ITALIAN • OLD-SCHOOL • PIANO
While planning out a First Hill barhop, we were conflicted on whether to make Vito’s our first stop and eat dinner there, or make it our last stop and catch some live lounge music. We opted for the former, knowing that we wouldn’t survive bar-one if we didn’t get some food in our bellies.
We arrived at Vito’s soon after they opened and sat at a cozy table in the middle of the restaurant, with the double-sided bar at our tweleve o’clock, the piano and disco ball stage at our three, the entrance at our six, and a row of red leather booths at our nine.
We each ordered a different pasta dish; both were very spicy, small-portioned, and not as good as the price would suggest.
The Goodfellas vibe and poodle-skirt playlist weren’t the only things about this bar that were old school—we were easily the youngest patrons in this packed bar, which has not been the case seen we moved out to Seattle. We felt like we were at one of the many “Sinatra bars” back in our hometown in Ohio.
Vito’s has live music acts every day, Wednesday through Sunday. There’s a “Cougar Room” (named after its stuffed-cougar centerpiece) that you can reserve for private parties.
We ordered a house red for happy hour, but our server explained that the house wine isn’t the happy hour wine, and suggested that the more expensive house wine was the better option. This had us pondering the purpose of a happy hour. We also had a Cowboy Logic—a strong tequila cocktail that tasted like an old man’s aftershave.
There’s some sophisticated, opposite-sex nude art in each of these fancy rooms.
On one hand, Vito’s is a classy, classic joint that offers near-nightly entertainment. On the other hand, we found the food and drinks to be overhyped and overpriced. We’ll have to come back later some evening during a performance and see if we get a more favorable impression of this bar.