two different sauces, one a tomato based sauce and the other a black bean sauce. The better of the two entrees, this was tasty but the fish was overcooked and dry.
I had the "signature" dish of Skirt Steak Cubano which was mojo marinated Cuban style skirt steak, sauteed onions and rice and beans. I asked for the skirt steak medium rare and the thin cut of meat came out medium well. I could not detect any distinct marinade. The rice and beans were dry and not especially flavorful. This dish should be brimming with flavor and instead it was rather bland.
We shared a dessert special of French Toast with Vanilla Ice Cream that had a bit of maple drizzled on the side and chocolate drizzled on the ice cream. Also came with a small cup of Mexican styled hot chocolate. Well thought out dessert that was very tasty.
A 2004 Alesia Pinot Noir was consumed and enjoyed during dinner. Service from our server was warm and friendly.
Value here is questionable as we had 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, 1 dessert and the bill before tip was $90.00. If you decide to go, here is some information about the restaurant.