Another Italian restaurant on the Island! I love everything Italian and we were hearing such great reviews that we had to try it out. The decor is clean and modern and low lighting allows a sense of privacy. The seating is divided into two rooms, so diners don't feel too crowded. There is also outdoor seating in the rear which will be lovely in warm weather.
We made reservations for a weekend evening, which as it turned out was a good idea because the place was bustling and we saw several acquaintances. Even though we know the area, the restaurant is a bit out of the way and might be easy to miss for out-of-towners. We were seated right away and our delightful waitress brought us our wine selection--a robust Chianti of course--while we perused the menu.
There are many tempting offerings, ranging from appetizers, soup and salad, pastas, beef/chicken/seafood/vegetarian dishes, to paninis and desserts. We decided to test the Calamari Fritti appetizer. It came out quickly as a large serving -- easily enough for two or three diners -- of very light and tender calamari pieces with a thick marinara sauce. I am not usually a calamari lover but I really enjoyed this dish.
Each entree was preceded by an unannounced small salad of tender greens and fresh orange chunks, with a sprinkling of thin red onion slices and a delicious balsamic vinaigrette dressing. A delightful way to start the meal.
It was a chilly evening so my companion wanted comfort food, which for him took the form of Osso Bucco, a large serving of braised veal shank with a big mound of saffron risotto. He proclaimed that it was tender and delicious, with complex and subtle flavors, and definitely a meal for meat lovers. The risotto was creamy with buttery undertones.
I tend toward seafood so I ordered Shrimp Scampi. Wanting to try their homemade pasta, I chose a side of pasta rather than grilled vegetables. The scampi was a large serving of beautifully grilled fresh shrimp with a light wine sauce, but it could have benefited from a bit more flavoring. The pasta was linguini with a meaty marinara sauce prepared 'just so' that the tomatoes did not lose their fresh quality. The fabulously fresh linguini had an indescribable texture that melted in my mouth.
A friend was with us and tried the homemade Ravioli de Pesce, filled with crab and cuttlefish with a peppery taste, and served with a light marinara sauce, all of which he enjoyed to the last bite.
Of course I cannot fully evaluate a dining establishment until I test the dessert menu. We shared Tiramisu which was cold and creamy and delicious. Fresh decaf completed our evening.
La Vigna is a delightful addition to the Galveston restaurant scene. It is small enough to be personal; the chef came out and chatted with us for awhile. The wine list provides something for all tastes, and the variety of food offerings should please any palate and appetite. Not to be missed.