Restaurant Review: Vivas Restaurant

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tonight my parents and I visited one of our favorite Jersey shore restaurants, Vivas. Vivas is located in a small shopping center in Belmar. The outside of the restaurant isn’t impressive, but once you step inside, the atmosphere represents the amazing quality of food you are about to receive.

Vivas actually closed for a short amount of time last year so I have not visited the restaurant in almost 2 years. I was a bit disappointed to see that the menu has changed and they took off my favorite item, the Tango Lamb Chops. However, I knew that the chef would not disappoint with the other options on the menu.

I debated between a few choices, but ended up ordering the Signature Chilean Seabass. I have learned that you can never go wrong at a restaurant when you order their “signature” dish. Not to mention, the flavors and accompaniments sounded right up my alley. This dish was described as: “Encrusted in a sweet potato over an artichoke, rosemary, and Cabrales cheese risotto, topped with a wild mushroom caper reduction drizzled with a honey mustard".
The fish was cooked perfectly and had a crispy crust covered with a thin layer of sweet potato puree. The sweet potato added a perfect sweetness to the fish. The sauce was rich and creamy, however I was a bit disappointed with the lack of mushrooms and artichokes (I think I got a total of 3 slices of mushroom and 1 piece of artichoke). It was still very tasty and the risotto was creamy and delicious. I cleaned my plate!

My mom ordered the Ensalada Cubana and added on Grilled Salmon. I have had this salad before as a starter and know that it is fabulous. It is a large portion of greens, warm black beans, cherry tomatoes, and sautéed sweet onions. My mom said the salmon was cooked to her liking (medium rare) and tasted delicious. I know my mom loved it because she finished the whole thing. My mom never finishes her salmon, but when she does I know that it had to have been cooked perfectly!
My dad ordered a Skirt Steak Special wrapped in Serrano Ham and accompanied with shrimp and chimichurri sauce. His meal marked the only negative part of our dinner. When his dish came out, we realized it was not the dish that he ordered. Instead of a skirt steak, they gave him a strip steak (that was cooked not to his liking). He sent it back and received the meal that he originally ordered several minutes later. This was a mistake that could happen very easily in a busy restaurant kitchen, so I convinced my parents to get over it and have more wine :)
My parents also disliked the fact that the busboys wanted to take away our plates before my dad was finished with his meal. We like to keep our plates in front of us until the very last person is eating. I told my parents that the busboys are trained to take the plates away as soon as a person is done eating, but they still believe that it is common courtesy to let everyone keep their plates until the last person is done eating. I do agree that it is sort of awkward to have one person eating while everyone else’s plates are gone.

Vivas made it up to us by offering a few $10 coupons for our next visit because of the minor mistake they made. Although the meals at this restaurant are rather pricey, it is a BYO so we saved money on wine and were able to use coupons to make our bill round out to only $50 (We happened to have some coupons from the last visit too..). That's a bargain for 3 people, especially for the quality of food we received!

Overall it was a wonderful meal and I am very excited to come back again this summer!


mr. pineapple man said...

really loving the blog! wish I could make all those desserts!

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