Vitae

| June 20, 2013

Finding an oasis in midtown Manhattan is always unexpected with the hustle and bustle so prevalent in the area. That is why stepping into Vitae on 46th Street between 5th and 6th avenues was such an unexpected treat.

The contemporary, sophisticated space gives you the feeling of entering a luxury yacht with a warm and inviting decor. The feeling of going on a food expedition is further enhanced by the woodwork, mirrors and nickel lattice work in the dining room.

We arrived for dinner and the bar was bustling with business people and neighborhood regulars winding down at the end of the day, clearly enjoying themselves. The staff was attentive and professional. The wine list offers great choices to complement the wide range of dishes. There are also signature cocktails highlighted with unique flavors.

Chef Owner Edwin Bellanco opened Vitae after spending time cooking in the kitchens of Gramercy Tavern and Danube under Daniel Bouley, Napa Valley’s French Laundry, NYC’s Cru and finally as Executive Chef at Morrell Wine Bar and Café in Rockefeller Center.

All of Chef Bellanco’s experiences allowed him to incorporate his personal cooking style into the interesting and delicious food at Vitae. vitae fishThe menu adds to the impression of being on a wonderful culinary cruise with choices from every stop.  There are dishes that are influenced by Italian, Asian, Spanish and European cuisines, but the common thread throughout is Chef Bellanco’s artistic style and whimsical flavors.  We commented that we could easily be regulars at Vitae because of the assortment of choices and of the quality of the food.

This is a restaurant that has many dishes that star. Some of our personal favorites for appetizers were the Veal Ricotta Meatballs, which were complemented by a tangy tomato sauce, the perfectly seared Diver Scallops with Cauliflower, Golden Raisins, Cashews, and a Thai Curry Sauce.

The rich Foie Gras Terrine, with it’s addictive Almond Brittle and Prickly Pear Pearls and the creamy Burrata served with Pesto, and a crunchy Sour Dough Crostini. Although all delish, the “ must have appetizer” is the crispy Pork Belly with rhubarb and a ginger glaze.

Homemade pastas are impossible to resist and we settled on the gnocci with wild mushrooms and parmesan which we highly recommend.

Then onto entrees with the Arctic Char, prepared with chinese long beans in a satisfying coconut & lemongrass Broth, the Duck Breast  and confited leg with a bacon and brussel sprout combination also available as a side dish and finally arriving in Vienna for the Pork Schnitzel with Warm Potato Salad and Rhubarb Jam. All the entrees were exceptional.

For dessert, we chose the traditional crème brulee, always my number one choice for dessert.  Vitae’s version was one of my all time favorites.

We left knowing that Vitae is our midtown choice for both ambiance and delicious food.

Vitae logoVitae

4 East 46th Street
New York City 10017
212.682.3562

www.vitaenyc.com

Charlotte Goldblatt

cgoldblatt@dailyfoodandwine.com

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