Varia

4.2
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354 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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Thank you for choosing Varia. Due to high volume we require a credit card to secure this reservation. Full Payment is required upon making your reservation and this is non-refundable. To book reservations please call us at 757-763-6227 or email Holidays@themainnorfolk.com (DAILY 11AM-7PM)

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

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Sun - Thu 5:00PM - 6:30PM 8:00PM - 10:30PM

What 354 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.4
food
3.9
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KP
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server, Ben, was wonderful!

D
Richmond
16 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience1

One of the worst and most disappointing dining experiences my family and I have ever had. We made reservations more that three weeks in advance for a upscale restaurant expecting to be seated in the main dining room. We wear on our way to the Hamilton performance that evening and wanted a fine dining experience before the show. Upon checking in we we told we would not be seated in the dining room but were seated in the bar, seats were uncomfortable billboard signage were way to bright glaring in three of our party’s eyes and very uncomfortable. I was extremely embarrassed for making the reservation and the negative customer dining experience. BAD SHOW HILTON AND VARIA. Service was from a bar employee not a experienced waitress . Your poor restaurant, negative customer service will make a good example when I train my 450 + TEAM members on what not to do to customers. You lost myself, my family and my many friends, not to mention the many people I come in contact with daily
David G Rockinson, 757-575-5732, mickey41@verizon.net

JP
New England
94 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent meal, excellent service. Though meal was delayed, it was handled very well. I will return when I'm in the area.

JM
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We were a party of 5 and dined for a birthday celebration. From the complimentary meatball to the birthday desert, jazz music in background, everything was perfect. Our server Zackary Y was exceptional. I must say the service overall at both Varia and Saltine (we dined at both in the past week) has vastly upped its game.

TM
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My son found this place so happy he did!!!
Great food ! Beautiful place ! So much to see.

v
Richmond
17 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

First read about Varia in the Distinction Magazine and decided to give Varia a try. Was absolutely impressed with the ambiance and food but definitely was not impressed with our reserved seating. These gray chairs were extremely large, very difficult to move since they are on carpet and more useful in a relaxed lounge setting not for ‘eat tables.’ These chairs were very low and therefore not lined up with the Table properly making one eating their meal like a child. In reviewing the entire restaurant where we were sat, it was the only area that had these chairs. Over and above our seating arrangement, the restaurant was really nice and we would definitely return!

BG
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, outstanding service. Plus we got a free meatball appetizer! Definitely will go back to Varia!

SF
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Service was horrible, we only received a third of our main course. The food was good, for the items we did receive. Server next came back to check to see if we had our full meal. This is probably the last time we will be there given how many good restaurants are around.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had amazing service and the food was amazing!

L
Richmond
29 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We decided on Varia because we were heading to the opera and didn't want to feel out of place in our finery. We were very happy with our table. We ordered Happy Hour small plates for our appetizers. The lamb was exceptional! We split a salad. The only drawback was that it was evident they forgot to serve the salad because our dinners came three minutes after our salads. The food was very good though. We would recommend dining here and plan to return for Happy Hour.

T
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great location, price, ambiance and ofcourse, taste. Will be booking again very soon.

TW
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Family gathering. Varia was very crowded and noisy. Our waiter (Trent) was pleasant but clearly inexperienced and overwhelmed. We were served food long before we got our pre-dinner drinks. Trent broke the cork of the bottle of wine we requested and the wine was not properly chilled. I asked for a cappuccino with my dessert and it never arrived. Overall, I would rank this as one of the worst dining experiences I have ever had. Will probably not return. Sorry for us since we had great hopes for Varia as our ‘go-to’ place for a meal.

JG
Raleigh
12 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience4

Without a doubt, the food at Varia is excellent. My husband and I had the grilled octopus, Caesar salad and shared the stuffed figs. Our entrees were the pear pizza and the pasta Caprese. It was all excellent. Unfortunately, we ate there on an apparently busy Saturday night and it was obvious that our server had too many people to serve to give adequate attention to each table. The restaurant uses the unfortunate practice of having runners deliver the food from the kitchen, which means if you don't have something that you need or want, like additional Parmesan cheese for your pasta or the glass of wine you ordered to accompany your pizza, you have no one to ask unless the server happens by. Needless to say, my husband never received the additional grated cheese and I had finished my pizza by the time my wine arrived. We were not the only ones who experienced this. The couple at a nearby table flagged someone down and said, "Our waiter has disappeared. Could you bring us a to-go box?" It's a shame service was so abysmal because the food is really delicious at Varia.

g
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience3

NOT a good experience - first time, had a 6 pm reservation so restaurant was not very busy; the Beratta appetizer was great, but it went down hill big time from there; I ordered Frutti Di Mare - it was horrible; had 3 clams in it, 3 small mussels, 2 shrimp and one scallop - one of the clams was not open. Looked like it came w/ spaghetti, and not much of it - not what the menu said; Suggest manager go to Isle of Capris to see what this dinner is supposed to be like. Service was horrible - I had to wait several minutes to get a knife to cut my shrimp; ordered second round of drinks before meal came - we were almost done eating before my wife's drink came, not my glass of wine - manager had to go get it; waiter never came back to check on us - when we finally got our bill, had to wait a long time until he came back. First time I ever tipped only 10% for dinner, and that was way too much based on service. This is a NO GO all the way!

PK
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was an excellent place! The food was amazing and we loved the piano and live music. Great view of Downtown Norfolk also!

L
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding in every way! The food is fabulous, the service wonderful and the ambiance superb! We love eating here when visiting Norfolk.

SN
Richmond
48 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The smell drew us in from the moment we stepped off the escalator . Great wine selection. If I have 1 call out, my friend wanted to order a tequila shot. What is normally $120/bottle was $72/shot. Outrageous.

We had the bruschetta and a meat & cheese platter. The platter was huge. Easily enough for 4 people. We ordered rigatoni and bolognese . Took the leftovers home and they were great the next day . Shrimp scampi could have used more garlic but it was still good.

Looking forward to coming back

D
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

It was very very good
Our sever was very insightful, kind, patient and pleasant
to talk to!
Thank you for a wonderful experience 🙏🏼☺️

OT
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

The food was great. The service was a little slow, but overall we had a good experience.

KM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time. Vaughn our bartender/server was excellent. The food was delicious. We can’t wait to go back.

OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Food is amazing here, but waitstaff needs a bit more training for this restaurant to be first class. There’s little attention to detail.

BT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Got off to a bumpy start, waiting 30 min for drinks. They recovered well, however, comped the drinks, and dinner was excellent. Great music that evening from Jimmy Hopper. A fun night out!

OT
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful atmosphere, wonderful service, and food. We will be back!

FR
Richmond
10 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Restaurant service has really gone down hill since we last ate here. Don’t plan on ever coming back here again. Had to ask for water. It’s unfortunate as we previously thought this was going to be our go-to place for an upscale restaurant. Not any more. Oh well....many fish in the sea.

b
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall2food5service2ambience2

The food was great however the service and ambiance were definitely lacking. When paying the amount of money we spent on a meal I expect exceptional service and while our server was very nice I don't believe the training was there. She didn't seem to know how to perform table-side wine service properly and though likely not her fault, our white wine was not served at the correct temperature and we had to send it back to be put in the fridge. Little things like clearing appetizer silverware and bringing plates for apps (we had to use bread plates which were then never cleared) and having to ask for bread and water refills go a long way in the dining experience. No complaints on the food, everything we had was delicious however we are not likely to return as there are so many other great options downtown without service issues.

ETA - The manager responded and asked me to send an email to him with a copy of my review. I did so on 10/11 and received no response. Just leaves more of a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended as again, food was great!).

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience4

It was a birthday party for my husband. We arrived at 6:30pm for the reservation and waited for almost two hours for our dinner. We had constantly to remind our server for every request such as refilling our water.

HS
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great customer service. Meal was late but compensated for. Exceptional wine selection

GH
Washington DC
43 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Lunch was overall good, but the spaghetti pasta was a little undercooked. Also, be aware there’s no bread or rolls at lunch. Only dinner. Wine by the glass options pretty limited and unimpressive.

VW
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the brick oven pizzas and craft cocktails. We enjoyed excellent customer service.

Always a treat! We will be back!!

BL
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have dined at Varia several times and each time is more enjoyable than the next. Their craft cocktails are delicious! Our favorite is the burrata appetizer. Highly recommend their brick oven pizzas. The setting is elegant and many beautiful options for seating, depending on your mood. Service was top notch! Put Varia on the top of your list to visit! Excellent!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love the relaxed feel of this place. It’s fun but a great place for a professional or romantic dinner – like a comfortable dining room in a friends home. I definitely would return to try more dishes! My fave is the buratta and Brussels! Yum yum yum! If you go to varia you will not be disappointed I promise!

DM
Baltimore
18 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place was a gem. We happened to find it on open table while visiting Norfolk. Our meal was fabulous. I had the spaghetti and meatball. Wow it was an amazing 14 oz. of delicious pork, veal and beef! The general manager, Matt was very courteous and knowledgeable. Trent our server was especially attentive and made the evening even that much more enjoyable. When ever we are in town, we'll be dining at Varia! Try the chocolate olive oil cake. Yummy!

JN
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I took my mom here for her birthday. It was absolutely wonderful! Our waiter was amazingly nice, and the restaurant covered our wine due to it being my mom's birthday. And the food was great, of course! It was better than I could have imagined.

S
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Server took 15 minutes to acknowledge us at the table. Ordered the burrata appetizer...delicious!!! So good I asked the server did they make it in house; he actually said NO(always say yes to that). Had scallops risotto for dinner. Don’t know if it was the Parmesan cheese but super salty. My friend had eggplant Parmesan and disliked as well. Presentation was not very good either.

OT
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall1food2service2ambience3

Really disappointed with dinner. The braised short ribs were cool to the touch and lacked seasoning. Reminded me of pot roast. My husband gnocchi was mushy and flavorless. The cheese and meat was the best part. William our server seemed very dusorientated..he opened a bottle of wine..but we had no wine glasses to pour it into.. so he got 2 glasses, poured the wine, with thr wine bottle practically straight up in the ir

AH
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Fabulous ambiance, the food was delicious and the waitstaff was very attentive! I will definitely be coming back.

K
Richmond
25 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was outstanding, food was excellent. Always a great choice for dinner. I will be back.

m
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great restaurant, amazing atmosphere. This is probably my third time having dinner here with friends and family and always a great time

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

What a great vibe at Varia during their Jazz Brunch! Thoroughly enjoyed the sounds c/o The Carlton Trio. Kudos to the chefs for marrying 'typical' brunch food with different options. The piece of short rib I tried was a little tough, but that didn't deter my from enjoying the rest of the food at each station. Next time, I'll make sure to save room and try items from the dessert station. Big thank you to Doug!! He was beyond pleasant and accommodating. Always checked in at the right time to ensure my dining experience was going well. Looking forward to returning for future events!

OT
Caribbean
7 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed brunch at Varia. Amazing jazz music with great variety of quality food. This will be our new brunching spot.