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Apr 20, 2013 12:26 PM

Former Centro/Vita Sociale

Finally went for a late lunch yesterday. Quite a remarkable morph. The interior boasts striking shell banquets and dramatic red seats. Exposed brick and reclaimed barn wood actually work in this space as opposed to being a design cliche. The bar is classic and draws peoples attentions. The menu is all about clean lines and strong, flavourful Italian standbys. The Roman style pizza was thin, crisp and had good char. Try it with Lardo. Buffalo mozzarella was hand torn like I've had in Italy with great heirloom tomatoes and balsamic agar agar beads that look like caviar on first sight. The porchetta looked stunning--next visit. Service was young, unpretentious and refreshing. I 'll miss Centro, but Vita is definitely what midtown needs: warmth, quality, buzz and fairly priced. I think some of the other restaurants in the area should not rest on their laurels. This place rocks.

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  1. I hope they cleaned up the kitchen act because the last meal I had there about 6 months ago, which was a simple pasta was incredibly bad.

    This was your basic penne with pesto and I was shocked that the kitchen felt that this was okay to serve. At $30 I will never forgive them but even at $15 it was hardly worth it.

    I wish them well but very skeptical. Glad you enjoyed and I'm eager to read other opinions.

    2 Replies
    1. re: millygirl

      We have given it a try. The reno was extensive to say the least it looks great. Front of the house was good and we were seated within 3 minutes. No reservation and they were quite busy. At least half of the tables were families and some had small kids. There also seemed to be a few of the Centros "old guard".

      The menu isn't huge but had a decent array of pastas and pizza. They have a wood burning oven. Our table had a bit of both to eat.

      The service was great and friendly but the kitchen is working out the bugs. No one should wait 40 minutes for salad! Free drinks all around were provided. Pizza and pasta were great. Ill be going back if not only for the great price point. can bring your own wine. Corkage is $35.00 a bottle. Given the prices on their wine list, thats the way to go,

      1. re: millygirl

        We went recently. Decent decor for what they are trying to portray. Service was fine (but pretty amateur). The main issue is that the food is just plain bland. No thanks...

      2. Roman pizza shouldn't be thin, crisp or charred...perhaps you are thinking of that stuff the Neopolitains call pizza that they think they invented

        1. Hmm. Heirloom Tomatoes that are ripe in May. Where can I get me some of those plants?