The absolute strongpoint, and reason that I go back to this restaurant again and again, is the ease with which you can make it your own. \r
At Vespa you won?t find the large sterile environment of a mega service restaurant; it?s much more romantic. The ambience is beautifully Italian, with Mediterranean colors, classic movie posters, a brilliant copper bar and a gorgeous garden for outside dining. The lighting gives the place an intimate feel, which is great for sharing a bottle of wine. \r
With respect to the staff, I consider it a pleasure to know them all by name (I admit I come here a lot). The manager is a great guy who is very quick to show his appreciation with a glass of moscato and a smile, and the small group of servers is always courteous. The owner Marlo is a true Italian who can be very charming and an interesting addition to the meal if you?re lucky enough to catch him. I also suggest eating at the bar, the bartender is a very magnetic guy. They really treat their regulars well.\r
To top it off, the food is wonderful. While their menu doesn?t change, the specials always do, and they can include some excellent homemade pasta. The gnocchi, by the way, is second to none, as are the calamari and mussel appetizers.\r
To conclude, I think this is a very special place. With respect to the rancorously bad reviews, I can only think that it reflects the quality of the customer rather than the quality of the restaurant.
Pros: Ambience, dedicated parking, fresh food and family style service
Cons: The menu doesn't change; don't let this stop you! (the wines do)