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General Info
Serving traditional Italian for more than 20 years in an relaxed, romantic atmosphere.
Mon - Wed 11:00 am - 10:00 pm, Thu 11:00 am - 11:00 pm, Fri 11:00 am - 11:30 pm, Sat 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm, Sun 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
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Price Range
West Side, West Town, Fulton Market

Vivo Restaurant

Italian Restaurants, Mediterranean Restaurants, Wine, Bar & Grills, Caterers, Restaurants
Other Information

Cuisines: Mediterranean, Caterers, Italian, European, Continental, Bar & Grills

Price Range : Above Average


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Provided by Citysearch - 
Editorial review from Citysearch

This place has always been a personal fave for unwinding after work before a show. The staff will take time to chitchat with customers if things are slow and the food is always hot.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Thinking of Calling the Health Department

What a disappointment. We had eaten here once before and LOVED it. We later purchased a groupon and visited in April '11. The atmosphere is dark, cozy and romantic. The wall opposite the bar is stacked with hundreds of wine bottles. While sitting at our table by candlelight, we noticed that the bottles had NEVER been dusted as we could see tons of dust floating around and settling in our martinis. There was a rubber band in my wife's wine glass. The topper was the woman's hair INSIDE her spinach which she found after putting the bite in her mouth. The manager immediately said the cooks wear hats and waiter said it was my wifes hair. It was not her hair and our meal was already paid for. No apologies made and charged for everything. BEWARE!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Freeezing private room

The food was very good but our family holiday celebration was overshadowed by the frigid conditions and accompanying frigid attitude of the staff. Beware - if you are escorted up the stairs to table #7. All six of us ate with our coats on - and buttoned. We think it used to be an elevator shaft and on a cold winter night we got the shaft and paid for it! Our waitress agreed it ""sure is cold"" but no one seemed to care too much to do anything about it. We were met with poor service (front desk attitude) from the start and it never improved. While we appreciated getting a same day weekend night one should be seated in that room on a cold winter night. Space heaters on the floor are not enough!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Too Much Noise

This was a nice place, but not ideal for a first date due to the tables being too close together and the loudness. I enjoyed the food - just didn't like having to shout over the noise so much. :(




Provided by Citysearch - 
great spot!

I have always enjoyed hitting this unique spot in the west loop for a great meal and a great time. The service is not stuffy and the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. I have had the same server a few times and he always remember waiting on me and what wine I usually order. The most recent time I was there we got him again and he came up to the table and told us they were actually out of the wine I liked but he had already thought of some suggestions of different bottles I might enjoy just as much. He was right on, the new wine was fantastic. And I was pretty impressed by his ability to remember and offer something he knew we would enjoy.
There is always a long list of specials to choose from. I ordered a bone in stuffed veal chop that was delicious, and my date ordered the rigatoni pasta with peas and goat cheese, which the waiter said was one of his favorites.

If your looking for a very fine-dining, stuffy atmosphere, with robots as waiters, this is not the place for you. If you want to be in a fun and lively space with good food, service, and ambiance; then Vivo is the place.

They also recently opened the new lounge next door and had a DJ playing the Saturday night we were there. We sat in the lounge after our meal for a night cap and had a great time.

They are obviously still doing things right, since I was told they have been open for 17 years. I will definitely be returning again and again.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Restaurant, Great Atmosphere.

I've been a restaurant owner in San Antonio, Texas for 15 years, so when I was in Chicago on business I decided to check out Vivo, based on a suggestion by a friend. For a busy Saturday night it was perfect! The service was impeccable. My server knew everything about ever bottle of wine on the list (I think he even mentioned he ordered the wine), and helped me pair with an excellent entree. I kept htinking to myself: ""I wish I could find staff this knowledgable for my restaurants."" After dinner me and my friends decided to check out the lounge for some more drinks. The atmosphere was great, the DJ played great music that fit the atmophere perfectly, and the bartenders were very friendly. Just when I thought to myself this place was perfect I noticed a very loud, older gentleman ordering the staff around. He was very angry and very bitter, and not to mention very intoxicated. Being in resaturants myself I assumed this clown was just some obnixious regular, so I asked the hostess, and she said: ""Oh, thats the owner."" I'm not sure if this man knows anything about running a restaurant, but that kind of image is really bad for business. ESPECIALLY if he's the owner! All in all Vivo is a great restaurant, and I would recommend it to anyone. I just hope the owner isn't there when they go.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Avoid this restaurant during early evening - beware if there are a lot of empty tables!

I took a friend to Vivo's for his birthday after telling him how many times over the past 10 years I had enjoyed the food and service -- what a mistake! I don't know what was going on with our server but she was rude and very curt. She seemed to be put out because we asked questions about the appetizers and wine. After our meal arrived, we were being rushed through our meaI which seemed odd because there were at least 5 vacant tables. I tried not to make a scene while there but the next day I called to speak to a manager and was told someone would call me back. No one did. I even gave the server's name plus I went to their website and wrote a long narrative about the problems we had but, no response! I have never been so ticked off and disappointed in a restaurant!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Wonderful meal

After reading some of the reviews about bad service, I was alittle worried when making the reservations. Turns out reservations weren't needed on a Sunday late afternoon. Perhaps thats why the service was impeccable, I don't know. After ordering drinks, my wife and I weren't ready to order meals just yet, so the waiter gave us an appropriate amount of time,before returning. The appetizer we shared, a soft cheese (sorry I can't remember the name) was infused with truffle oil, served over arugula with pieces of fig, pear,and other accompaniments, all with a reduced balsamic drizzled over it, well it was heavenly. I could have mad a main course of it, the variety of tastes and textures was scrumptious. Our main courses, mine an ahi tuna and my wifes the pasta with rapini, were very good, but not quite up to the appetizer. Dessert was a shared pistachio gelato with meringus chips that was delicious and quite a decent size. Service was very good; attentive, but not overbearing. We sat outside on a gorgeous September afternoon, that always helps the overall feeling one gets from a restaurant. All in all a great dining experience



Provided by Citysearch - 
You must be kidding - This survives in Chicago???

ok - lets get real here. I actually grew up in the business, I own a fine dining establishment and I am embarrassed to write this but its all true and unfortunately deserving. The service is a C- AT BEST. The food is a solid C AT BEST. I did not have a reservation and my wife and I were seated in a second class table WITH THE ENTIRE RESTAURANT EMPTY AT 6PM ON SATURDAY. Maybe a few table outside and two tables inside were being used. I couldn't believe it. I laughed and asked the host, ""are you kidding me"" all these tables and you have us at a table without toom to place my silverware and a plate. This was a joke - they tried to make it better and failed miserably. It appears no one really cares there either. MY server was wearing converse all stars for God's sake. Is this slick or trendy? Bad service, totally not impressed with dinner either. I will give them this, they have a great look to the store. It's sharp on the inside only. I know I know you think I am critical because I am in the business. But this time I was ciritical as a regular customer. TREAT WALK INS WITH RESPECT AND THEY'LL RETURN NEXT TIME. As it stands now, I am never spending my night there again. We almost got up and left. Oh and my the way - the drinks ARE expensive and believe me they didn't give me a generous pour either. This was laughable on all counts. I won't mention my restaurant and appear to pander - but please please give other Chicago fine dining eaterys a chance. This one missed the mark BIG TIME.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Loved the food not the volume

I recently had a wonderful dinner just down the street from my doggie daycare and I really enjoyed it.
If your looking for a quite peaceful dinner this is not the place. Otherwise, BRAVO!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Skip It!

Let me start off by saying that this place could be great. The atmosphere and the decor is awesome! The food is very good as well, but the service is below average for a Chicago restaurant. Especially at the prices they charge, which in my opinion is way too much! The drinks are very small and very expensive as well. That said, I just returned from Rome, and I have to say the gnocchi at Vivo was just as good as the gnocchi in Italy.
Funny story- A friend of mine whom I was dining with at Vivo asked about a dessert she had had there about a year ago that is no longer on the menu. The waiter said, ""Oh, we can't make that anymore. The blender broke"". Hmmmm. So she asks the manager. He says, ""No, that is not true, I don't know what he is talking about!"" He proceeds to get cozy with some MUCH younger girls at a table. Well, while we are sitting at the bar having an after dinner drink, the manager brings her the dessert she had asked about. Nice right? We thought so too until we see he charged us $15 for it! Needless to say, bad business move. I will not be going back.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall very good

We were heading to Timo, another four lettered Italian restaurant in the Randolf street neighborhood, and we found that was out of business. So we headed down Randolf figuring with two of us on Friday night we might be able to visit Marche or Sushi Wabi there, but instead we popped into Vivo -give something new a try. And were we glad we did. I felt very comfotable there in the great atmosphere, we waited for a few minutes at the less-busy bar in back which was complete with its own sommelier, he picked out some winners in the wine department and was happy to let us taste before we comitted. He knew his wines. After just a few minutes we found a quiant little table next to the 'wall of wine' which needs no further explaination. I would recommend the lamb in the grape reduction sauce, it's really good. Our waiter had the one quality that most waiters neglect or sometimes take for granted in a place like this albeit a simple thing: he listened to us, and he understood what we were saying. So we tipped the hell out of him and drank a bunch and the bill still wasn't that bad!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Not so much

Wow - a tremendous amount of hype but a much bigger let down.

I will admit the food was great but that's about it.

Service was H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E

Honestly, I got better service at Bar Louie - across the street.

What really gets me is that our group (4 women) politely - let me reiterate politely explained the multitude of service issues to the manager. The manager was very apologetic but never came back to our table. We waited 15 mintues and ""poof"" it was apparent this person was unable or unwilling to do anything so they decided to hide until we left.

I really feel bad for the Chef as the food was really good.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Never again!!!!

Never go to this resturant on a Valentines Day. It is too noisy, to crowded, did they rent extra table to stuff us in like sardines? They also made it clear that they did not want you to linger over your meal to savory any romantic moment you could wring out of this disaster. The service was BAD and the food average. What is so hard about serving an appetizer first then a salad after when people want to share andd tell you? When asked our waiter said that is how they always did it, except for the table next to us. Once questioned it was down hill from there. To his credit he corrected it after asked but then showed up at the table only once after to give us the bill. Needless to say we will not go back nor should you.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Dont Compromise the Cosmo!

Pretty bad here.
#1- I requested a Cosmopolitan martini with Grey Goose vodka while at the bar. Well, they said they use some type of Blueberry vodka. The drink was way too sweet and nasty.
#2-The hostess never took us up to the conference room. We saw others going upstairs, so we went ahead!
#3- They offered two types of salads. I asked if the ""house"" salad had tomatoes in it (I love tomatoes), server said, No"" so I got the Cesars salad. However, when other got their house salads, it had beautiful tomatoes in them afterall. The server was stupid!
#4- The linguini with shrimps was nasty. The red sauce was too thick and salty.
#5- We did not get served bread. When we asked, about one hour later they brought out loaves of COLD BREAD! No olive oil, no parmesean cheese, no butter! I am not kidding!

All aspects of this ""Italian"" restaurant were lousy! There are so many better Italian cuisines in Chicago. Do not go to Vivo.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Food, excellent, friendly service!!

Vivo has always been one of my favorite places to dine on the weekends. The atmosphere is lively and upbeat, the staff is friendly and always remembers what I like to order. Was surprised to read the last review,... Andrew K. has waited on me several times, and is always very pleasant, knowledgeable, and attentive. The food is always great and the wine selection changes quite frequently.

I recommend Vivo to anyone looking to have a great time, and a great meal!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Better Options Elsewhere

While the setting and food were noteworthy in a pleasant way, the service and experience left plenty to be desired. If you decide to try Vivo and are looking for good service, be sure to avoid Andrew K's section unless you wish to be treated as though you were in McDonalds. You might also ask the host to keep the rest of the service staff clear of your table until you are actually finished dining before they swipe your plate from you. It's a shame one should even have to consider making such requests to ensure a pleasant dining experience. There are plenty of other restaurants in Chicago where such requests are not needed!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great date spot

Great date spot, great food. So relaxing, atmosphere is BEAUTIFUL! A little on the pricy side, the appetizers are big enough to order a few for a light dinner. Staff is making sure everyone is taken care of.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Friendly service, expensive for the quality

Very pricey drinks and food. I didnt think it was great, especially b/c I got food bourne illness
The staff was friendly, surprisingly unpretentious.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Mushroom Happy Mediocre Food

I tried this restaurant based on reviews I read here and elsewhere, and I must say I was gravely dissapointed. The food was mediocre and they put mushrooms in 90% of it. The staff was fine, the atomosphere and decor was great, but for the price, the food should have been better...