Cafe Vico

Last Activity: Nov 19th, 2014

cafe vico

Location

1125 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
(954) 565-9681
What's Nearby

Critic's Rating

Rating3.6
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review: 11/14/14

Information

Hours7 days, 4pm to 11pm, Lunch M-F 11:30-3pm
Dress CodeDressy, Neat Casual ParkingPrivate lot
CCYes AlcoholFull Bar
OutdoorYes ReservationsYes
DeliveryNo

Pros

Good Lunch Value
Good Service
Good Food
Free Parking

Cons

No Privacy

Critic's Review

One of the few sure things in this town is Cafe Vico. Sometimes you need a sure thing.

From the outside it looks about the same, but they've remodeled inside. There used to be a small bar in the back, but now there's a big bar/lounge. The dining room is decorated the same as before; things have just been moved around a bit.

Cafe Vico Interior

Cafe Vico Interior

Just 2 other tables at 2pm, I ordered iced tea and took a look at the menu. I had the eggplant my first time here before I started this site, maybe 6 years ago and it was decent; I was in the mood for eggplant parm.

Cafe Vico Tea

Cafe Vico Tea

Service here is very formal, like a real restaurant. Music is low and benign. Bread is included.
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Cafe Vico Bread

Cafe Vico Bread

Rather than slathering rolls with garlic, they give you a cup of garlic dip; it's the best dip in town by a wide, wide margin. The first time here I almost mistook it for a cup of soup.

Cafe Vico Dip

Cafe Vico Dip

One thing that's changed is the choice of soup or salad with your lunch entree has been replaced with just a choice of house or caesar salad. I went with the Caesar.

Cafe Vico Caesar Salad

Cafe Vico Caesar Salad

A top notch salad. Some comedy erupted when one of the ladies dining shouted "are you going to give me the second copy?" at the waiter. "You didn't give me your card yet" [ Laughter followed].

The eggplant was served just as I was finished with the salad. I asked for Romano cheese, but they only have grated parmesan

Cafe Vico Eggplant Parmesan Lunch

Cafe Vico Eggplant Parmesan Lunch

This was much better than I remembered. The crust was heavier last time; this was deftly layered and Vico has a good, sweet sauce. Served with linguine, this is a very good version.
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Cafe Vico Eggplant Parm

Cafe Vico Eggplant Parm

With the bread and the salad, I only ate half and brought the rest home for a late night snack. A very enjoyable lunch in a quiet, comfortable setting.

No visit to Cafe Vico is complete without a trip to the Men's room. He's got some new pictures in there since the last time I was here.

Cafe Vico Bathroom

Cafe Vico Bathroom

Conclusion

Good Service, Good Food, and a good deal for lunch. There no surer thing in Fort Lauderdale.

Review 11/30/12

Tucked quietly in an IHOP strip mall is Cafe Vico. At a time when noisy, club-like places on Las Olas pack them in, Cafe Vico is a small place with a unique ambiance.

The dining room is elegant and old world; the ceiling is painted like a cloudy blue sky; It's very Italian.

Cafe Vico Interior

Cafe Vico Interior

Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Natalie Cole play as you enjoy one of the best lunches that Fort Lauderdale has to offer. They bring a basket of rolls and a bowl full of garlic and oil. No scrimping here.

Cafe Vico Rolls and Garlic/Oil Dip

Cafe Vico Rolls and Garlic/Oil Dip

The rolls today were a bit overdone; the bottoms were too hard to eat. But there was plenty of bread above, so I just ripped it off and enjoyed the dip. I ordered an Iced tea and the veal parmesan; lunch entrees include either soup or salad. The soup is always good here; I opted for a tortellini in broth with spinach.

Cafe Vico Tortellini Soup

Cafe Vico Tortellini Soup

The broth is delicious, and the tortellini have a very light filling. I was expecting more spinach, but the soup was excellent. >

I was expecting a small portion of veal, but this was more than generous.

Cafe Vico Veal Parmesan

Cafe Vico Veal Parmesan

Just look at all of that cheese. They don't have Romano cheese, which I prefer, so I settled for the Parmigiano-Reggiano. The veal was lightly breaded but not too much; the veal was tender, and there was just enough linguini. I ate a little more than half; I'll have the rest over the weekend.

I've had the eggplant parm here and it's quite good. Vico touts his lasagna as "award winning", but I don't care for lasagna with bachamel sauce; I'm a red sauce lasagna guy all the way. So you'll have to try it yourself. Another lunch item that's good that is hard to find elsewhere is the flounder piccata.

Cafe Vico Flounder Lunch

Cafe Vico Flounder Lunch

Nicely done.

Cafe Vico is a nice cafe for solid italian food that's as good as you'll find in Fort Lauderdale. A $20 lunch that's actually worth it.

A tip for you guys, at least the hetero ones. Make sure you check out the bathroom; the pictures on the wall are a bit different than the ones in the dining room. There's a sample in the gallery.

Review 3/29/11

Tucked quietly in an IHOP strip mall is Cafe Vico. At a time when noisy, club-like places on Las Olas pack them in, Cafe Vico is a small place with a unique ambiance.

The dining room is elegant and old world; the ceiling is painted like a cloudy blue sky; It's very Italian.

cafevico_inside.jpg

Cafe Vico is one of the few places in town that you can claim to a group of people that it’s the best restaurant in town and no-one will say you’re nuts. They might not all agree with you, but from head to toe; if you consider ambiance, service and the food, there aren’t many people who don’t think it’s right up there.

The menu has all of the Italian Classics; nothing fancy and nothing missing. Portions are not enormous but you certainly won’t leave hungry. House made rolls are included. At some places,they barely give you enough dip for 1 roll. At Cafe Vico; I first thought it was a cup of soup.
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cafevico_bread.jpg

My server approached me with a menu, but I knew what I was having. “Is the Flounder still on the menu”, I asked. “It is”, he said. I ordered it with a bottle of bottle of San Pellegrino. Soup or salad is included; they had a black bean puree so I ordered that as well.

The atmosphere in the place is pleasant, from the urban jazz sounds of Boney James to Christopher Cross; at lunch time there aren’t many people in the place. Finally my soup is served.

Cafe Vico Black Bean Soup

Cafe Vico Black Bean Soup

This stuff is fantastic. It’s looks like chocolate mousse, and it’s not quite that good, but it’s pretty close. It’s one of those deals that when you’ve finished it you’re a bit disappointed there isn’t more.

The flounder is served with fresh vegetables and a nice lemon caper sauce. The supplied lemon allowed me to kick it up a notch. The fish was seasoned nicely and didn’t require any additional salt.

Cafe Vico Flounder Lunch

Cafe Vico Flounder Lunch

It was a modest portion, but when you consider the bread and soup it’s a pretty solid lunch for $14.99. Even with the $6 Pelligrino (they have the BIG bottle), it was just about the same as I paid at Flip Flops. You can make the call on what’s the better value.

I’ve had the eggplant parm here and it’s quite good. Vico touts his lasagna as “award winning”, but I don’t care for lasagna with bachamel sauce; I’m a red sauce lasagna guy all the way. So you’ll have to try it yourself.

If you’re looking for a nice, quite place with good italian food, you’re not going to do much better than Cafe Vico in this town.

A little tip for you guys, at least the hetero ones. Make sure you check out the bathroom. The pictures are quite different than the ones in the dining room.

Cafe Vico Bathroom

Cafe Vico Bathroom

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Big DaddyReply
You are spot on here. Marco has this down to a science and he is the most gracious host in Fort Lauderdale. I'm in there two...three times a year. He treats my wife and I like we are his best customers. That takes ZERO effort and costs him nothing...but it has generated tons of $$$ for him because of the recommendations we have given Vico over the years. You can tell I like this place and this guy. A lot of folks in this town can learn from how Marco runs his restaurant. Good food, good service, good value. Simple and effective.