This authentic and DIVINE Italian restaurant is located in a strip mall, behind Harris Teeter. But as soon as you walk in, you are transported to a tiny trattoria in a tuscan hideaway. They draped fabric down the walls and across the ceiling and installed soft mood lighting that slowly changes color to keep it cozy and inviting. Mom thinks it looks like the waves of the ocean...fitting for a beach resort restaurant. The wall behind the bar is a large piece of hammered copper, that also looks like a wave. But the real centerpiece of the decor is the painting on the ceiling in the main dining room....apparently done by a local artist.
When we were first seated, we were greeted with a glass of Proseco, which is dry, Italian, sparkling wine, and a lovely slice of peach with bleu cheese and chocolate sauce. For an appetizer we had the baked brie (baked in phyllo dough and topped with truffle honey sauce), which is served with green apple slices and crostini. Fresh bread with a hummus sort of spread was also served.
Our server, Robert, gave us an extensive list of specials...which all sounded amazing. We decided on the lobster ravioli and the squash tortellini with crushed amaretto cookies. I am almost certain all of the pasta is handmade...it is perfectly al dente. And the servings aren't huge...like those chain Italian restaurants...it is the ideal amount. We washed it all down with a glass of chianti each.
Dessert was a real treat, too. We split the Ice Sculpture Sorbet, which is 3 scoops of sorbet, topped with diced fresh fruit...all served in a tear drop ice sculpture! It is not just dessert, it's a work of art!
So, an appetizer, 2 entrees, 2 glasses of wine, and a dessert to split was about $80. Very reasonable, we felt, for the quality of the meal.
Reservations are recommended, but we walked right in and were seated immediately on a Sunday night. We have been coming to HHI since the 1980's and have seen many restaurants come and go. We think this one has the menu and friendly, warm service to keep it around for many years! We will certainly be back!
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