Mon-Thu, 5pm-midnight; Fri-Sun, noon-3pm and 5pm-midnight
6 at 77th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
While top whisks like Ed Brown and Daniel Boulud made noise about braving the Upper West Side, Vai slipped quietly into its modest, handsomely mirrored space on West 77th, quickly winning fans for its lush pastas. With tables both tall and normal, and doors thrown open to the street on a mild night, Vai clearly wants to be a wine bar, offering charcuterie and cheese plates, and more for the hungry. It also wants to play big-time, with a three-course prix-fixe for $49, a five-course signature menu for $69, and an eight-course "spontaneous" tasting menu for $89. The a la carte entrées, like sea scallops, pork loin, and a short rib/filet mignon duo, are reasonably priced ($18 to $29, with a $34 ribeye). The erratic pricing feels aggressive right now, but with all these options, it’s possible to choose an affordable supper.