BY ANONYMOUS EATER Julia Childs| February 2023
4.5 Stars out of 5: EXPENSIVE
EDITORS NOTE: Julia will periodically post reviews of the various eateries in the SaddleBrooke area. Please feel free to comment. (You have to register to add a comment)
The white tablecloths and the selective menu signify a fine restaurant, but the attire of the patrons undermined that perception. Maybe it was the cold crisp Tucson night that kept people in their comfy clothes. Our server started us with the menus, pesto, and bread while she took our drink order. We both ordered something we don’t normally eat at home. My companion ordered the pork chop with Ceasar salad and the special soup of the day. My meal was the fish special, branzino, with the pear and walnut salad from the menu.
Our glasses wine arrived quickly which we enjoyed with the bread and pesto. I selected Pinot Grigio from Jermann Italy which was light and crisp, everything a Pinot Grigio should be. The Picket Fence Pinot Noir made a pleasant accompaniment to the stuffed pork chop.
The mushroom soup of the day came first and was luscious. With umami galore, this soup had a smooth texture and underlying French onion flavors. The server brought a mini-crock of soup for me to taste while waiting for the salad course.
The pear walnut salad, topped with gorgonzola was served with a light vinaigrette. It was a solid salad with the least flavorful component being the pears. Any chef can be victim to the fresh produce of the day. We both tasted the Caesar salad and agreed that it was a little heavy on the anchovies. We prefer lemon and garlic being the dominant flavors with a touch of anchovy.
Next, the main courses. The pork chop is prepared with breading and stuffed with spinach and fontina cheese with a marsala wine sauce. An irresistible garlic potato puree rounded out the plate. With excellent flavor, the pork chop was a little overcooked which is sometimes the style with pork.
The fish special, branzino, was served with a light lemon and cream sauce, topped with chopped sugar-snap peas and Italian herbs. Served over a bed of mashed cauliflower it was a perfect blend of flavors and textures. This meal is acceptable for the keto eater, but too late, I had already eaten two pieces of bread and pesto!
We were at Vivaces for a special occasion, and they treated us with a creme brulee which was flawless. If you love creme brulee, and who doesn’t, this is one of the best you will find.
Not too far away, Vivace Restaurant is definitely worth the travel time. Either for a special occasion or just to satisfy a yearning for Italian food here in Tucson, enjoy fine dining at Vivace Restaurant.