Chicago >Food & Dining > Vivere
71 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6060341.880586 -87.630175
Mon-Thu 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm
Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-11pm
Neighborhoods: Central, Loop
Very Poor Service and Dining Experience – My wife and I went here for our anniversary after seeing good reviews online. I made a reservation in advance, asking for a back table or quiet table, somewhere away from the door. When we arrived, we were quickly seated, but they sat us in front by the door. I am sure the experience would have been better if we were back farther: people were constantly brushing by our table coming in and out. It was very noisy and had a constant draft.
My wife and I didn't really feel like wine, but apparently we should have: everyone around us ordered wine and received much better service from our waitress. Our service was definitely lacking: the waitress was short, occasionally polite, but never friendly. When she first approached the table, she said "here is your menu," and then 10 minutes later she came back and said, "what do you want?" - those were her exact words. We had to ask for an appetizer and if there were any specials. When the food came - and it was prompt, even though they were busy - my pasta was undercooked. I am all for al dente, but it was still a bit crispy. My wife's dish was good, but both were overpriced for the quality. For the rest of the night, we were largely ignored by our waitress, having to flag other people down to get what we wanted. Overall, we felt a bit herded through the process, not what you hope for on your anniversary. Needless to say, our experience was very disappointing . . . we won't be going back.
So, if you decide to go, make sure you get a back table, and order wine. Apparently their service is based on how much they think you will spend (although we usually leave a 30% tip).
A pre-theater crowd flocks to this contemporary Italian restaurant across from the LaSalle Bank Theatre. – The Scene
All swirly reds and golds, with hanging light fixtures and trippy copper sculptures, stylish Vivere is the mod, slightly rebellious youngster among the three Italian Village restaurants (La Cantina and Italian Village are the others). Despite its flashy style, the place is warm and intimate, thanks to cozy two-person booths and a low-ceilinged bar. The room teems with power-lunching businesspeople at noontime and theatergoing families and couples at dinner.
Spaghetti and meatballs? Forget it. The light, contemporary Italian cuisine is as daring as the decor--and it can be just as thrilling. Ravioli are filled with fragrant, sweet, spiced butternut squash and cooked in sizzling brown butter; pan-roasted duck breast is plated with chestnuts, apples and onions, and kissed with apple cider-celery broth; and mushroom tortine melts heavenly smooth and creamy in the mouth.
One of the best.... – My girlfriend and I had one of the best Italian meals at Vivere prior to seeing Wicked this past week as a Christmas treat. The night could not have started better. We were seated promptly on a busy Friday night (had reservations) and our server Caroline was one of the best I?ve ever had. We did not have the time for the Chef?s tasting menu due to the play but Caroline worked with us and helped create our own tasting experience paired with wine. The Gnocchi di Tartafo Nero con Astice e Spinaci was simple amazing starter and everything else just got better. I would recommend Vivere to anybody and will definitely visit again with friends and family for the Chef?s tasting menu.
Great Experience – I loved this place, the waitstaff is all about customer service even tho the place was rocking, my water glass and wine glass was always full.The food is unique not your typical red sauce Italian restaurant, the menu is seasonal.I loved the buternut squash filled pasta and the venison rib chop.The wine list is huge but the staff is helpful, they even let you taste the wines by the glass if your unsure.The dessert platter was well worth the money almost one of every dessert.This exp[erience is what italian food is all about, a gracious staff and outstanding food.
Fantastic cuisine and ambiance – I've eaten in several italian restaurants thru-out the city, but love coming to Vivere!! The arrabbiatta sauce is to die for and the wine list extensive!! The prices are all very reasonable and this is a great place to take clients for lunch. It is alos a great date place as the mood and lighting are very romantic. I would recommend the Pollo Alla Cacciatora or the Pollo Alla Parmigiana, both are fantastic and the portions are good sized.
Best Italian Food and Wine in the City – I dine out often in Chicago for business and pleasure and dine at Vivere because it is a great dining experience all around. from the setting to the service everything clicks at this place. This is not a chain or group of restaurants. The design is comfortable and the Wine Director has great wines by the glass (reasonable $ ) and the Bottle List is unbelievable. Last time I had the Duck with the fresh figs and the Porcini Risotto. Tops in my book ! The Captain is very pleasant and checked to see if everything was fine. One time I had the Tasting menu and the Chef comes to the table to discuss the menu and explain each dish. Takes some time 2.5 hours, but well worth it. My clients always enjoy the great service and personal touch . It is great before the Opera and the Symphony and Theatres. I appreciate this place and know you will also.
Disappointing Food and Service – My boyfriend and I went to dinner here before the theater on Friday. We arrived at 6 pm (with reservations) and were completely rushed through our meal (which was not at all what we wanted). The food arrived 10-15 minutes after we ordered it (I had a chicken dish, he had ravoli), which made me wonder how fresh it was. The chicken was very dry, and I was dissapointed in overall quality of food and service. Also, we were seated in perhaps the most "unromantic" part of the restaurant in the line of traffic and near the front door. I would recommend one of the several other restaurants in the area which I would assume treat their customers better.
One of the most romantic restaurants in Chicago. – This is one of the very first restaurants my husband took me to. The ambiance is incredible. The lighting is dim yet within the booths there is a light fixture that throws off enough light to see well and is very flattering. The wine list is a literal book and the sommelier is more than happy to help you find something perfect in your price range. The food is incredible. Which it has to be considering it's sharing space with 2 other Italian restaurants in the building. This is a definite romantic date spot.
great food/ great wine list/ great service – My wife and I ate here before attending a musical. Staff jumped at every chance to help us. Ambiance was romantic, and quiet. We arrived very early, and were able to sit after dinner w/out staff rushing us out the door. This was a great dining experience, and I highly recommend it.
Not worth it – My husband took me here the night he proposed to me, and had told the wait staff that he was going to so that they can really go out of our way. They did nothing. I ordered the ravioli and I got 4 tiny raviolis that cost over $25. For the price, this place is just not worth it.
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