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Oct 12, 2008 04:47 AM

Viva Fresh Pasta Northampton, MA

A friend of mine picked up some sweet potato ravioli from Viva Pasta in Northampton, which I cooked in a sage butter sauce, and thought it was pretty good, so we decided to try the restaurant tonight.

Our server was very professional and courteous. This, however, was just about the best thing about this restaurant. I ordered the meat lasagna, which is described as a three cheese lasagna with ground beef and sausage. It was just about the worst lasagna I have ever had. First of all, it was somewhat warm. Secondly, the pasta was rubbery, with dense layers of noodles packed very tightly. In between these layers was what I could only describe as some type of breading or breadcrumbs. There was a distant fennel flavor from an errant sausage. My gf ordered mussels with peppered fettuccini. It was better than the lasagna. She gave me a mussel, which was almost cooked. The pasta was gummy and tasted like overcooked egg noodles. We split a ceasar salad, which was basically a regular salad with a light white dressing made with vegetable oil(not olive oil), and a lonely anchovy fillet on top. The anchovy was good, as was the olives in the salad. We decided to cut our losses and skip dessert.

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  1. Wow, Viva Fresh sounds like Viva Stale and Overcooked. Are they brand new and just not getting it right yet?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bri

      According to their website, they've been in business for 20 years. They do have some inexpensive pasta dishes, so I'm guessing they're targeting the college crowd...whatever fills the void. Olive Garden anyone?

    2. Had very uninspired mushroom ravioli there--no discernible mushroom flavor and pasta was gummy, as OP mentioned. Dining partner remarked that his chicken dish was not terribly interesting. It was also graduation week, so we were crammed into a tiny table in a basement room that was deafening.

      2 Replies
      1. re: whs

        well, viva's target audience seems to be 14cyear old girls who don't like vegetables, but are bored with mac & cheese. my daughter loves the place, but i'm not sure i've ever had a decent meal there. the sad truth is that there really hasn't been a decent italian restuarant in the valley since cucino di pinnochio closed up in the '90s. i mean, there is ristorante dipaulo in turners falls, which i thought was great when my wife & i went there for our anniversary, but it was definitely in the special event price range for us. for decent, "regular" italian i can't think of anywhere. there must be something in springfield, but the only italian place i ever visit there regularly is frigo's deli. anyone have a tip?

        1. re: fatheryod

          Has anyone tried Roberto's on Pleasant St. in Northampton? I may try this place next.