Why is Vitae ignored on Chowhound???
Just had a wonderful evening at Vitae which is located in that wasteland of good restaurants - the east 40's. The food, mixed drinks, ambiance and service were all top notch. I love that the food is both accessible and elegant. While many of the dishes are not wildly original, they are well thought out and deeply flavorful. The decor is hip modern - but with comfortable seats.
Try the roasted pork belly paired with pickled watermelon.It is like having winter and summer on the same plate. The lamb orrechiette is rich and tangy at the same time with a perfect balance of meat and greens. The veal ricotta sliders were a guilty pleasure - much like the piping hot parker rolls coated with duck fat. The duck breast/duck confit was good - the brussels sprouts with bacon served with it were fantastic. There was a wine list, but the food seemed better suited to a mixed drink. The drinks at Vitae are not over sweetened. Even the raspberry fizz had some balance, but I really liked the Single Buck, with rum, pineapple and bitters. I was worried it would be a tropical mess, but it was slightly astringent and perfectly refreshing. Drinks, btw, come with a maximum of ice and a minimum of drink.
The service was wonderful. I didn't have to ask for water once. The server immediately told us that any food sensitivities could be easily accommodated. We had a few allergies in our party and yes, the kitchen did take care of them with a good grace that is lacking in many other restaurants.
So - chowhounders, I had seen only one thread about Vitae, but I really think this place deserves a little more.
We had a very nice meal last night at Vitae, and while it was not as memorable as my dinner this evening at Louro, it is definitely worth a mention as a very good choice in this wasteland of a neighborhood. The cocktails were very well crafted (and thank God, not too sweet or over-iced) and most of the food was very solid. The standout for me was my entree, the seared scallops over a red curry broth. The charcuterie plate was also quite good--four really tasty meats and one oddly tasteless one (sadly I cannot remember what it was). I regret to say that the most expensive dish I had, a corn salad with lobster ragu, was also the worst. The lobster had no flavor at all and the corn salad part was on the mushy side with muddy flavors--not at all what you want in a late-summer dish. On the whole, I wouldn't single Vitae out as a destination restaurant, but if you need a serviceable and creative option in the area, it is well worth a try.
Never been to Vitae but glad you brought it up on my foodar.
That said, there are lots and lots and lots of worthwhile restaurants in Manhattan that get nary a mention here on Chowhound.
If one were to just read this board, the impression one would get is that the city's dining scene is basically the Boulud empire, EMP, Per Se, Ko's empire, a select handful of high-end sushi restaurants (e.g. Masa, Yasuda, Nobu, Ushi, etc.) and pizza.
(I exaggerate, of course, but you get the idea.)
Vitae is located at:
4 E 46th St New York, NY 10017
I think I was one of the people who posted in the previous Vitae thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/839193). I agree, it's a great place though I haven't been back recently. It's a shame this place hasn't gotten more attention on Chowhound.