Vinnies Restaurant & Lounge (Davie)

Posted on January 27th, 2009 · Davie Italian

***** Vinnies Restaurant & Lounge, 4599 South University Drive, Davie, Florida 33328 (954) 727-0035.

“The early bird catches the worm”…I see, that last week my friends at the Sun Sentinel gave Vinnies Restaurant & Lounge a very favorable writeup…Anyway, here’s my take on this joint.

Vinnies is my kind of a “red-sauce” Italian joint…From the get-go, Vinnies is not (and I repeat) NOT your typical neighborhood Italian restaurant. For sure, it has a menu loaded with appetizers, soups, salads, pastas, meat-chicken-seafood entrees and desserts…but most evenings– Vinnies is much more than just a joint where you stuff your face with real-good fried calamari, baked clams, mozzarella en carozza, shrimp scampi, chicken marsala, veal parmigiana, steak pizziola, zuppa di pesce.

Vinnies is a throwback… to the Italian joints circa 1950’s-60’s, that populated the five boroughs… almost upscale (and I repeat) ALMOST…white table cloths, full bar, bandstand and dance-floor.

I love joints like Vinnies… Friday-Saturday night…bunch of couples. You eat, you drink, you dance to the band in the lounge… you “people watch.” Now trust me on this, guys like P. Diddy (or whatever name he’s now going by), Usher and Snoop Dog ain’t going to be stopping by…you’ll probably see a ton of folks who look like HBO Soprano extras…you may also spot guys like Frankie Valli (The Four Seasons), Joey Dee (The Starliters), Jimmy Gallagher (The Passions) jamming at Vinnies, as this joint is a “mecca” with the doo-wop/1950’s-60’s-70’s rock n’ roll crowd. Personally, I’d rather listen to Jimmy Gallagher croon “I Only Want You” or Joey Dee sing “Shout” than hear that rap-stuff that is now passed -off as being “music”…but that’s a whole other story for another day.

Like I said before, Vinnies has white-table cloths, but it really isn’t all that fancy. Your tee shirt/shorts ensemble isn’t going to work here (unless its lunch-time). Vinnies is a restaurant with, shall we say “attitude”…what else would you expect from a guy named Paulie running the joint?  The food is very good and reasonably priced…for example a dinner time- veal parmigiana entree with a spaghetti side runs $24 and chicken marsala will set you back 22 bucks.  In addition to all of the “standard” stuff, Vinnies’ menu is loaded with steaks-chops-lobsters for guys who had a good day at Gulfstream.  By the way, on the nights that there is live entertainment (check with Vinnies for the schedule) there is no cover- charge to catch some of the best tribute-cover bands/acts in South Florida… not to mention an occassional “guest-star” appearance.

Vinnies is open 7 days a week for dinner…and does lunch Monday-Friday.

20 Comments to “Vinnies Restaurant & Lounge (Davie)”

  1. M. Seltzer says...

    A few years ago a whole group use to go down to a joint in Hollywood named Dino Petes it was right near the Hard Rock Casino. A guy by the name of Mike Miller who is in the group The Mystics who had that hit Hushabye told us about it. The place was great. Decent enough food but like the current Vinnies it was a hangout for doo-wop and and lovers of old rock n roll. Great music and dancing. All kinds of people in the music business use to show up there like Joey Dee and other great singers. I don’t know why the place closed, I think it had something do with rent increases. Since then a number of us have migrated over to Vinnies. Same kind of a crowd but the food is far superior at Vinnies. By the way, the guys who owned Dino Petes perform regularly at Vinnies.

    You are right that this joint is like a trip back in time. Real great fun. Everyone should check Vinnies out.

  2. Dr. Doo Wop says...

    Let this old doo wopper tell you, Vinnies is a great Italian Restaurant with a doo wop twist. Food is excellent and when live music is working you can’t beat this place. A lot of fun.

  3. frank m says...

    take it from this bronx boy, the pastas are sensational. great music and bronx atmosphere,

  4. mk says...

    Did Valentine’s Day at Vinnie’s this evening. Food was okay. Prices fair. Service fair nothing great. BUT the music and atmosphere were so much fun that I’ll be back. No more costly than a regular pizza joint but you get a whole evening of terrific music.

  5. John says...

    Not too happy, No refills on soda $3.00 a small ice filled glass, ended up spending nearly $50
    for an $18 dinner for 2. I ordered from the lunch menu mistakenly given me by the owner.
    The $7.00 baked Ziti ended up costing around $14.
    He wouldn’t make it right. Small portions, had to buy the salad separately (at these high prices?) Food was good however, but salads and sides need to come with the meals for these prices.
    If you look for value don’t look here!
    I won’t be back.

  6. Ralph says...

    I have eaten in Vinnie’s exactly three times. Once when there was no live entertainment and twice when there was. The food is fair. Not that expensive but the local pizzerias have better food. The key to this restaurant is the live music that is there most evenings. With the great music you forgive the food and have a wonderful evening. When there is no music you concentrate on the food and like I mentioned it is just fair. So, go when Vinnie’s has music and you’ll be just fine.

  7. TR says...

    If you like Vinnie’s you’ll also like Paolo’s 3’s Company Restaurant & Lounge in Dania. Italian food and bands.

  8. JOHN W. says...


  9. Benny fr Brooklyn says...

    Love the food at Vinnys but almost $20 bananas for a dish of pasta at a local restaurant is nutso. and they want more for the salad? And if you get that wise ass waiter for the early bird he has an attitude like you are a cheap bas#ard for even buying the Early Bird. and he pushes the $18 appetizers and $9 a glass wine .
    Sat nite is fine but the other six nights will put them under if they dont figure out people cant afford $75 for dinner on a Monday nite. Tommys just around the corner is a better value

  10. Johnnie C. says...

    Food C+
    Service C+
    Music B+
    Music when Bobby Rush is singing A+
    Now you know.

  11. eric says...

    The food is okay nothing great. The music makes up for the food. Try it on a Saturday night. A lot of fun.

  12. Joyce says...

    Spanky & Dino are no longer at Vinnies. You can catch them on the 12/6/09 cruise from Fort Lauderdale along with Chris “Elvis” Macdonald and Larry Chance. Call 954-401-7326 for details.

  13. Mike B. says...

    Food C
    Service C

  14. jk says...

    i see that you finally got over to tommie’s in the same strip center. tommies’ makes great food. vinnies is ok when they got the music going.

  15. Sharon says...

    Does anyone know where Spanky and Dino are playing now? Are they playing anywhere local? I live in Hollywood and always wanted to hear them play, never made it when they were on 441 across from Seminole Casino. Much less Vinnie’s since so expensive. Thanks for your help!!

    • floral says...

      Café Vincenzo’s Margate Blvd & 441 on Thurs nites; Fri nites @ 7pm Gulfstream Park Hallendale. Have fun…they’ve still got what it takes!

  16. richie walken says...

    Vinnie and Fran are the best. Always a pleasure going there. Great food and both very sociable.
    Spanky and Dino best entertainers and always a great time when I visit.

    • Fran Napolitano says...

      Vinnie Sold the restaurant in January 2008.


      5810 S UNIVERSITY DR
      DAVIE FL. 33328

      COME SEE US!!!!!

      • JeffEats says...

        Fran Napolitano:

        Way ahead of you, see Jeff Eats’ Vinnie’s Lobster Bar (Davie)- review 1/28/15.

        Thanks for reading…

  17. Helen Davis says...

    Oh How Those Were The Day’s -Dominick behind the Bar -Sweet Talk in and Joey Dee and Spanky and The game -Working there was a blast and It was The Atmosphere Fran Running Around Vinnie Chasing every Good Looking Girl around the Bar or On the Dance Floor-Great Life Time Memories-This Is How Life Should Really Be”’Dominick was My Favorite”””’

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