Ahh, Vida. Just thinking and writing about it is enough to put me in a good mood. I had been excited for the newest feature from the Cunningham Group (Union 50, Mesh, etc) for months, ever since I heard they had a garden “wall” of greens. I read the menu online multiple times (seasonal, farm-to-table fare with a daily tasting menu and rotating a la carte options) and tried to figure out many creative ways to talk Husband into taking me, but alas, it is a pretty pricey place, so I decided to be conscious of our graduate school budget and save it for my birthday.
It was worth the wait.
Let’s talk about first impressions: to start, they have free parking behind the restaurant! So rare for a downtown location! And then you walk into a warm, modern, and welcoming room that showcases an open concept kitchen and the beautiful living salad wall. We were escorted to our table and introduced to our server, who was just one of the delightful people who would take care of us throughout the evening. Because even though Vida looks new and boasts a current menu, the service is nothing but old-school. We had someone to pour our wine, someone to bring us bread (Amish cinnamon bread!), someone to refill our water, and someone else to explain our dishes as they arrived, combined with regular checking-in from our main server. It was classic service at its best.
Husband ordered the tasting menu, along with a serving of polenta. I ordered the wall salad (how could I resist eating a salad picked off the wall?!) and the filet. Husband’s small plates included some beef short ribs, scallops, and this incredible truffle orecchiette that caused me to practice self-control in order not to eat it all for him. His menu came with pavlova for dessert (one of his favorites!) and the restaurant treated me to ricotta doughnuts with brown butter ice-cream for my birthday dessert.
The restaurant was gorgeous, our food was edible art, and our entire experience was full of the best kind wonder and magic that makes for a foodie’s paradise. My pictures do not do it justice, so please check out their website or make a reservation. I highly recommend a trip to Vida, even if it involves a week of budgeting for PB&J afterwards. I hope my next birthday comes quickly!