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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Rave Review Restaurant Report: Vivace

Posted October 23, 2006

I have a new favorite restaurant in Raleigh. It's Vivace at North Hills. From the lively decor to the excellent staff and creatively delicious recipes Vivace is a new hotspot. Kevin and Stacey Jennings, who brought us Frazier's and Porter's Tavern on Hillsborough Street, succeed again with with chic Italian at 4209 Lassiter Mill Road. Executive chef Jeremy Sabo's housemade ricotta gnocchi with cipollini onions, melted tomatoes and basil oil was absolutely awesome. Both the seasonal salad and classic caesar salad were perfectly seasoned and exploded with flavor. For entrees agnolotti will blow you away. This superb pasta dish is a heavenly blend of smoked chicken, sun-dried tomatoes with wild mushrooms and roasted garlic cream. It's hard to mess up salmon. But it's also not easy to redefine the dish with something new and exciting. Vivace blazes new territory with its pan roasted bay raised salmon with chickpeas, cauliflower, swiss chard and sun-dried tomato cream. I savored every bite. The staff was extremely knowledgeable and helpful especially when navigating the excellent wine list. You can dine in or out on the patio. Vivace is terrific Trattoria cuisine. I can't wait to go back and try their wood oven pizza.
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