Wafting aromas of roasted garlic and fresh herbs signaled we had arrived at Vita’s Wildly Delicious Café. Spending the day touring Lopez had increased our appetites and we were ready for a hearty, home cooked meal, make ours vegetarian. Tucked behind giant flora and fauna in the garden is a stone pathway leading you through the shaded patio and into the storefront of this cheerful and bustling café.
Located on a quiet side street, up from the center of town, this iconic Lopez Island eatery is owned and operated by sole proprietor Bruce Botts. With the café being open in the spring, summer, and fall months, Bruce has designated various theme nights to highlight the main attractions of the café.
Tuesday evenings are Taverna nights featuring the café’s own woodfire pizzas and outdoor games including a giant Jenga puzzle. On Fridays they host various wine tastings and local music to kick off the weekend.
The Daily Menu at Vita’s Wildly Delicious Café
The menu, written daily on a chalkboard, offers a variety of choices for any palette, vegetarian or carnivore, all with a home grown, provincial flair.
Vita’s creations, all home made, include selections of local as well as imported cheeses, herbs, and vegetables. From the dill weed in the potato salad to the snap peas, kale, and chard, all are Lopez grown.
They select daily wines to showcase by the glass, but also house an extensive array of organic wines for purchase, for the other half of the café is a wine shop!
They are happy to uncork a bottle, or two, to share with friends. Bruce supports small, independent growers and crafters who deliver some unique blends from all over the world.
The Food: A Vegetarian feast
Vita’s Café offers flavorful, hearty and innovative food combinations, bringing some of the old mainstay comfort foods like mac-n-cheese to life with a unique, hipster twist, now called Mac-N-Brie and served in a pie wedge.
On this evening, after spending the day bicycling around Lopez, we arrived hungry and ready to be satiated. The two of us, even though vegetarian, found several mouth-watering and tummy grumbling selections to share.
We not only sampled the Mac-N-Brie but complimented this main dish with a Ginger & Kale salad drizzled with a tangy Miso dressing, and an appetizer of the “Puff Daddy” puff pastry which included a blend of roasted garlic, Roma tomatoes, local Chevre cheese, and diced red onion.
The daily white wine “Blanc L’ermitage” was a clear and crisp blend with fruity flavors of summer. It paired very well with these rich and robust dishes. Looking around the patio where we sat, it seemed the freshly baked, woodfire pizzas partnered with a bottle of red wine was a common theme. A definite must on our next visit.
Dining Al Fresco, Adding to the Charm
There is plenty of outdoor seating surrounded by whimsical art pieces dangling from the trees, to the shabby chic patio furniture created from repurposed tables. You might even find yourself seated at a couple of antique ironing boards, now living out their retirement as patio furniture. A truly enchanting, as well as relaxing environment in which to slow down, sip wine, and enjoy the splendid tastes your dinner has to offer.
Inside, the small and brightly colored café kitchen you order at the counter, deli style, but the feeling of home greets you in every inch of the shop. And just like at home, be prepared to bus your own dishes, but the friendly staff happily provide the washing up.
Each entrée was fresh as well as fulfilling. The perfect sized portions to satisfy but not overstuff oneself. Overall the perfect setting for dining on pleasant food and drink, al fresco. When you are here, just sit back, sip, taste, and enjoy the moment. Island style.