Varia

4.4
228 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Welcome to Varia, a Romantic, Upscale Italian Restaurant in Norfolk.
Varia, our Italian restaurant and wine studio, features wine by the glass and a pianist six nights a week. Indulge in homemade pasta, freshly tossed pizzas from our brick oven, or signature Italian desserts like the tiramisu. Varia's modern Italian fare is made from only the best local ingredients and the wine studio features over 100 hand-selected wines, including 50 by the glass.
The dining room's intricate finishes and the warm glow of its reclaimed chandelier, formally of the Historic Cavalier's ballroom, offers an intimate ambiance that invites conversation over a full bodied merlot. Guests can book the ultra private dining room only accessible by hidden doors in the bookshelves for special events.
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Sun - Thu 5:00PM - 6:30PM 8:00PM - 10:30PM

What 228 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.1
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great dinner. Glazed salmon special was delicious!

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D
Richmond
22 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Meatball appetizer was AMAZING!

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MR
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What an amazing Restaurant! Downtown Norfolk just seconds from the water front. What more could you ask for? Its Modern Architectural design is among my top 3 favorite restaurants. Piano player every day of the week and Wine Tasting on Thursdays! Come out and try this lovely Italian Restaurant located inside the Breathtaking Hilton Hotel.

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 3

Not a good experience, for lunch ! The Manager even sis lunch is not their best meal! The calamari was not even cooked raw tentacles on the plate looked disgusting, very disappointed

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D
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

based on how much we spent and the poor service. Its hard to recommend this place to anybody. You don't spend that much money and get a very moody server. Rushed service, unwillingness to answer questions. Not a great date experience.

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G
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 5

Aria’s decor and ambiance are beautiful, however, we can’t say the same thing about the food. When we first got there, we noticed that the woman sitting next to us had left her food almost untocuhed. After chatting a bit, we learned that she and her husband had been there for the first time too and were very disappointed with the food. After I ordered my meal, I was so disappointed that I had no choice but to send it back. I then ordered something else only to find out that it was not much better than the first one I ordered and my husbands’s meal was not any better either. So disappointing. We don’t mind paying for $25 - $30 plates for excellent food, but to spend my money for a less than mediocre food and service, it is just ridiculous. While we are locals, we have travelled quite a bit and have experienced what gourmet and excellent food taste like; Varia can get away with providing poor quality food and charging gourmet prices around other locals and those who have no idea what real quality food is taste like, but never with individuals who have travelled, are used to eating first class, quality food and are used to receiving top notch serviced from well trained staff. I would only recommend Varia for wine or happy hour, but never for dinner.

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KL
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the food and decor.

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B
Miami
7 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Service was subpar. The server was nice, but not very attentive. She did not refill our water glasses, and she didn’t seem to have a strong sense of urgency. Our check was wrong, but she was polite and gladly fixed it. The food was good.

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LG
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was absolutely perfect for the occasion! The food and ambiance were both amazing. Will definitely be back !

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BG
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

I booked my reservation online, and noted that I was taking my wife out for her birthday. I also noted that we were going out with friends that were celebrating their wedding anniversary. I was a bit taken back that at no time did anyone ask who was celebrating their birthday and anniversary. Also, my friend and I ordered the same entree, and when it came out, the portion sizes were very off - one portion was almost double the size of the other one! Lastly, one of the ladies found a piece of metal in her food - it looked to be a piece of a scouring pad used in commercial kitchens to clean with.
We aren't ones to complain, so we just let it go. However, I feel like its something the restaurant should know about. I would have liked to have done something a bit more special for my wife, but perhaps the comment field when making a reservation is not disclosed to the restaurant. If this is the case, it should be in the future. Overall, not a bad experience, but as someone who was in the Hospitality Industry for many years, there is always room for improvement to create magical moments for those dining at your establishment. Thank you

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RM
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

The ambiance was not what I was expecting, and the noise level made it hard to have a conversation. I dont appreciate a place that feels like you have put the food in the middle of a huge plate, when the size of the meal, would be more presentable on a regular size plate. The size of the plate does not mean you have great food and you can charge more for it. My wife's scallops were wonderful. Her meal was what I should have ordered. The chicken meal I ordered had no real flavor and the asparagus was burnt. The piano player was talented, but the noise level made it difficult to enjoy her. We were there to celebrate my wife's birthday. But they didn't even acknowledge that. It was mentioned in the reservation. When I spend over a hundred for a meal for the two of us, I expect a better experience.

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SF
Richmond
16 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this restaurant! It has such an upscale city feel. We went light on our dinner, soup and meatball appetizer and split a pizza. All was delicious! We will be returning!

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SH
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Elegant restaurant and superb dining experience. Beautiful Hotel.

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P
Baltimore
64 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Showed up on a Monday. Place was busy but still felt private. The handmade pizza was authentic and the flavors well balanced. Service was exceptional. Bottle wine prices were reasonable and the selection was well thought out. Something for everyone at every price point. Well done!

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KK
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Poor service. Our server was nice, however there were significant delays in each portion of our meal. She was unable to tell us the specials, instead went to get the tablet (another 5 minutes) We ordered a bottle of white wine (which sat on our table all night and was never put on ice) and would have purchased another if we ever saw our waitress. It was at 12 minute delay from getting the dessert menu to her checking back for the order, plus another 10 min after desert was finished to then ask for the check and another wait until the check came. We spent over 2 hours at the restaurant, and felt like the majority was spent waiting on our server.

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JC
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was very friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. The ambiance with the live piano music was excellent, and the place was managed very well.

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t
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We loved the look and feel in Varia. The food was good, but service was a little slow.

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K
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was excellent, food was great and decor is lovely.

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K
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was lit. Best service out here. Shout out the server with the dreads she held me down. Will be returning.

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Food was decent but nothing out of this world. We enjoyed the ambiance as it reminded us of something you would find in a larger city like New York or Philadelphia. Sadly the service and food didn’t match the ambiance.

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SH
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff was excellent and the service was excellent. The staff accommodated my wife and I with a special order as we were celebrating our anniversary at the hotel. I have nothing but rave reviews for Varia!!!!

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DM
Baltimore
7 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 5

Fantastic food but several service issues made the dinner less than stellar. Started with a problem of the reservation which had been increased to 6 (confirmed) not being updated in their system so no table was available. They nicely comped a glass of wine for all but we did not get seated for 1 1/2 hours. Ordered but entrees took another hour to be served. Despite this the food was outstanding. The sauce for the Fruit de Marr was incredible and Marghareta pizza just wonderful. Deserts outstanding also. We loved the many wine by glass options and the ambiance is first class. I will give Varia another try.

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OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

The restaurant itself is gorgeous, however the seating could be improved. We were seated on a tufted wraparound bench that was great to look at but obnoxiously uncomfortable. Our server left much to be desired. She didn’t know the specials, didn’t take extra dishes and wine glasses off the table and was not attentive. Having recently been downstairs to Saltine where the service was completely on point- this was surprising. The food was good, particularly the scallops and chicken parm. The pastas were just ok. All in all, I don’t think we will be back for awhile.

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m
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great evening in a pleasant environment. Terrific quality meal.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We traveled from San Antonio and met with our son and daughter-in-law for a special evening together. Our busy professional lives make those rare events indeed. We couldn’t have asked for a better meal, choice of wines or setting. It was a little loud but not so much as to have affected our conversations. Overall,...the meal was a great success.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am a vegetarian and eggplant was excellent and filling

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AP
Atlantic Canada
141 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed the Valentine's Day tasting menu on this visit. Excellent preparation and presentation of all courses.

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WH
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I chose VARIA for a Valentine's Day dinner after we had our rehearsal dinner there back in October. Once again, it was a real treat. Key word: SCALLOPS

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S
Wilmington
25 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Considering it was Valentines the table, service & food was exceptional!!

Certainly would try it again. We love Saltines & delighted we tried this.

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HG
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Honestly?

On Valentine's Day.

Our seat location was under a vent (?) which blew COLD air. My wife sat with her jacket around her shoulders against the wall the entire 20 minutes we toughed it out. We asked for and were not offered another table location, so we left - so did the couple seated directly behind us that was seated immediately after us - though I don't know why.

Our server said she asked the manager to lessen the airflow (I took her at her word). She said he did it. We didn't notice any change in the airflow. She was very nice, but also served double duty as the greeter and reservation checker, so we saw her about every every five minutes.

The menu was unexpected. I take responsibility for not checking it online beforehand. It was a 'take it or leave it five course Valentine's Day menu' without options to substitute other appetizers, entrees, or desserts. Unusual.

Incidentally, we ended up walking into La Bella Italia restaurant and enjoyed a fine meal after being turned down reservations at three other restaurants because of the occasion.

Probably won't come back to Varia for dinner, but would consider a business lunch because of its convenience. Varia would not be a restaurant I would recommend to others if asked.

Thank you for asking.

HG

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DG
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We were originally placed at a table outside in front of the piano and vocalists which was so loud that we could not hear each other talk. Also at the table was very high and the chairs were so big and deep that even at six to my chest was at the level of the top of the table. We requested a change of table and were moved to the back at a much more appropriate table. The service staff were excellent and they even gave us a free glass of Prosecco for our trouble. The food quality was great and so was the process Prosecco. We would go back there again. A dinner for 2 was less than $100 so we were pleased with that since we had $100 gift card. We used to valet parking which was easy And convenience and only cost six dollars. Overall this was a very nice pre-Valentine's Day dinner.

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GG
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Hand's dowi best restaurant in Norfolk VA. Food is great and wine 👌

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

Walked in, no hostess.

Finally got seated, did not receive service for about ten minutes. Placed drink order, and that took almost 20mins to get brought over. Husband ordered a second drink, that took another 10 or so minutes. Maybe longer, stopped keeping track bc we never saw our waitress.

We thought about leaving cash at the table and walking out, but we ordered food already & it took forever to come out. Our waitress barely came over to check on us, she didn’t even come when the food was brought out.

We ordered a chicken pesto pizza, shrimp gnocchi, and some other pasta they have. Pizza was okay, it wasn’t really anything to brag about or a “must try.” The shrimp gnocchi was pretty tasty, kudos to the chef that cleans the shrimp well & takes the tail off 🙌🏼. The other pasta wasn’t that great, I don’t even remember the name. I just remember it was $27 🤷🏻‍♀️

We even ordered two different desserts, that was the fastest thing that got served to us. I’m thinking it’s because we also asked for the check as soon as we placed our order lol

It wasn’t a busy evening, it didn’t get busy until midway through our dinner. We were at the restaurant for 2 hours, and for a first experience here it was horrible.

The menu wasn’t the same as the online menu that was shown. The waitress never went over the menu, no one was at the front to even welcome us in.

I’ll try this place out again for happy hour or something if I was in the area, but it’s not a first choice and I won’t go out of my way to come here again

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BG
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I went on a date night and we LOVED it! Must try Mama’s Meatball! Great ambience and amazing service. Will definitely go there again!

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

The food was absolutely amazing at Varia! We have heard so many great things about Varia from our family and friends and decided to finally give it a try. For appetizer we had the bruschetta and the grilled octopus, for dinner I had the king crab pasta, and the others at my table had shrimp scampi and veal Milanese. For dessert we shared the pistachio creme brûlée and tiramisu cheesecake. We all tried each other’s meals and everything was delicious. Unfortunately I can’t say good things about our server. Someone else stopped by the table to pour water and told us our waiter would be by shortly. It took him about 15 minutes to come to our table and when he did, he seemed distracted and barely acknowledged that we were waiting a while. We ordered our drinks and appetizers right away in fear that we wouldn’t see him again for a while. Then once our drinks were served we ordered our meals. He would disappear for long periods of time and when we would see him, we had to ask for refills on water and for more drinks, he didn’t ask us. He was serving two tables next to us and we heard each table comment that they hadn’t seen the server in a while. We didn’t say anything to management since everything else was excellent but it was slightly disappointing that the service didn’t match the rest of the experience. This won’t keep us from going back to the restaurant in the future, unless of course it happens again. Overall the food and ambience was amazing!!

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P
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Service was initially slow. It was over 20 minutes before receiving water and having drink orders taken. Once she realized we were there service picked up. Food was okay but not worth the price.

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DC
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was excellent. We enjoyed our meal and the crème brulee very much!

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YB
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best restaurant in Norfolk!
We had an incredible experience. Food and drinks were perfect.
Manager, Matthew, stopped and spoke with us several times to ensure our dining experience was perfect.
Mr. Daluzeau also came to our table to make sure everything was exceptional.
Thank you for a wonderful dining experience and great conversations! Will return soon- Yurii

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L
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Food was delicious but our waiter forgot to bring us bread whereas the tables next to us all received bread (different waitstaff). Our waiter also initially brought me the wrong glass of wine but corrected it as soon as I mentioned it. Perhaps he had lots of other tables to serve but he seemed to not be available when we needed his attention so we had to request for his assistance by asking other waitstaff for our waiter. The hostess also forgot to mark my open table as “attended” and marked it as “not shown” which I had to dispute with open table. The ambience and food is good but the service is definitely lacking.

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J
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have eaten at Varia number of times. Both for special occasions and just good food and up-town atmosphere. Janet Janata

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