I was in Norfolk this past week and looking for a great Italian restaurant to take 6 business men and women for dinner. One of the group happened to mention a place he had eaten at and loved in Old Downtown Petersburg, VA (NOTE the WRONG STATE IN THE LISTING). With everyone's buy in, we made the 74 mile drive in one direction for what was one of the best Italian meals that I have eaten outside of my homeland of Sicily. We were met as we entered the restaurant by Maria, who I would later find out was the owner's (Enza and Giovanni) oldest daughter. When I started speaking Italian, I was greeted by a smile and a conversation in Italian (almost everyone spoke fluent Italian, so a perfect place to practice your language skills).. Maria's offers a full service bar including a small but nicely priced wine list and some great italian beer's including my favorite choices. They made a wonderful Antipasti platter for the table, followed by salads and soups that were all excellent. The group had a little bit of everything (we shared, just like the old family style days), from the fresh pasta's across the menu thru the seafood, chicken and veal dishes! All were prepared with care and served with the individual pasta of our choice along with wonderful different types of sauces (gravy). And, least you forget to save room for the desserts, which were all outstanding. Not only was this worth the 150 mile round trip, but I will also make the run next time I am in DC for one of my frequent visits. BTW, don't forget to ask for Enza and Giovanni when you are there (Giovanni is the master chef who runs the kitchen) and talk to them about Sicily and Southern Italian foods. If you don't see a southern Italian dish on the menu and they have the time and the ingredients, Giovanni and Enza will make it for you!!! Now, That's Italian!!!
If you own or manage Maria's Cafe & Italian Restaurant, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.