Yes, our once-per-month girls’ dinners out are the best because we rotate who chooses the restaurant. It’s almost always something new to us. In January, Kim chose the Mill Valley Kitchen. In February, Jen suggested Vivo in Apple Valley, which now occupies the old Enjoy! digs.
What does Vivo mean?
From their website:
In a home, the kitchen is the spot where families gather, parties migrate, and food draws friends around. That’s also the spirit of Vivo kitchen: we are a place to come as you are. We use local, seasonal ingredients to prepare food that’s delicious without being mysterious.* Vivo translates as “life” — and that is what we want every guest to experience to the fullest. We look you in the eyes, care for you personally, and make you feel as welcome as if you are in our home. Because, for us, a kitchen is the heart of a home — and great hospitality is the heartbeat.
The space was only updated a bit. Gone was the Tuscan feel of the restaurant. In were shapes and flowers. It’s a little strange; but I always love the concept of fresh, seasonal and local ingredients.
Jen tried to make a reservation, but there weren’t any available. We decided to meet at 5:30 on Saturday night, intending to wait at the bar if need be.
But there was an hour and a half wait!
Boy, was this place popular. And I don’t think it had even been open for a full month! The bar was completely full, too. The only thing we could find was a table top with an awkward pole in the middle of it, which made it hard for the three of us to even talk face-to-face. We barely ordered our drinks when we saw three seats at the bar open up and snagged them as quickly as we could.
It was Happy Hour (every day from 3p – 6p), so a cocktail was in order!
I never go wrong with a St. Germain – bubbly cocktail! We also ordered an appetizer from the Happy Hour menu to start. It was highly recommended by our bartender.
He was right. They were soooo good! But don’t be thrown off by the “mayo” in this dish. You’d be surprised how many dishes these days have mayo “sauces.” Here, they just didn’t use the fancy buzz word: aioli. And people, don’t be fooled. Ail is the French word for garlic. Aioli is just garlic mayo. Get it? Got it? Good. The mystery is forever solved.
Jen started with a the side salad version of my dinner (see below) and then chose this flat bread:
I tried a piece and loved that the flavors were so subtle!
The mashed potatoes aren’t pictured in the photo because Kim substituted a Ciao Baby Side Salad with organic greens, pine nuts, local goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. The seabass was perfectly cooked and seasoned. Kim loved it!
I was in the mood for a salad:
This salad had everything I loved, but they may have sold me on the lavender vinaigrette. But it was a bit overdressed. The chicken was the perfect addition to the salad.
Believe it or not, we didn’t have room for dessert.
I’m looking forward to going back again because there are so many interesting things on the menu I’d like to try… Not only the dishes, but I’ve been wanting to learn about Bourbon. And they have a Bourbon Flight. I think that’s a great place to start.
When a new restaurant opens up are you the first to give it a try or do you like to wait until they have their “kinks” worked out?
Having worked in restaurants for many years throughout my life, I definitely don’t go right when they open up – too many kinks to get through and my husband is the type of person if he doesn’t like it once, he’ll never go back.
Fun girls night out!
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