Vivo Italian Kitchen At Universal Citywalk Orlando
One thing I enjoy about visiting Universal Orlando Resort is all the dining options. They have so many restaurants to choose from that aren’t all Universal “themed”. I visited a great Italian place while I was there last week called Vivo Italian Kitchen at Universal Citywalk. The atmosphere was definitely a step up from casual but not really fine dining either. To be honest there just isn’t a lot of fine dining in Orlando but Vivo Italian Kitchen is still in the middle. You can where shorts, you can bring your kids, but the lights will be dimmed and a nice place setting will be set in front of you.
When you enter Vivo Italian Kitchen you’ll notice the swank upscale design. It certainly doesn’t feel like your Italian Grandma’s kitchen based on decor however they do have a an Expo Kitchen smack in the middle of the restaurant. This way you can see everything they are cooking up. While we were visiting they actually had fresh pasta hanging on racks. If that doesn’t say Italian I don’t know what does.
Once we were seated the wine was the first thing brought to the table because of course, how can you visit Vivo with some Vino. I personally don’t drink but the dinner mates seemed to be quite happy with their selections. Soon after we received some appetizers.
Vasi-Mini Mason Jars with Tuscan Toast each holding one Roasted Eggplant, Tomato Mozzarella, Ricotta with Candied Walnuts and With Beans with Pesto
Hand Pulled Mozzarella with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Glaze, Olive Tapanade and Pesto Oil
Delicious. I could have had an entire meal with the Ricotta and Candied Walnuts Mason Jar and the Hand Pulled Mozzarella. Who needs an entree right? Well the answer is you do, you need an entree. And let me tell you about a few.
Lasagna-Vivo does Lasagna a bit different than other places. They are very heavy on the Ricotta and instead of a plate you get a deep bowl type dish. There isn’t as much pasta as you might be used to. I found it to have a very soft almost soupy texture. It isn’t soup, so don’t misunderstand, but there is a reason they don’t give it to you on a plate. But it is also so tasty and the sauce has a sweet kick. I loved it and would have come back another day to reorder. Luckily I live close so I can!
Pork Loin-The Pork Loin seems to be a thin cut with a strong grilled flavor. My husband said it was light but filling. The mashed potatoes were manly and filling as well. He said if we went back he’d try a pasta dish to mix it up a bit. This wasn’t his favorite. He went out on a limb though so he knows he would have liked something else more.
Bolognese-Basic Spaghetti with meat sauce however the person sitting next to me said it was certainly anything but. Apparently it had a flavor all it’s own and that is a good thing. This special spaghetti had two different people at the table swooning and wishing for seconds. This may be a good safe pick if you are a picky eater.
A few other choices on the menu which we did not sample would be:
Squid Ink Seafood
Linguine and Clams
Vivo Welcomes Kids
Finally the children’s menu choices were really a huge hit. My 6 year old will eat just about anything but my 9 year old is much pickier. They had no issue choosing a meal at Vivo Italian Kitchen.
Spaghetti with Meatballs-Usually a safe bet with kids. The kicker here though was the size of the meatballs. As you can see Spencer’s mind was blown and we have a picture that captured the moment.
Cheese Pizza-Another safe bet. What we didn’t expect was for the pizza to be gigantic. One child size pizza was large enough for two children or more. Keep that in mind when ordering.
Vivo Is Mostly Ala Carte
One last thing to remember, if you order pasta this is a true Italian restaurant so you will not get any sides. Pasta is considered a “warm up” meal to the entree which here in America we are not used to. We eat our pasta as our dinner. So only entrees will have side at Vivo Italian Kitchen. Be sure to order one of the delicious appetizers and a salad in order to fill up if the mouth watering palate pleasing pasta dishes are in your sight that evening.
I’d recommend Vivo Italian Kitchen at Universal Citywalk Orlando whether you are here on vacation or a local out for a dinner date. Don’t be afraid to try something new because even your old standards like Lasagna might have a new take. Check it out at https://www.universalorlando.com/Restaurants/CityWalk/Vivo-Italian-Kitchen.aspx
*I visited Universal Resorts Orlando during a press trip. All opinions are my own. Special thanks to OnTheGoInMCO.com and MyBoysandTheirToys.com for the extra pictures!