The DiBattista family closed their upscale Italian restaurant Vivo in February, but fans of the restaurant shouldn't shed too many tears. Vivo will be reborn in Sewickley later this spring, in a larger space with a liquor license.
Meanwhile, the DiBattisas have already opened a new restaurant in the Bellevue space. Bite Bistro, as its called, has a chalkboard menu, with small bites, salads and soups, sandwiches and big bites. The options are eclectic, incorporating elements of Italian, as well as regional American and even Asian cuisines. It's also quite trendy, with a strong emphasis on southern food, house-made everything and diverse vegetarian options.
Some highlights include grilled polenta with warm truffle beets, peel & eat shrimp, an udon noodle bowl, a crab meat BLT with maple bacon, braised lamb with collard greens, smoked potato wrapped tofu, and hanger steak with house-made steak sauce and duck fat fries. Desserts include cream milk panna cotta, a soda float with house made vanilla gelato and bruschetta with grilled banana bread and berries - that last one's even vegan.
Sam is the executive chef, a role he'll keep at the new Vivo as well. Danina and Martina, his daughters, are investors and managers.
It's still the Vivo quality food, but taken down a few notches," said Danina. "Instead of dry-aged filet, we have hanger steak."
"We're really trying to tap into the BYOB as well" she said, noting that the restaurant will offer numerous mixers to encourage diners to bring liquor as well as beer and wine.
The new Vivo, which may even have a new name, won't be quite the same restaurant either. Along with a liquor license, there will also be outdoor seating. "It's going to be a little more casual," said Danina, who described the changes as a new start for the restaurants, a chance to take stock and also to experiment with something different.