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Cafe Vico

1125 N. Federal Hwy.

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304





Cafe Vico - Fine Italian Cuisine

by Tim Slivinski

You walk into the dining room, and a smiling man steps forward to greet you with genuine warmth, a handshake, and a smile that extends from ear to ear. That man is Marco Vico, the owner of Café Vico. And everything that greeting represents carries throughout your dining experience at his warm, intimate restaurant that seems like sitting down to a delicious dinner at someone’s home.

Whether you opt to sit on the outdoor patio—a great option on a comfortable breezy night—or in the dining room, you will be tended to with care. Mr. Vico himself may approach your table to take your wine or cocktail order. Settle in, take a deep breath, and prepare your self for an incredible dining experience.

Appetizers, hot or cold, cover the gamut from beef carpaccio to a hot antipasto for two.  I personally order the clams oreganata everytime I dine at Café Vico. A bowl of perfectly cooked clams topped with savory breadcrumbs, oregano, and parmesan cheese arrive at the table. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon on them and enjoy each delectable bite. I am forever tempted to order a second round. Yeasty dinner rolls that arrive at the table tempt your senses with their fresh-baked aroma. Dip them carefully in the garlic olive oil and you will be in bread/garlic heaven.  If you prefer to begin your meal with a soup, I wholeheartedly recommend the pasta fagioli. It is a hearyy soup brimming with beans and pasta, and the rolls are just crying to be dipped in the well-seasoned broth.

Entrees include risotto, several stuffed pasta dishes, homemade fresh pasta choices, along with chicken, seafood, veal, and pork entrees. If you are a lasagna maven as I am, Café Vico’s lasagna is sure to please. A healthy portion of cheesy, béchamel goodness arrives in front of you.  The Bolognese used to layer between the pasta is chock full of delicious beef. The béchamel used to finish the dish gives a creamy, velvety mouthfeel to the dish which is heavenly. My plate is always clean! Another favorite is the papardelle homemade pasta entrée. A light garlic oil dresses the al-dente pasta which is served with Italian sausage and broccoli rabe. Although it is pasta, it is light and fresh. Ask for a dusting of fresh parmesan cheese and then dive into a bowl of savory, well-seasoned pasta.

If you are a fan of sweet/savory combination dishes, then try the chicken ravioli. The pasta pillows are brimming with chicken and ricotta cheese. Then they are topped with a black cherry and red wine sauce. Each bite offers a winning combination of sweet and savory bursts of flavor. It is a combination that works extraordinarily well.  The veal chop Milanese is another favorite. The chop is lightly breaded and done to perfection. It is then served with a topping of  peppery arugula and cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese. The crispiness and spiciness of the arugula is a perfect foil to the veal and the cheese. It’s a dish that you will return to again and again. In the seafood category, I usually opt for the shrimp parmesan. The overly sized shrimp are breaded and smothered in parmesan and then served over angel hair or linguine pasta. It has become one of my favorite ways to indulge in shrimp.

If you decide to conclude your meal with something sweet, try the simple beauty of a traditional cannoli. The cream used to stuff the crispy shell is never overly sweet and the addition of the chocolate chips satisfies my need for dark chocolate. Such a simple but very beautiful ending to a great meal.  If cheesecake is your dessert temptation, then definitely try the Italian style ricotta cheesecake. It’s a bit lighter that traditional New York style cheesecake, and I like the smooth, rich texture of the ricotta. It’s a wonderful treat.

Café Vico offers full bar service along with a wonderful wine list dominated by some great Italian varietals. Service is professional, friendly, and seamless. It is a restaurant that beckons you to sit back, relax, and let your senses take control with Vico’s savory aromas and tastes.  It’s a little piece of Italy in the heart of Fort Lauderdale.


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