Vespa Restaurant NYC

I’ve probably been going to Vespa in the Upper East Side randomly for the past 5 years. The food isn’t to die for, but it is usually decent to good depending on what management or change they have been going through. Their outdoor garden is a big draw and that’s why I usually stop by if I’m not just buying food at their outdoor farmer’s market.

I went a few weeks ago for a birthday dinner with about 20 or 25 people. The staff was pleasant and did a good job getting food and drinks to us. And I have to say that the food was better than the last couple of times I had eaten there, which was a nice surprise since we were eating from a prix fixe menu due to the large party size. It looks like Vespa received a new management team, who is also doing a push with their social media, hence the start of their Facebook page earlier this year as well.

I was walking around with one of my girlfriends yesterday and she wanted to be outside so I suggested cocktails at Vespa (I’ve gone many times over the past few years for just cocktails in the garden). Upon entering there were two gentlemen. One older with a head full of white hair, who would later have us wondering if we would ever go back, and a younger gentleman with a great attitude, boyish smile and knack for making great cocktails who made us want to go back.

If I remember correctly, the younger gentleman was there the night of the bigger birthday as well and got in there executing to make the dinner go smoothly.

Will I continue to go to Vespa restaurant?

If I can see that older gentleman isn’t present, then yes.

Why? He was on the fence about letting us sit in the garden for cocktails. It must be a new policy, which is fine, but I just didn’t know, otherwise I would have went somewhere else. The younger gentleman told him that it would be fine, so to the garden we went. In addition, the younger gentleman made our drinks, which were delicious. We ended up ordering a couple of rounds, because we received a text message from a group of friends who wanted to meet up, so we were thinking of having them meet us at Vespa to have dinner there. However, as we were drinking our cocktails, the older gentleman kept walking up to our table, pointing at my girlfriend and I, or our cocktails and saying something in Italian as if he was trying to get us to leave for not ordering dinner. At one time he pointed at each of our drinks and said what I could have sworn was, ‘Bambino! Bambino!’ which confused the hell out of me. It was so uncomfortable. Everyone else was pleasant.

When our friends said they got a table at a restaurant down the block, we paid and left to meet them there. The rest of the staff, again, so nice! However, I thanked the older gentleman on the way out who was sitting at the bar and he grunted a response and did not look happy to see me. I don’t think he wants me to go back.

I probably won’t if I see that head of white hair through their front window.


1625 2nd Ave, New York 10028

(Btwn 84th & 85th St)

Joyce Huang
Vespa on Urbanspoon

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