Varia

4.5
203 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 203 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.2
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
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 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am a vegetarian and eggplant was excellent and filling

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WH
Richmond
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
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
22 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
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 4 days ago
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 4 days ago
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 4 days ago
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 7 days ago
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 10, 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
2 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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MF
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant Week menu was good. Food was flavorful and plenteous.

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PG
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We enjoyed our meal and atmosphere very much. Service was very good.

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SP
Richmond
22 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

As always, the food was excellent & the wine equally pleasing. The noise level was a bit high in the section close to the piano but the service was top shelf and made up for it.

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CQ
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was looking from someplace different for my girlfriend's birthday, and Varia fit the bill. I'd been to The Main before--Grain--, but this was her first time at the property and our first time at Varia for both. I like that the dress is casual, but not messy. Our server, Nicole, was very helpful in making suggestions for drinks as well as for food. The manager on duty was also kind enough the drop by our table. Varia made my girlfriend's birthday special.

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HC
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My wife and I got married at the Hilton Main and had our dinner at Varia. We went back for our anniversary. The service was excellent, food was good other than my wife’s side of noodles. The ambiance was perfect. I would highly recommend Varia.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a few friends with us for our 19th anniversary. We sat at the table right in front of the piano. Great ambiance. Romantic. Excellent for a date night. Plenty of wines to choose from. The food was delicious (my sister-in-law ALMOST licked the plate!

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SF
Richmond
15 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Service was great, did not hover but also checked on us to be sure we were ok. Some reasonably priced wines by the glass. We had the bruschetta - delicious! Caesar salad, pizza, seafood pasta, veal and chicken parmigiana. The chicken and veal were outstanding. The seafood pasta was good and had mussels, shrimp, and scallops. It is a beautiful restaurant and would be great for special occasions.

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P
Washington DC
80 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Very good food and excellent attentive service. We were promptly seated as expected with a reservation. Menu listed intriguing items which made choosing what not to have a chore. Server was professional and attentive. For a hotel restaurant it supassed expectations and I will return whenever possible.

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TB
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great location for work lunch!

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was great! My server was attentive to my needs. My food was delicious.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 2service 2ambience 5

The restaurant is truly beautiful, and the open kitchen experience is fun! Our service wasn’t the best, but I’ve had worse. Please consider expanding your menu options for popular diets - barely anything could be prepared keto, vegan or low carb.

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OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Service was ok, food was ok but pricey. This is a beautiful restaurant just did not live up to our expectations and we go out a lot. Better value and quality at a small mom and pop shop.

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PF
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Food is consistently average. Lacks flavor and every pasta dish feels heavy and lacks nuance and levels of flavor. I feel like they almost try too hard and lose some of the simple flavors their ingredients can give.

Burrata and Meatball appetizers were good. Wine options were good.

Service was okay. Nothing noticeably wrong, just kinda bland (personality wise). Hard to hear and understand in the loud restaurant (we were kinda close to the piano). Multiple times it took a long time to check on us and it wasn't an overly busy evening.

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e
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

John our server was engaging and very knowledgable of the menu and guidance. The wine bar is such a great value and great concept to be able to taste a variety of wines. Brittany the sommelier is outstanding

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Impeccable as usual! My wife and I returned to the restaurant after being stationed in Fort Bragg, NC earlier this year. We got engaged at Varia, and will forever be customers!

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SB
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience. Enjoyed a very relaxing Christmas Eve dinner with family!

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y
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

Everything about this place was great...EXCEPT THE FOOD. The smells were FANTASTIC, so I was shocked to be sorely disappointed in my meal. I ordered the veal parmigiana while my bf ordered the chicken parmigiana. My veal was tough & pasta was over cooked. He enjoyed his chicken but stated his pasta was undercooked. The next day we both reheated our meals (portion sizes are huge). I figured that maybe my taste buds were off the night before, but I experienced more of the same. My bf enjoyed his meal a bit more, stating that the pasta was better after reheating. I would return to give them another try at redemption.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Wonderful experience! Comfortable seating, upscale and comfortable ambiance. Sommelier was excellent in advice but forgot to bring our pregnant friend her “custom mocktail.” Food was amazing and perfectly prepared!

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MP
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

We initially had attempted to add to more to our group for my birthday but we were told that there were no more available seats for our party at 730. We were seated and our waiter took our orders, as we waited we noticed that there was barely anyone seated in our area and that any extra two could have easily been accommodated at any point during dinner. We had to ask numerous times for our water to be refilled and when I asked for extra sauce on my Frutti di Mare because it wad a tad dry the sauce i was brought was for the puttanesca which has olives, which I am allergic to. I had already put the sauce on my pasta before I realized the mistake and couldn't eat it. We let let our waiter know and the dish was replaced.

My husband and I eat at Saltine quite frequently and our customer service as well as dining experience is always exceptional and beyond reproach. The manager there always comes to our at least once if not numerous times to ensure everything is to our liking and that did not happen at Varia, we didn't even know who the manager was. We weren't even asked how our dinner was, very disappointing.

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JW
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I surprised my husband with dinner at Varia. We enjoyed the dinner, the ambiance, and the staff was amazing!! We will definitely go back.

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JO
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

Service is consistently poor. Ive eaten there five times now and has not improved. Need a new manager !

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OT
Norfolk
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is amazing from the minute you walk in.

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OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The setting was very intimate and calm! The lightning made the mood of conversation nice! My husband and family really enjoyed this location!

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AP
Atlantic Canada
135 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I dine at Varia every time business takes me to Norfolk, and it never disappoints. Pizzas are great, pastas are great, and the service is consistently excellent.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

we had a reservation and when they went to seat us that seated us a table where you just sit and have drinks and appetizers you would have to stay bent over to eat and drink. Waitress was not on top of her game. She did not ask if we wanted additional drinks. She appeared to be new. The scallops were not seared enough therefore had a very fish taste. I handed them to the individual I was eating with so they could add them to the lasagna they were eating. We loved it the 1st time we went but I will not be going back

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