Vida Restaurant

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Category: 
Address: 
381 Van Duzer, Staten Island, NY, 10304
Phone number: 
718-720-1501

Reading Silva Popaz's menu is akin to flipping through a photo album of her childhood in Serbia and Brooklyn, as well as a decade of adulthood in Taos. In fact, the signature starter Vida Bites—slow-roasted pulled pork with pico de gallo and vibrant avocado sauce—is basically her grandmother's recipe given a New Mexican twist. Lots of her dishes get this melting-pot treatment: the spicy gumbo made with dirty rice, chicken, and smoked kielbasa, or mussels that kick thanks to white wine, shallots, and fresh fish stock via Korean chile paste. Her ever-changing list of specials, displayed inside on an easel, has been an effective lure drawing Stapleton locals into the warm golden dining room with its lush tropical plants and its eye-catching wall-size oil paintings. — Amy Zavatto