A Speakeasy Italian Restaurant?! The Neighborhood’s Fave Gelateria, Vita, Shows Us What’s Behind The Door

Designed to be inviting and fun, the Bonis and their crew have created a new local darling.

The neighborhood has loved Vita from the start, and Vita has always returned that love in spades.

Owners Massimo and Ana Boni have managed to create an amazing addition to the Rittenhouse neighborhood, combining a genuinely friendly vibe with impeccable taste in coffee and gelato. The entire staff has become neighborhood fixtures, owing in no small part to the overwhelming love for hospitality.

The door as pictured on the 2nd day Vita was open.

It was no surprise that their smiling service combined with amazing gelatos whose flavors rotate regularly became a must-try experience almost immediately after opening. However, they kept their greater aspirations a tightly guarded secret.

From the beginning, Vita planned to expand their culinary offerings and hospitality experience. They spent over a year obsessing over the details and managing construction and outfitting. Over the last few months, things finally came together, and they were able to expand their intimate gelateria. The goal? A top-tier authentic Italian dining destination.

Vita has launched, starting with a soft open for friends and family just a few days ago, and opening to the general public next week on May 30th.

Every wall and every detail is very much a reflection of the Bonis, thoughtfully pulled together with intention, detail, and love as they believe very strongly in providing an experience that brings friends and family together, to enjoy a delicious meal in true Italian style.

Each element in the dining room means something to the Bonis: from the gold trays on the wall to the pretty cherubs decorating everything. The vibe itself is delicate and romantic, in an ethereal way.

The bar is beautifully constructed. Soft light trickles through from beneath, lighting up the marble and the spritzes perched upon it.

The family-style round tables in red velvet are both elegant and comfortable, allowing everyone to engage effectively with parties of all sizes.

The food is traditional Italian, offering antipasti, primi, and secondi. These are the dishes you’re familiar with, but prepared with the freshest ingredients, cooked perfectly, and served in style. The drinks are well crafted and compliment the food as you would expect of such a fastidious host.

Did we mention they have incredible gelato? They do have incredible gelato. They also offer pastries from Isgro’s.

Friends familiar with Branzino, the previous tenants in this space, may remember the amazing outdoor patio behind the restaurant, and that feature remains in this iteration of the space, with new furniture on its way.

Guests are encouraged to leave via the back, adding to the mystery. A fun fact that was shared: As construction was happening, some people who opened the door expecting to find normal fridge items were shocked to realize there was an actual large space behind it.

Amazingly, the Vita crew was able to successfully keep the restaurant a secret in a busy neighborhood: no construction crews were seen coming in and out.

Be sure to follow Vita on social for gelato updates and for the intimate dinner experience, now you know there’s more behind the door.

📍261 S 17th St

🕒 Thursdays from 5-10p, Fridays and Saturdays from 5-11p, and Sundays from 5-9p