Varia

4.6
149 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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Private dining
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Open 7 Days a Week:
Breakfast: 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Lunch:11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Dinner: 5:00 p.m. to close
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Phone number
(757) 763-6281
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Neighborhood
Additional
Beer, Cocktails, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

At Varia, old world sophistication and modern charm combine to create an intimate, authentic dining experience. Our Italian inspired menu not only features staple foods of the Tuscany region, but adds a coastal Virginia culinary flair to every dish.

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What 149 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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P
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

They work hard at this restaurant and it shows. Great wine bar.

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Ben was fantastic and Bethany helped with our wine selection. We will definitely be back. Quality of food was amazing and the library books are a cool touch. The live music was good but a little too loud for our liking. We could barely hear each other talk.

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BO
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Nichole Twigg was an excellent server. I would request her if I went back.

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OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

The atmosphere at Varia was outstanding. Lovely decor and comfortable seating. The friendly welcome and awesome live music was unfortunately not nearly enough to overcome poor service and poor management.

We ordered wine and hordeuves- a pizza, bruschetta and the meatball appetizer. It took about 30 minutes for the first 2 appetizers and then promises that the meatball appetizer would be right out 10 minutes later we asked our waitress about the meatball appetizer and she said that she couldn’t ask the kitchen about our order until “things calmed down”. After an hour still no appetizer and my husband asked for the manager. The waitress had never followed up on the missing food. She seemed afraid of the kitchen staff . At that point we told them to forget it at this point and we cashed out and had to order the rest of the meal at another restaurant in the hotel.

I’ve made over 100 reservations on open table and never experienced a restaurant where the server was so intimidated by the kitchen staff that they didn’t take care of the customer. Really horrifying.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for a special occasion and my husband first time going. The good was absolutely delicious and the service was great!

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C
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

We were cruising on the Bay and stopped in Norfolk. With the weather we didn't want to go to far, and the location was very convenient. After a day on the Bay, we look forward to a good dining experience and we were very pleasantly surprised. The ambiance is a bit "hotelish", but the food and service more than compensated.

It was large, but the tables were not jammed in, so good room and separation from other diners.

The lighting level is a bit high.

The wine list is uneven with few moderately high wines, going from modest to high without a lot in the middle.

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PP
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, fantastic service - highly recommend!

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JK
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice menu, strong wine choices, great service, lovely meal, appreciated the open kitchen all made for a perfect evening!

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N
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved the ambiance and that you could see into the kitchen. Great wine recommendation from the waitress and she was friendly, patient & attentive on a Saturday nite. Portions were a bit small for our entrees so we ended up ordering a pizza for dessert and it was the best part! Would go back. Nice date nite and we took our well behaved 3 mo old (& was a little nervous because our original table was so close to others) but they moved us to a booth upon request and it worked out great...she slept too! Lol. Pricey but you’re paying for the setting, which was quite lovely. Would def go back, maybe for lunch next time.

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RK
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

After being seated for 5 minutes we wondered if our server knew we were even here, especially after another couple was greeted immediately after being seated. After talking with the manager, everyone made it right 10 times over, and this was our anniversary night out. Matt and Richard took great care of us, and the food was fantastic. We will definitely go back.

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OT
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Our meals were great. The service tonight outstanding. It was a nice dinner after a very long day. Thank you

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FF
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent - Overall Highly recommended it to all our friendly &family.

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GF
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the very first moment we arrived I knew I would like this whole experience. Sarah greeted us as did the manager Brianna. I asked for a “nice” table as we were celebrating two birthdays, a Mother , 96, and daughter: 72. We were seated at a corner table with lots of windows! Service; food; whole experience LOVELY. Cannot wait to go back! Wonderful all around! Bravo

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best restaurants in Hampton Roads by far. Food and desserts were delicious as well as fantastic service from both our waitress and the restaurant manager who checked on us as well. Absolutely great.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great venue! excellent food! will be back. 👌🏼

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LB
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server Doug was user friendly and attentive. He provided excellent service. After 2 yeas in Japan your customer service is superb! Really appreciated his fulfilling our request to lower the piped in music for conversation purposes. The VESUVIO pizza was one of the best I've had. Looking forward to our return. My wife also was thrilled with the decor.

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OT
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 5

The lunch prices & Wine Studio were great. There were few people there when we arrived, so I thought the server’s service was too slow for the volume.

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AS
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had an amazing experience trying this restaurant for the first time. The wait staff was very professional and courteous. The hostess was very very sweet and personable with us. Nothing bad to say.

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CS
Miami
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very nice restaurant and the pasta was delicious!!!! It's perfect for a date night.

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JG
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and the waitress was very, very nice.

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WS
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

food was exquisite and great service superb ambience the music was lovely

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KA
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 2service 2ambience 4

My food was overcooked. Waitress did not speak good English.

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GP
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

we had to go to the management to get service and the service was horrible.

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OT
Richmond
14 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Our dining experience was very enjoyable--food was tastefully presented, and could not have been of better quality. A large number of guests were present, and enjoying themselves immensely. Regrettably, the two couples seated beside us were attempting to converse non-stop above the din of the music and background noise...

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AP
Atlantic Canada
115 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

One of my favorites in Norfolk. Gorgeous dining room, consistently high quality dishes. Live entertainment is a nice touch, but can be intrusively loud by times.

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r
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

We ordered apps, pizza and soup- everything was brought to the table at the same time. Additionally, we ordered 2 bottles of wine... very slow drink service.

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KB
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went here for Restaurant Week, and we enjoyed ourselves. The service was great, and the food was amazing. I will be back for the buffet.

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w
New York Area
52 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Dinner was delicious. Service was great. Consistently- the entertainment is too loud and makes it difficult to have a discussion anywhere near the piano. I’m all for live music however can we turn the volume down ? Please.

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LB
Richmond
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our anniversary dinner at Varia was near perfection. When I made the reservation, I requested a table against a wall or a booth as I hate sitting in the center of a dining room. We were seated in a cozy section of the restaurant. Our waiter was a perfect combination of professional and friendly and quietly attentive keeping our wine glasses full. The wine list was a little intimidating for me since I recognized very few of the vineyards. The waiter sent over the sommelier who was delightful. I told her our price range (toward the lower end) and she made some recommendations based on the meals we ordered and our preferences, explaining the flavors in an understandable way. The food was delicious, fresh and perfectly prepared. Warning...the veal Milanese is not a cutlet but a huge bone in chop...tender, moist with a crunch breading. My husband loved his shrimp scampi and ended up helping me with my huge portion of veal. We can’t wait to go back. My only negatives are that the hostess was very cool making me worry for a few moments that the rest of the staff might be snooty and condescending. I found that not to be the case at all. Also, the menus could be a bit more descriptive. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.

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JM
Richmond
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food is excellent and the best we ever tasted. The blackened scallops was the best ever, and my husband said the salmon was the best he’s ever eaten. The fried zucchini for the appetizer was excellent. Of course, the service was really drawn out, and it was slow getting the food. I do think the cheesecake was excellent, but it was half the size you get anywhere else for $9. Overall though, it was a great restaurant. The seats are very comfortable at the tables as is even the low padded bar stools. After you leave, the hotel lobby is gorgeous and you can listen to the lounge singer and sit on one of the couches or chairs and enjoy a cocktail.

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OT
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

This was a great place to eat. Food was great. Make sure to ask for specials. Our server forgot and we only found out after the manager asked if we heard them. Overall - we recommend!

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KP
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

The atmosphere was excellent. The food wasnt as good as I expected. The entertainment was really loud so you couldnt have normal conversations without yelling across your table. Its a great date night spot.

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DS
Richmond
11 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was very good except for the live music. THE SINGER WAS HORRIBLE. It would have been much better if there weren’t any vocals.

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SP
Richmond
17 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Overall another nice dinner at Varia. The noise level was a bit much since we were next to the piano & singer. However, the food & Service were great.

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CB
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Lamb, Brussel Sprouts & Asparagus were good. Flavorful, grilled & all cooked & fried with many tastes. Argentina Merlot was great too. It was our first visit and the ambience is beautiful. Will definitely be back.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 4

Service was awful. We waited 20 minutes and only got water, had to ask for menus, and fetch our own wine/drink menu. We ended up walking out.

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KK
Richmond
13 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Beautiful restaurant great view very chic it was quite load and difficult to hear so I would say it isn’t the best for a date but the food was Wonderful get the octopus

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VG
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

The restaurant was beautiful, but the food selections leave much to be desired for the average person. I mentioned in my reservation that I wanted an acknowledgement of my husband's birthday ,I had to ask the staff about it twice and they charged me for the piece of cake they brought out with the candle on it. There was nothing special about the presentation of the cake, just sat on the table. Which had me confused because a couple if tables over they brought out cake to another guest with sparklers and candles with all smiles.

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h
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Poor service, took forever for the food and a long time to get our drinks! Won't recommend or return again!

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T
Richmond
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food was very good. Prefer to have regular bread with dinner - not pizza bread.

Service was okay though they brought an incorrect tab (was too low). Never saw our waitress after she delivered the bill - other waiter brought corrected (higher) bill.

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