I was excited to try Vida again—I mean, we had such a good experience the first time; we were intrigued to see if it would hold up. So we went with friends (all the better to try more things with) and went in for our second go round.
Right away, we noticed the service was a bit off. Our server couldn’t get to us. It was fine; another server apologized and took our drink order. Our server stopped by to say he would be there when he could but that he was really busy. He assured us an amuse bouche would be served to us soon. Anyhow, we looked over the menu and made our negotiations and eventually got our order in.
We started with the charcuterie plate ($14 for the small) and the crab and octopus roll ($16). We were torn about whether to go with the large or small charcuterie, and settled on the small. Other than needing a little more of the toasty (and delicious) bread, there was more than enough for the four of us. There were a lot of good, and interesting things on the board. There was morcilla (a blood sausage), ‘ndjua (spicy spreadable pork), and some lovely crunchy chicharones. How can you not like crispy fried pork skin? There was also prosciutto and another salame. They did a great job with the accompaniments here as well. There were a couple of types of mustard and some nice pickled veggies—lots of red onions, my favorite.
The crab and octopus roll was also very good. It was wrapped in exactly ripe avocado, and was a little light on the crab and octopus filling, but it tasted wonderful. It was a light appetizer, and honestly, I could have easily eaten at least half of it on my own. Let’s face it, I would happily eat the whole thing on my own.
At this point we got the amuse, which was kind of weird after we had already started eating our first course (it’s supposed to be a tease for your palate), Anyhow, I can’t remember what it was at this point, but we ate it up.
The entrées came next—I had the salmon ($29). It was lovely—really really good. It was a thin piece of salmon that was seared really crisp. When I first saw it, I was worried that it would be dry, but it was moist inside but just wonderfully crispy outside. It was served with asparagus, artichokes, yellow tomatoes and Nicoise olives. Ok, it also helped that those are all some of my favorite things, but this dish was great. There was great acid balance, which is my thing.
The server had convinced hubby to get the New York strip steak ($39) because he just kept talking about how great it is. Hubby rarely orders steaks out, and even more rarely is wooed by a NY strip, but he was convinced. And this was an outstanding steak. While nicely marbled, it was still really tender and not chewy. It was served on a bright Béarnaise sauce and topped with these light and wonderful pommes soufflé. We had these before at an old line restaurant in Cincinnati and these were just as good. Almost like a 3D potato chip. Another wonderful dish.
Our friends had the shrimp dumplings ($26)(which we had the first time and really enjoyed) and the short rib dish, which was also really good—the two men kept negotiating bites of their dishes with each other.
We also got dessert this time. Those little doughnuts with the Bourbon caramel sauce? Outstanding. Their pastry chef is doing inventive things and you should really try one of the desserts when you’re there.
Well, I think if anything I was more impressed with the food this time because there were no dishes that I thought were inferior. I will say the service was nowhere near as good as it was on that first visit, but it wasn’t horrible. They were definitely a bit in the weeds on this particular night though. I’m really happy to have Vida on the Indy list of cool and really good restaurants to recommend. I just hope the food stays as good as it has been on my first couple of visits.
601 East New York Street