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A patio seat in winter 

It's hard to go wrong no matter where you sit at Vivace

Vivace’s Eggs in Purgatory (Photo credit: Chrissie Nelson Rotko)

Vivace’s Eggs in Purgatory (Photo credit: Chrissie Nelson Rotko)

There are many benefits to living in Charlotte; the booming brewery scene, being in between the beach and the mountains for easy access road trips, Bojangles'.

But maybe one of my favorite Charlotte perks is brunching on a patio in late November. While it sometimes seems that we have practically skipped fall at this point and headed straight to winter, as Charlotteans, we often get the benefit of temperate, downright warm days from November to January. The best way to spend those warm days, whether in June or November, is on Vivace's patio, enjoying brunch.

Vivace has arguably the best patio in Charlotte. The deck is perched at the back of the Metropolitan, overlooking the Little Sugar Creek Greenway; giving diners expansive views of not only the greenway but also the skyline. This prime location provides diners not only with scenic and picturesque views but is also excellent for people-watching down on all of the runners, walkers and cyclists — which offers up the opportunity for a guilt trip free with any brunch (ironic trivia fact: vivace is Italian for brisk and lively).

Plus, Vivace's patio is a perfect size, has umbrellas for maximum shade when needed, and is first come, first served — all benefits that only add to the prime patio location. The combination of a decent-sized and reservationless patio means that if you come to brunch between 11:30 and 11:45 on a Sunday — in the short window before alcohol service which we will discuss below — it's likely you'll score stellar seating.

In addition to maybe having the best patio in the Queen City, one could also argue that Vivace has the best brunch in Charlotte. On weekends, they serve brunch "the Vivace way;" for twenty-five dollars you get two courses and full access to bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys. They also offer their brunch menu items a la carte with single orders of mimosas and Bloody Marys, but I can't think of a reason on Earth why one would turn down such a deal.

I love Vivace's brunch for a lot of reasons, but the primary one definitely has to be the cocktails. As a Bloody Mary fan, I do enjoy one on the spicy side to accompany my eggs, but usually cannot have more than one of the tomato juice concoctions, so bottomless Bloody Mary bars do not always meet my brunch needs. Similarly, while I am a fan of bottomless mimosas, sometimes I would prefer to start with a Bloody Mary and then make the switch during the meal. Several restaurants offer one or the other, but do not let you switch back and forth at will. Not, Vivace; their bottomless cocktail option is totally switchable. Plus, they offer a Bloody Mary bar where you can build your own, which is not only the best way to get your preferable spice-to-horseradish ratio, but it's also fun.

click to enlarge Bloody Marys at Vivace - CHRISSIE NELSON ROTKO
  • Chrissie Nelson Rotko
  • Bloody Marys at Vivace

If cocktails aren't your thing, that's ok, Vivace's brunch can still win you over. They offer a wide variety of brunch options ranging from traditional breakfast like French toast, Eggs Benedict and quiche, to more lunchy items like salads, mussels, calamari and several pasta selections. The menu will absolutely appease everyone in your group; those who still prefer eggs after noon and those who detest breakfast (like my sister, whom I still think of as blasphemous for this reason). My favorites are the Brussels sprouts with potatoes; bacon and an over easy egg; the mussels with extra bread for sauce dipping; Eggs in Purgatory; the Benedict Vivace, which features grilled mortadella and a tomato hollandaise; and any of their house-made pastas (it's hard for me to say no to really good, Italian pasta).

If you can't make it to Vivace for brunch, lunch and dinner are also really good options with a full Italian menu. I actually really adore their bar bites menu, with items like bruschetta and aranci, which pair perfectly with a glass of wine for a little after-work happy hour action. It's a great place to take your parents or cozy up for on date night while enjoying classic Italian dishes like veal saltimboca, chicken caccitore, pizza, paparadelle, or gnocchi.

I highly recommend topping it all off with dessert; because you've come this far, and who can say no to house-made tiramisu?

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