Scottsdale’s Vivo Ristorante celebrated its one-year anniversary with a wine dinner, replacing its normal monthly Chef’s Table dinners.

Vivo is Valley chef Tomaso Maggiore’s latest project, serving food from his native Italy. The idea behind Vivo was a more affordable food and drinks, a place for friends to come after work for a drink at the bar or a bite to eat. It has a mercato, or market, where guests can purchase Italian foods, even olive oil from Sicily, courtesy of Executive Chef Maggiore.

From the large dining room guests can see into the kitchen, over a bar where guests originally sat at the monthly Chef’s Table dinners. However, once the dinner grew form its 12-person limit, guests moved to tables, set in a corner of the restaurant as to ensure intimacy. It then morphed into a wine dinner.

Wine ambassadors pair wines with each course, and then offer guests a bit of history about the wine, the vineyard from which it came and the food pairings.

Maggiore greeted all of the dinner guests, and lit up when he saw some familiar faces. He had just returned from a trip to Italy to visit family, and as he said, research. His passion for food was evident from the minute he took his phone out to show pictures of his trip and explaining why he loved food so much: it brings families and loved ones together.

That passion was evident at Vivo, through the food, the effort put into the event and the overall environment.

From pizza and pasta to charcuterie boards and gnocchi, Vivo’s menus have a thorough selection of Italian dishes. Smaller plates and reduced-priced drinks grace the Happy Hour menu, and dessert menu reminds guests that life is sweet with cannolis, gelato and tiramisu.

Vivo is located at 6560 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Wine dinners are held the third week of every month, and reservations are highly encouraged.