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Vai Restaurant & Wine Bar - 27 Reviews - 225 West 77th Street, New York, NY - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (212) 362-4500

Vai Restaurant & Wine Bar

225 West 77th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 362-4500
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


Vai Restaurant & Wine Bar - New York, NY
Vai Restaurant & Wine Bar - New York, NY
Vai Restaurant & Wine Bar - New York, NY
Vai Restaurant & Wine Bar - New York, NY
Vai Restaurant & Wine Bar - New York, NY
Vai Restaurant & Wine Bar - New York, NY
Vai Restaurant & Wine Bar - New York, NY
Vai Restaurant & Wine Bar - New York, NY


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Had dinner there last night with my husband. We showed up with no reservation, yet Vincent sat us with no problem! The ambiance is great - and the place is beautiful. Nice musi...


Has been my week to try the newest Italian places in town and this was on my list. To be quite honest was a bit disappointed. The service needs major improvement. The food is okay...

Great Atmosphere - Delicious Food - Friendly Service 1/12/2010

After a long day of shopping on the UWS my mom and i stumbled upon Vai. It looked nice and cozy inside and the menu appealed to our mood. The atmosphere was very comfortable and the service was friendly. We ordered a glass of wine, me red, which they helped me choose. We also split a pizzette, a seafood salad, a pasta and a fish dish which were all delicious and hit the spot. This was the perfect place to stumble upon where both the food and wine hit the spot. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a casual declicous meal, with friendly service and a nice atmosphere. Pros: Great Menu and Wine List - Cozy Atmosphere Cons: A bit loud and sometimes slow because it was busy more

Decent Food But Owner Vincent Is Really Obnoxious 12/16/2009

I've been here a few times because I live in the neighborhood and I admit that the food is pretty good/decent for a wine bar (and I enjoy the atmosphere), but I can honestly say that every time I have been there Vincent the chef/owner/host was so rude and obnoxious that it made me uncomfortable to eat at his restaurant. He seems to favor his friends or people he knows as far as getting a table, so if you get there first, but a friend of his shows up, he will give his friend the table. I actually overheard them cursing at one of the waitresses which he probably should avoid doing in front of customers. I'm not surprised about the bad reviews on here about service, because I have experienced the same thing. If you want a local place, with decent food and good wine, but don't mind potentially waiting for a table while other's get ahead of you, overhearing some curses, or being treated badly by the owner - then I would say go here, but I definitely would not recommend going out of your way for this place! Pros: Ambience, bread, sangria & wine Cons: Owner's attitude more

Love Love Love this Place 5/5/2009

Lovely Lively Neighborhood Gem. Really busy most nights and if you anything like me you will LOVE this place. Intimite and always busy without being too trendy. Bronzino is the most amazing thing I have ever had and service is warm. Nice wineselection where everything they have is available by the glass and they will let you taste also. They also offer fun wine flights. Can get very noisy but I happen to like that. My east side friends are dying for a place like this!! Pros: Food, Service and Vibe Cons: Noisy but vibey more

Awful experience, and I didn't even get to eat! 3/29/2009

The manager is terribly rude. I was very disappointed as I was really looking forward to eating there, but they lost our reservation and were extremely unapologetic about it. Unfortunate. Cons: Rude manager. more

Great Experience! 10/12/2008

Had dinner there last night with my husband. We showed up with no reservation, yet Vincent sat us with no problem! The ambiance is great - and the place is beautiful. Nice music, soft lighting, candles - it was all very romantic and very ""New York."" The UWS needs more places like this. Our apps were great - grilled shrimp - as were our salads. The main courses were good (although not to die for), but definitely good enough. The dessert was the best part though - little powdered donut type things dipped in white chocolate. There were absolutely amazing! more

Fabulous food, atmosphere and service 9/13/2008

I'm not sure what these reviewers are talking about. I've been to Vai about 6 times and the service is always fantastic. They always greet me when I come in, are friendly and helpful. more

Worst service ever! 9/5/2008

Had to be the worst service ever. Had to wait 15 minutes for someone to come over to take our wine order and then another 15 minutes before the bottle arrived. Then we had to have a busboy track down our waitress so that we could order food. Once the appetizers arrived, they were ok but not great. It was another 15 minutes before the entrees arrived. Again ok but not great. The food in general was uninspired especially considering the prices and the other options in the neighborhood. We had to ask for our server several times throughout the evening. At the end of the night, we asked to see the manager who came over to the table immediately. We related our concerns about the service and he was very apologetic. We assured him that we would give them another try in the future. At that point, the owner came over to see what was wrong and was quite rude when he heard our concerns. He should leave customer service to his manager. There are too many other good restaurants on the UWS that offer good food and service. Pros: Concerned manager Cons: Rude owner, poor service more

Thought I'd give it a try and was disappointed 8/31/2008

Has been my week to try the newest Italian places in town and this was on my list. To be quite honest was a bit disappointed. The service needs major improvement. The food is okay and the prices are fair which saves it and there is a decent wine list but overall not my newest favorite. It's a bit crowded and loud and just seems like it needs some changes. Not sure who the manager is but he seems to be a bit obnoxious and fake. So onto the next place. Pros: decent wines Cons: Loud - Needs some service changes more

Love it! 8/27/2008

Vai has an upbeat, ""New York City"" atmosphere, but I felt very comfortable and relaxed there. The food is simple, yet soooo fresh and fabulous. I had the tuna tartar--which is one of my favorite foods--and this was the best I've ever had! It was served with avocado and some type of sweet rice wine vinigiarette. I also had the caramelized pear and gorgonzola salad and finished with the sweet doughnuts with white chocolate sauce. Wow - yum! It was all delicious and the staff made me feel like I was at home. more

over rated - awful service - no daniel 8/16/2008

what's up with comparing the owner of this place chrico to daniel? obviously getting someone to give him some credit. it's a small italian place with a wine list not a 5 star french restaurant. dined there with some friends who live in the area. our waitress just could not get it together and the food needs major improvement. the older manager is obnoxious and should not be able to drink on the job. there are a ton of other places to go on the uws like bin 71 or something that are wine bars with a great staff and service. if you want daniel go to daniel don't come here! Pros: ? Cons: bad service - over rated food more


This guy is one of best the chef in the world....better than Daniel...wait til the press discover wont be able to get for now enjoy his amazing food at those's a give away more

Fabulous!! 7/29/2008

My husband and I live one block away and we have found our favorite new spot!! We literally tried everything!! I ordered the special, a filet mignon, and my husband ordered two pasta dishes--all of which were amazing!! We also ordered all three sides--asparagus, potatoes and artichokes! Clearly we were starving---but oh my goodness---we were so happy that this fabulous new place opened up right next to us. We have decided to have a date night here once a week, and we are super excited about it because they change the menu weekly!!! We cant wait to go back!! Pros: everything--our new favorite place!! Cons: nothing!! more

Great spot for a date! 7/24/2008

I recently made a new friend and he suggested that we go to Vai for dinner. What a great spot! I'm an UES girl so I rarely make the trip across the park but this was a nice place - great food, good service and the decor/ambience was spot on for a date...not too quiet, but not too intrusive. At the end of the night, I didn't fall in love with my date, but I definitely fell in love with Vai! more

Great atmosphere, Good food! 7/24/2008

I went to vai last night with some friends. there are not many places like this on the uws. it's a very comfortable setting with great music. Not the typical italian restaurant. the food is is delicious and there is a great wine list. we ordered the shrimp and chorizo appetizer along with the truffle mushroom rubiola pizza (yummy!) i loved how frangrant the truffle oil was so order this if you are a truffle fan. we also had the cheese plate, the asparagus and the pasta wih rabbit. All very good and easy to share in case you want to try a number of things. the service was a little slow but i think that was because the place was packed to the point that people were waiting outside. i would recommend making a reservation if you want to secure a spot. we will definitely go back to try it out later in the night, think it could be fun just for drinks! Pros: great food- fun atmosphere-reasonable prices-nice waiters Cons: service a little slow and you might have to wait for a table if you don't make a reservation more

Great new place on the UWS 7/19/2008

Delicious cured meats and asparagus salad and fabulous roasted chicken. Very nice people. Will definitely be returning! more

Great Price but Cannot Cope with Service 7/14/2008

My girlfriend and I enjoyed a delicious Pear Salad and Ravioli. The food is not exceptional in the grand scheme of things, but considering the price and in comparison to all the other wine bars on the Upper West Side who just offer Panninis, Cheeses and Meat; the place is great! There is only one but- and a big one. BUT, the service here is so horrible, I just won't return. The older manager was pounding glasses of wine at the edge of the bar and our server could barely speak English. When we inquired about the food and the wine- she knew absolutely nothing. We ordered salads and pastas, which all came out together. The food was dropped off at our table, and in such a small place, we could not get our server to come back. A glass of water- forget about it. Corked wine. We sat there with our corked wine, and it wasn't until our food came before we could mention it to anyone who would listen. Perhaps, there marketing strategy is to make the prices so cheap that there is low expectation. So what! Pros: cheap Cons: very poor service more

If I could Give It Zero Stars-I would 7/12/2008

The place was crowded, we were told to wait for a table-inspite of having a reservation. we were told to wait for food, ""cuz the kitchen was in busy""..the kitchen is busy? it's a 50 seat restaurant?!? have less seats and handle the customers better! Pros: what pros Cons: old owners nasty attitude,bumbling staff,long wait for food,paper menu done by a 3rd grader more

Expected more, small, hot, unorganized 7/12/2008

First of all very small place, not very hospitable, hot room, the food is okay, my boyfriend could put cheese on a plate. A lot of running around staff. Not much organization. Good wine list. Place is so, so. Expected more. Didn't deliver. Pros: wine Cons: unorganized, hot, pretentious more

Great food and great value! 7/12/2008

I ate there 2 times this week- and both times were great! Must have the grilled calamari and the pizza. The wine was delicious- We also had the tuna tartare - which is ruby red and has an outstanding taste. You can't go wrong. They even made us a custom pasta dish- Service is friendly and accommodating. They remembered me the second time and greeted me like I was family. MUST TRY!! Pros: Food and Service Cons: Small and tight seating more

good place 7/10/2008

good food and good place, nice service, and very inexpensive, check it out on a weekday not so busy, vince will take care of you Pros: this is a great place with a great owner and staff Cons: small place sometimes no room, call for a res more
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Menu for Vai Restaurant & Wine Bar

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  • From a Frederick's chef, a small place serving a lot of small plates and wines.

  • 6/26/2008 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Payments:

    Master Card, American Express, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    Upper West Side, Midtown