STAFF PICK: Maybe up the road in Phoenix it's not unusual to find quality dining in the midst of shopping frenzy, but here in Tucson it's something of a rarity. Vivace is the exception: a restaurant with class, history and a mouthwatering menu that keeps a steady, returning clientele. The cuisine is primarily contemporary northern Italian, but owner/chef Daniel Scordato manages to work in some of the freshest seafood this side of the Pacific. Pay attention to your server's recitation of specials, as these will be some of the most spectacular offerings of the day. We still recall a chicken cacciatore -- a wonderful surprise, served in a bowl filled with homemade fettuccine topped with a deep red tomato sauce studded with tender breast meat, green peppers, onions and a melange of fresh basil, thyme and oregano. Veal is another of Vivace's specialties, and we've yet to sample any dish that didn't send us into orbit. Always save room for dessert, as the sweet tray is full of showstoppers all on its own. A lemon mousse drizzled with a tart berry coulis and served inside a crunchy, golden pastry, napoleon style, is awesome; and Vivace's ethereal chocolate mousse never disappoints.
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