In a neighborhood suddenly thick with wine bars, Vai has made an impression. Hounds have been happily grazing on generous cheese plates, cured meats (bresaola, prosciutto, etc.), and crudi with ever-changing seasonings (yellowtail might come with avocado one week, preserved ginger and white soy the next).
There are pizzette; Marine Engineer likes one with prosciutto, fig, and Brie. There’s pasta; rigatoni with sausage, tomato, and ricotta is a standout. There’s grilled seafood; calamari gets a lift from lemon preserve and caper sauce. Over all, harrison sums up, “pretty damn good!”
Vai, open since summer, is a full restaurant as well as a wine bar, but few hounds seem to have gotten past the small plates. harrison, who has, recommends the roasted whole branzino.
Vai [Upper West Side]
225 W. 77th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue), Manhattan
Board Links: Vai–UWS