Vai's Naperville

Every once in a while, and this has happened twice in my life now, you happen upon a gem of a restaurant that eating at weekly wouldn't be enough. You tell all your friends about it and you make all your friends go with you. My first love of a restaurant was many years ago with Rx Cafe in St. Charles that sadly closed. I still check their facebook page and website in hopes one day the owner will open a new fabulous eatery! :)  So, imagine my delight at finding my next restaurant love- Vai's in Naperville! They had me at their gnocchi... it doesn't taste like any other you've ever had... imagine a punch of flavor from roasted garlic, freshly grated asiago, roasted tomatoes and wilted spinach, atop fluffy pillows of cheesy deliciousness... mmm, I want some right now! Part of what makes their dishes so flavorful, in addition to the fresh ingredients and obviously talented chef who knows how to enhance and combine flavors so well is their charring of some of their dishes.  When you walk up to the restaurant, you will smell the grill smoke and that is just a hint of what lies within this above-and-beyond foodie haven.

I've tried so many things on the menu and hope to be back again soon to try one of their mouthwatering specials (I actually DO have a night planned to go with some of my moms group).  If you want to drool over their food, make sure to follow their facebook page! Some of my favorites include the whipped ricotta & honeycomb, the wild mushroom & polenta, the ASIAGO GNOCCHI (even if you don't like gnocchi, just try it! It will blow you away!), the italian burrata (with grilled grapes- you must try them- the flavor of a steak... in a grape.  It's so hard to explain!), the wood grilled salmon, and the jumbo scallops & risotto- I could go for some of those scallops right now!  Scallops is a dish that is a good barometer for a restaurant- if they can do those well, it bodes well for the other dishes as well.

Vai's is a father-son business and my sister and I met Anthony Vai when I dragged her there to hit this fabulous foodie spot (ok, it didn't take much convincing... and she said it lived up to my hype)! We had a great lunch, enjoyed chatting with Anthony and enjoyed sitting in their bar area. I highly recommend lunch on the weekends (they open at 11:30) before it gets so crowded in the evenings.  During the week, they open at 4pm for dinner.

Here are some pictures of our scrumptious food, but I have to say, as good as these look, they tasted even BETTER!

Asiago Gnocchi

Arancini al Forno

Italian Burrata

A bite of the burrata on toasted baguette, topped with pesto and tomato jam! Yum!

Jumbo Scallops & Risotto

Italian Wine Cake