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Cafe Vico


Name: Justin Trabert      
Occupation: Was Director of Events, now speaker and presenter on social protocol and the history of etiquette and fine dining,
Lives In: N/A
Restaurant Pick: Yakitori Sake House
Reviewed: Cafe Vico

Tucked into the corner of a neighborhood plaza, this mom and pop Italian restaurant fits the mold of what you would expect when walking through the door. The walls are bathed in a cool yellow tone and adorned with pictures of patron guests, suggesting that everyone is family here. The ceiling was a whimsical display of clouds mimicking an outdoor Italian café. Wine bottles line the walls and flow throughout the entire restaurant playing to its Italian theme. With all this effort to create a warm family welcome, one would expect to be treated like family once you walk through the door. However, the service lacked finesse, something you expect from a good Italian neighborhood restaurant, which us feel like we were after-thought guests to a dinner party than that of family. The food was tasty but nothing that an old Italian grandmother would be jealous you were eating. There were some unique flavor combinations. With ample parking in the lot, it is an easy place to come with a friend and catch up. My suggestion would be to save some money by having a nice glass of wine or cocktail at the bar and order yourself one for their absolutely delightful desserts and then call it an evening! Overall, I think that it was an average meal that did not constitute the pricing structure.

Name: Ed Murphy          
Occupation: Construction Executive
Lives In: Fort Lauderdale
Restaurant Pick:Cafe Vico
Reviewed: Cafe Vico

We arrived on a Sunday evening at 7pm without reservations and easily got a parking space out front. The maitre d' seated us right away at a table in an alcove where we had a view of the main dining room. The wait staff promptly brought homemade bread with a garlic dipping sauce and bruschetta which are their signature starters. The waiter engaged us with the evening's specials and took our drink orders. We opted for the Octopus (my favorite) and my wife ordered the artichoke stuffed with bread crumbs. We were awed at the size of the artichoke and marveled at the flavor of the wine, lemon and garlic sauce. That in itself was filling. For Dinner, we ordered one item from the menu, Seafood Risotto and one of the Chef's specials, the Seafood Di Mare in a Fra Diavolo sauce. Both came out piping hot and in their own sauces. The Risotto was perfectly cooked and the seafood fresh. The Fra Diavolo sauce had just enough kick to engage the pallet without being overly spicy. Both dishes included shrimp, mussels, scallops and calamari with the Diavolo sauce having a lobster tail on top. Even though both dishes were similar in content they were different in their deliciousness. While we enjoyed our dinner and wine we noticed that the restaurant had filled to capacity with only one larger party table waiting for the diners to arrive. Even with all tables full, the noise level was at a minimum. You'd never know that there was also a separate bar area filled with more patrons as well as the party room with its guests. Although we too were at capacity, we ordered dessert anyway. My wife who normally loves chocolate but not mousse, ordered the layered chocolate mousse while I went with another favorite of mine, Tiramisu accompanied by Espresso and Sambuca. My Tiramisu was fresh and flavorful without drowning in cocoa powder. My wife's cake turned out to be simply decadent and we opted to share it. The night was capped off with the fact that my Sambuca came with the Italian tradition of 3 coffee beans; representing Health, Happiness and Prosperity.

Name: Andrea Juncadella          
Occupation: Creative Recruiter
Lives In: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Farinelli 1937
Reviewed: Cafe Vico

As soon as you walk in, you instantly feel warm and welcomed. There's a particular heartfelt sparkle in the air. The hostess greeted us instantly and walked us to our table that was seated in a somewhat private room towards the left. We walked through the main dining hall through a pretty packed crowd of couples, families and friends dining. They were playing what sounded like live music (although I never saw an actual live band, in which case, they really nailed the authentic feeling of it) of romantic, jazz-like sounds. I would definitely recommend Café Vico to family and friends. Once you look past its strip mall location, you are greeted with a warm welcome and an influx of delicious Italian smells. The food is superb and the ambiance complements the authentic feeling of dining in Italy. All the dishes we tried were very flavorful, rich, and delicious. The service was friendly and attentive and meeting the owner, Marco Vico at the end was the cherry on top.

Restaurant Information

Location:  1125 N. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Parking: Parking Lot
Phone:   954-565-9681
Restaurant Owners: Marco Vico
Executive Chef: Marco Vico
Pastry Chef: Jose Villatoro

Type of Cuisine: Traditional Italian
Signature Dishes: Lasagna, veal ossobuco
Vegetarian Options: Yes
Alcohol Served: Yes
Corkage Fee: $25
Bottle Limit: N/A

Restaurant Hours:   
Monday – 11:30AM-3:00PM; 4:30PM-10:00PM  
Tuesday – 11:30AM-3:00PM; 4:30PM-10:00PM  
Wednesday – 11:30AM-3:00PM; 4:30PM-10:00PM  
Thursday –&11:30AM-3:00PM; 4:30PM-10:00PM  
Friday – 11:30AM-3:00PM; 4:30PM-11:00PM  
Saturday –  4:30PM- 11:00PM  
Sunday – 4:30PM-10:00PM  

Meals Served: Lunch and Dinner
Prix Fix Menu: Yes
Take-Out: Yes
Delivery: Yes
Average Dinner Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, 20% gratuity, w/o alcohol): $60
Average Lunch Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, 20% gratuity, w/o alcohol): $25
Payment Options: do you accept credit cards and if so, which ones? Yes, All
Accept Reservations: Yes
Need Reservations: Recommended
How far in advance do you require reservations be made: 1 day

Accommodations for Children: Yes
Dining Style: Fine Dining
Disabled Access: Yes
Restaurant Size: 220 seats
Accommodate Groups: Yes, 12 to 50 people
Private Dining Room: Yes
Tables with Scenic Views: No
Outdoor Dining: Yes
Entertainment: Yes, live music Tuesday to Saturday 6PM-Close