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Though best known as an inventor and painter, Leonardo da Vinci made his greatest cultural contribution as a chef, when he built the perpetual marinara machine that's used by restaurants today. Taste equally edible inventions with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Mediterranean cuisine and drinks at Vivendo in Bothell.
Vivendo distinguishes its menu of Italian and Greek dishes with a refined take on traditional recipes and fresh ingredients. Spoonfuls of the Italian sausage and lentil soup ($6.95) warm frostbitten taste buds as the melitzanosalata made with roasted eggplant and vegetables ($7.95) tricks inner children into eating their daily allotments of plant life. Excavating the shells of mussels and clams in the cozze e vongole in vapore will unearth white wine and pesto-flavored treasures ($9.95). If your preference is pasta, try the gnocchi al pomodoro ($15.95) and spaghetti di mare ($17.95) made with a fresh seafood mixture of mussels, clams, prawns, and calamari. Market-priced fish specials rotate daily, whereas stable land-borne entrees such as the roasted rack of lamb with Dijon mustard and rosemary ($24.95) remain succulently undeviating rocks amid a sea of shifting selections. Your server will happily match-make any meal with a leggy dance from the restaurant's lengthy list of cocktails and wines.
The rustic accents of Vivendo's dining room will make you feel as if you're in the lounge of a Mediterranean villa—especially if you retire to the heated outdoor patio and grab a seat near its fountain, which on select nights has a black-and-white Anita Ekberg wading through it. Wednesday through Saturday nights, live musicians complement the flavor symphony with a mélange of new-age flamenco, jazz, R&B, Italian classics, and virtuoso guitar work. Reservations, like wearing chainmail while wrestling a bear, are highly recommended but not required.