We were very sad to see Five Points close. It had long been a staple in our rotation and a go-to Dinner With The Parents spot. It was just hip enough to make the 'rents feel cool for a night, and the room always delivered oohs and ahhs, decorated to the nines for the current season like a mini-verson of Park Avenue Seasonal. Five Points always held itself with a subtle sense of refinement, and class. It felt like one of those restaurants that would be around forever. Unfortunately, the owners surprisingly shut it down recently, renovated, and promptly re-opened as a more youthful, less formal Italian restaurant named after the owner, Vic’s.
We like Vic's, but we're also confused by Vic's. The room retains the good feels we've grown accustomed to at 31 Great Jones Street, but that's where the resemblance between Five Points and Vic's ends. Unlike Five Points, Vic's has no real identity. We've all seen this movie before. A modern barn in the city vibe with white washed, exposed brick walls and a fancy farm-to-table menu. The menu has a lot going on, and is completely all over the place with six different sections, ranging from "market" vegetables to pastas, to pizzas, to large format entrees of steak and chicken. Some of the food is really good, some isn't. None of it is particularly memorable. The best thing we've eaten here are the heirloom carrots and a simple pasta with cheese and pepper, which doesn't say much.
Also, there seems to be a significant disconnect between the service and the chef. We've eaten here four or five times now, and always found the servers to be uninformed and uninspired. Good looking young folks are just taking orders, serving food, and running credit cards, clearly more worried about that casting call after work than they are about communicating the chef's intentions for the menu, or offering helpful nuggets of info about a dish, even when called upon. There's something missing at Vic's. There's no cohesion.
It's entirely possible we're being a little nitpicky here, but that's only because Five Points held a special place in our guts and we're bummed it no longer exists. Five Points was unique in its own way, while Vic's feels like everything else that's been done before, and done better. Joining the pizza and pasta fray without much conviction makes you blend in more than stand out unfortunately. That being said, we'll keep coming back, pretending it's still Five Points. Specifically for lunch, because that's the meal Vic's breezy dining room is best suited for.
Vegetables are what Vic's does best. Treat yourself to the Heirloom Carrots, our favorite item on the menu. Try making a carrot dish with more flavor, it's not possible. We also loved the Roasted Squash, because anything that's made with brown butter vinaigrette and balsamic almond bread crumbs has a very high chance of being awesome.
One of the main attractions at Vic's is a fried onion in the spirit of the infamous Outback Steakhouse "Bloomin' Onion." Lightly fried and drizzled with parmigaiano, the fried onion leaves are served with a cheesy dipping sauce. It sounds so good, but in reality, we didn't need to eat more than a couple pieces. How is that possible? Fried onions may be one of the best things on earth. Bummer.
Solid Salad. We like our greens icy cold, and that's how they come at Vic's.
If you don't speak Italian, that means pepper and cheese covered spaghetti. Executed flawlessly here with both pecorino and parmigiano, this simple dish is our favorite pasta at Vic's, and what we'll be ordering every time we come back.
An overwhelming amount of lemon made this bucatini nearly inedible. Like, completely. We were bummed and shocked by how intense it was. They need to switch this up.
Big dumplings filled with fresh ricotta in a light sauce of hazelnut and lemon. Soft, but firm pasta holds the cheese in its place, until you sink your teeth into the "purse" shaped pasta and free the hot, mushy ricotta with your teeth.
Another pasta that sounded great on paper, but in reality, was just not very good. It was one big bowl of mush, without much actual braised lamb to be seen. Skip.
See Rigatoni, Rye. Again, mush. This time, broccoli and garlic mush. Skip x 2.
One of our favorite dishes at Five Points was the potato and truffle oil pizzette, so we were obviously excited about the potential of the pizza here. Overall though, we were kind of bummed. Sure, Vic's thin crusted, crispy pies are definitely tasty crowd pleasers, but they didn't fully do it for us. The plain pizza was our favorite. We found the one with hot peppers and onions to get soggy in the middle, which wasn't awesome, and the the exiting sounding prosciutto, ricotta, horseradish and poppy seeds pie to be full of an assortment of flavors, none of which came together well in our mouths. So, moral of the story, stick with the plain.
A really nice piece of buttery white fish in a lemon sauce with crispy kale, leeks and almonds. We'd definitely suggest ordering it.
A solid chicken dish with plenty of garlic and side of brussels sprouts. The mustard seed sauce it comes with is pretty phenomenal.