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Vivande’s last supper

Photograph of Carlo Middione by Daniel Bahmani

SUDDENLY, although perhaps not for them, the owners of Vivande decided at the end of the year to close the restaurant.

After 29 years at 2125 Fillmore, Vivande served its final meal at dinner on New Year’s Eve [December 31, 2009].

“The decision to close Vivande is based on several factors,” said co-owner Lisa Middione, “but the chief cause is that Chef Carlo Middione sustained injuries to his sense of taste and smell in an auto accident in the spring of 2007. We hoped the problem might improve with time, but it has not.”

Vivande Porta Via opened in December 1981 as an Italian-style gastronomia, featuring authentic artisanal food for take-out and catering, along with specialty products imported from Italy. Restaurant service was soon added, but only at lunch. A more formal dinner menu finally came in 1995.

Vivande became known especially for its fresh pasta dishes. The restaurant also offered special dinners featuring the food and wine of different regions of Italy, but those were curtailed in recent years after the chef was injured.

“Quite simply, Carlo could not be replaced,” Lisa Middione said. “This has led to the fact that Vivande is no longer a viable business, and it cannot withstand the economic impact of the current recession.”

Said Carlo Middione: “We will miss coming to Fillmore Street every day. We have rich memories of the good times at Vivande. We will especially miss Vivande’s customers, among whom we have found many warm friends.”