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Friday September 30, 2016
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La Vita Bistro



The food is as mixed up as the decor. Well-imagined and nicely rendered dishes sit side-by-side with poorly done Italian-American classics and incoherent combinations like grilled salmon with goat cheese polenta and sumac lime aioli.

Hitting the high notes were rich--very rich--baked stuffed clams smothered with shrimp, crab, and bacon in a bechamel sauce; marinated beef fillet grilled rare; and seafood palomino, perfectly cooked shrimp, scallops, and mushrooms in a light, sherry-tinged sauce over fettuccine. The house salads that come with entrees were fresh and crisp, and one evening's corn chowder tasted just fine. We also liked the Caprina puffs--pate a choux cups filled with a sun-dried tomato and goat cheese mixture and garnished with pesto and crispy prosciutto--even though the French pastry seemed an odd vehicle for the other ingredients. A pesto pizza, ordered without chicken as a shared appetizer, came generously loaded with sweet onions and two cheeses. And veal saltimbocca pleased a friend, though I found it rather tough.

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