Chicago >Restaurants >
838 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL | Directions 6060741.884606 -87.649044
Sat Sat 5pm-12am
Neighborhoods: Near West Side, West Side
Randolph Street continues its white-hot restaurant domination, but Vivo has long held court in the burgeoning strip (since 1991!). Classic Italian fare doesn't disappoint, nor does the nighttime view from the outdoor patio ( if you can score a seat).
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.
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!
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 reservation.....no one should be seated in that room on a cold winter night. Space heaters on the floor are not enough!
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. :(
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
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