Nothing offends at chef Vincent Chirico’s wine bar and small-plates eatery, but his Italian fare lacks oomph. A crispy pizzetta topped with funky Castelmagno blue cheese was overwhelmed by a heavy dose of truffle oil, and the bland braised rabbit in muddled tagliatelle was further dulled by chilled mascarpone. Desserts, like a jammy fig tart and bomboloni dusted with sparkling sugar, were more engaging, as was the smart, international vino list. Pluses notwithstanding, in an emerging restaurant ’hood like the Upper West Side, Vai has a ways to go.
225 W 77th St
|Cross street:||between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave|
|Opening hours:||Daily 5pm–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: 1 to 79th St|
|Price:||Average main course: $19, AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|