Varia

4.4
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407 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 407 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
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PN
Richmond
14 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were celebrating a promotion. The atmosphere, food and service were exceptional. The live music was nice too. We’ve enjoyed Varia and this perfect! Our server, Jazlyne, was outstanding- 5 stars! We look forward to our next visit! Highly recommended!!!

CM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous dinner! Jasmine W. Provided great service and recommendations. Comfortable atmosphere and great food.
Highly recommended

OT
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food and great service.

G
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food3service5ambience5

The service was really notable. We had a young man named Matthew and he could not have been more accommodating. He offered up options and flexibility that was quite remarkable. The food that we selected: veal osso buco, Caesar salad, and spaghetti with meatball were of varying quality. The Caesar salad was generously sized with a flavorful dressing. The veal was well prepared but the piece itself was far less tender than one might have hoped. The spaghetti had a very nice sauce bright-sunny-tomato flavor but it came cold because the pasta was not brought up to temperature. (Again, the waiter was great, I saw the food go under the lights and moments alter it was on its way to us.)

M
Richmond
24 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall4food4service2ambience5

Food was good and tasty. The service however was at best average. We waited 11 min before our server came to our table and brought water and then disappeared We may give them one more try as the last time was exactly the same. Food was excellent but the service was even worse that the this time.

OT
Richmond
14 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience4

The hostess sat us right next to where the music was setup and said they were not starting for more than an hour; ten minutes later they were on. Waiter took our order and I asked for bread, then mid meal asked again. I was told bread was in the oven, it came after our meal was completely done and was ice cold. Never asked how our meal was or if we needed anything. Zero service. The sommelier- Brittany- was great. The manager- Richard- listened and was receptive. The overall atmosphere was great, food was good, but service ruined the date.

VA
Washington DC
100 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

First time at Varia. We were seated in a quite area of the restaurant. All started well with salads coming out quickly. However, our entries were lost in the kitchen for 1 hour despite our server asking for them. Both were excellent - lasagna and eggplant parmesan. Management was very responsive to surprise and delight. May try again.

LJ
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice upscale city lounge atmosphere with live music and intimate couples or group seating. Great for enjoying fine wines and tapas plates while listening to a pianist and/or vocalist.

KM
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my first time at Varia and I have to say that I was very pleased. I love everything about this restaurant from the service, to the ambiance and especially the food. I will definitely be coming back!

C
Richmond
18 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Although the menu is limited I always enjoy the ambiance and live pianist each visit.

JW
Detroit
3 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

I thought my wife and I would be treated as guests in someone’s house, and not thought of a chore on A Saturday night.

H
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful ambience, delicious food, and great staff that were attentive and kind. We went to the restaurant to celebrate our Anniversary and received so much more than we expected . The staff made this experience memorable. Thank you Varia for making this day so awesome.

BB
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The set up of the restaurant is very elegant and welcoming. The staff is really nice and very attentive to your needs. Great menu items and savory meals. Is a good place to celebrate almost anything with family, friends or co-workers.

Varia
Responded on February 22, 2020

Thank you for the wonderful review!!!

Report
JC
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience5

Mediocre food at best. Service was decent. Would never wait as long as we did for a table.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The experience was great as always started off a little disappointed made my booking through open door to get there and it not be in the system! The host took great care of us got us in to good seats by the piano and the rest was good to go thanks. Varia! Always a great time

Anthony Ak

HS
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

My boyfriend and I enjoyed our dinner very much and we will be going back. Appetizer, salad and bread was amazing! I ordered the tenderloin which was a special that night. I asked for medium and it came out seared and raw in the middle. I sent it back so they could cook it more and it came back seared and raw in the middle. I asked for a box so I could take it home and cook it and eat it the next day. The manager came over to apologize and didn't charge for my meal or dessert. We could not find a bottle of wine on the menu to purchase that I had in a glass, but they were able to get us a bottle and charge it manually. I have not been able to find that particular wine in other stores yet so I might have to go back for it. They were very professional, nice and accommodating. The pianist and singer were great and It was a nice change to have live music.

RE
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food, nice ambiance and decor. Great service, you can go ahead.

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience4

Service was slow and food was cold

v
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time bringing my children and they made them feel right at home.

OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a lovely anniversary date last night! Our server, Martin, was amazing! He was really nice and helpful. No complaints, Martin. (: The wagon wheel pasta is easily my favorite thing on this menu! The lasagna is delicious as well. Ordered an amazing bottle of wine (I didn’t remember the name, oops!) which was a 2007.👌🏻👌🏻 Anyway, I wouldn’t change a thing about our date last night. It was perfect. Also, the live music was beautiful and added to the already awesome, romantic ambiance. Loved this whole dinner!! Thank you!

LP
Nashville
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Second dinner at Varia did not match the experience of our first visit in a December 2019. My bucatini carbonara lacked flavor; I had to add salt and pepper which is normally not the case at a restaurant of this caliber. My wife had the gnocchi with shrimp. It was delicious, as was the case when I had ordered it on our previous visit. Did the chef make a mistake on my dish? We shared the grilled octopus appetizer, which was OK but not as tasty as the octopus we had a few weeks earlier at a restaurant in Boston’s North End. We’ll return to Varia, but I’ll order something different next time.

D
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Mixed feelings tonight. I have visited a few times. I keep wanting the best experience possible but.... service just doesn’t do it for me here. We went out to celebrate a new marriage. We thought this be the place to go with parents.

Our server was very slow. She forgot our bread, disappeared at one point for 20 minutes and failed to update us on meals which took 38 mins to come out.
We assume she forgot to put the order in... But again she was slow to communicate things to us which makes it hard for me to pay $174 anywhere and keep my mouth shut about this...

The food is amazing. It is, but service has to match the product. Hopefully it gets better. Not sure I’m recommending this to anyone though. Try ghent everybody. Good luck to them.

OT
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience4

Good experience overall and will come back

OT
Richmond
11 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall1food1service4ambience2

We had to ask for a different table as they seated us 2 feet from the piano. The appetizers were OK. We both ordered pasta dishes and they were inedible. Any Italian chef should be embarrassed to admit they were his. The manager did make it right, so we’ll have another chance to try the restaurant.

SE
Western NC
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Although we booked table we decided to sit at bar. Second time we’ve been, great food and place has real buzz.

Varia
Responded on February 3, 2020

Thanks for the Wonderful Review!

Report
SF
Richmond
21 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I’ve been here several times and the food is usually delicious and the service slow and not so great. Throughout our visits we have had just about everything-from the appetizers, to salads, pizzas to the pasta dishes and non-pasta entrees. Always delicious! The wedding soup and prima vera pasta are my least favorite. This visit the food overall was very good-the Caesar salad lettuce did not taste very fresh but everything else was delicious. Our server was excellent! Very nice change from past visits! He checked in on us without being overbearing or rushing us at all. He was very helpful with our questions and timely with our meals. Always a fun and fancy night when we go to Varia. Thank you for good food and being a great server! I’m sorry we forgot your name!

Varia
Responded on February 3, 2020

Thank you for the Review!

Report
OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Happy Hour

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Had an awesome birthday here. The pianist and singer sung happy birthday to me. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the food was really delicious.

Varia
Responded on February 3, 2020

Thanks for the Review!

Report
CT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant's open and airy concept is very nice. The food was delicious and service attentive, but not overly so. A lovely evening. Thanks

Varia
Responded on February 3, 2020

Thank you for the review!

Report
WH
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first visit to Varia. The night was to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday and I wanted it to be special. We are in our 50's and I researched many restaurants before picking Varia's for a new place for us to try. Zach was our waiter and he was most excellent! The food was great and well presented. Zach made sure the food courses came out in timely manner so we would not miss our play at the Wells Theater. Zach was the best waiter we had anywhere in many years. The atmosphere, food and service made the special night memorable and enjoyable. It was such a pleasure. The only regret is that we couldn't eat more for we were stuffed. We definitely will be going back and asking for Zach. We are older and can be hard to please. My girlfriend does Protocol work for a living so she has high expectations. With that said, I highly recommend Varia.

RG
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful time having dinner at Varia. The service was excellent and the food was great. We're definitely coming back.

ES
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The restaurant is visually stunning and the service is outstanding. We had a very attentive and friendly server named Martin. The supervisor also came to our table to introduce herself and assure we had everything we needed. The food was very good. My husband particularly enjoyed the grilled octopus appetizer. I had the meatball which could have served 2-3 as an appetizer. Please consider sharing. The entree was chicken Marsala. Again , quite good with very large portions. Each plate arrived with 2 chicken breasts along with house-made spaghetti, spinach and all covered with a mushroom Marsala sauce. We will definitely return to try some other dishes.

a
Richmond
27 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was great - friendly and quick. Food was delicious - the meatball appetizer is huge!

OT
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Enjoyed our anniversary dinner

l
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We did the wine class before dinner, and loved the atmosphere! It's very polished but also relaxed, and we were able to get our samples and learn about the wine, then savor it at our table with the cheeses and fruit provided. It was not rushed, and we very much enjoyed the experience, and learned about some fantastic new wines. Next we had dinner in the restaurant, and enjoyed lovely live music (piano and vocal) with dinner. The energy in the restaurant is really nice-- very cozy and relaxing. They even have shelves full of old books which adds to the ambiance. Service was excellent as was the food, and it's a nice touch that they give each table a complimentary (giant) meatball along with fresh bread. We all greatly enjoyed our meals. This is a great place to have a relaxed catch up with friends or a romantic date night, I really love the atmosphere and will definitely be back!

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Everything was good except for the food I ordered. I got the salmon piccata but it came with tomatoes instead of capers and didn’t taste like piccata, I cannot eat tomatoes too that is why i ordered it. Per the description it’s
SALMON PICCATA 25
lemon, white wine, capers, sautéed spinach

E
Charlotte
95 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Such a lovely place for nice decor and staff is amazing. Good was good. Priced accordingly

SA
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing! Love the piano bar feel, high booths, elegance, and great happy hour specials!

AS
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was exquisite. Michael, our server was 5 stars all the way. We entertained some friends and were very please with the entire evening. Frank does Frank seemed a little noisy . We will most certainly be back.

CE
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and ambiance for the special night out