What a find Vivido proved to be. It is a vibrant, bright, funky restaurant right in the centre of Harrogate.
Vivido is a spirited and contemporary Italian restaurant, celebrating life, as well as the fantastic cuisine of Italy.
The artistry in the kitchen is complimented by the modern art – Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe pictures aplenty – on the walls.
The decor is yellow and orange – bright indeed – but conducive to calm, relaxed dining.
Being an out-of-towner, I discovered Vivido by accident, lured by the look of the place I booked a table for my mum and me for an early dinner.
That was such an enjoyable experience, I have since returned twice to dine alone – the atmosphere being friendly and welcoming I did not feel awkward or out of place.
Each time I have had a starter – from a garlic bread, with a selection of toppings, to share (£4.75-£5.75) to a dish of green olives (£3.75).
My favourite, so far, was golden fried squid with tartar sauce £7.95). There was plenty of the fish, it was golden, tender and crispy.
The starter menu also includes slices of fresh mozzarella, vine ripe tomatoes, basil and extra virgin oil (£7.95) and aubergine layered with paremsan, mozzarella and Napolitena sauce baked in the oven (£7.95).
The mains offer much choice: pasta and risotto dishes, pizzas and meat and fish – from lamb to sea bass and duck to salmon.
Take your time – you are invited to – and peruse the menu.
The first time I ate at Vivido I chose the beef stroganoff – strips of beef fillet cooked with shallots, mushrooms, paprika, French mustard, brandy and cream and served with savoury rice (£19.95).
The quality of the meat is melt-in-the-mouth tender and cooked to perfection. The sauce is sweet, creamy and with a hint of heat from the brandy and mustard.
It is, without doubt, the best stroganoff I have ever had – made all the better because it is a dish I have never mastered to cook for myself.
My mum had grilled steak salmon with mixed peppers and creamy pesto sauce. Again it was declared delicious.
Sides can be ordered and range from mixed salad to fries and zucchini fritter to sauted potatoes.
If you have room for dessert – share one if you like – there is plenty of choice.
Mum and me shared a selection of ice-creams, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate, with sauce and crunchy sweet wafer. It was simply perfect.
The service is old-fashioned polite and pleasant without being pushy. The welcome is warm and genuine – with a humble desire to show off the culinary excellence available.
Vivido offers a children’s menu and an early bird choice for concert and theatre-goers etc. Price range – it can be budget to blow out.