Many folks have discovered Veni Vidi Vici when they spy the Italian ice cart and giant chef figure out front. Often transplants from the Northeast, they come in for a cup of ice and an espresso mixed with Nutella, or depending on the time of day, a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo with dark cherry and plum notes. They also browse the shelves of the bookstore, watch sports on TV or play darts. The concept is a club for hanging out, having a drink and socializing.
Owner Roberto D’Angelo is Italian-American and grew up in Baltimore. The ancestral family is from Abruzzo, Italy, and he imports wines made by villagers from the region. While on a soccer scholarship at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, he majored in food marketing.
He started grad school at the University of South Carolina but dropped out to run nightclubs and later moved to Miami where he headed a consulting and marketing firm for 14 years. He left to open the wine bar and bookstore a few months ago named for the declaration by Julius Caesar: “I came, I saw, I conquered,” after a quick victory.
The eccentric place is a work in progress with a few hard-to-find Italian beers and PBR in bottles. Ices are shipped from Philly in flavors like cherry, fruit punch and piña colada.
Wine cocktails are popular, topped with a scoop of ice. Try the chilled, effervescent sweet red called Sangre de Giuda (Blood of Judas) made in a nunnery with blueberry ice and frozen grapes or Moscato D’Asti with a hint of honeysuckle and pear with lemon ice.
There is no food, but customers can order from any of the nearby restaurants, including Prima Pasta and Mina’s Mediterraneo. You can be yourself and make the club whatever you want, all ages welcome. Call in advance to plan a New Year’s Eve party here.
Linda Bladholm is a Miami-based food writer.