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“Neighborhood-like Italian eatery”
Review of Vespa - CLOSED

Vespa
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Malette
Description: Looking for elegant and relaxing ambiance with artfully crafted dishes, tasty cocktails, wine, and easy parking? Vespa Ristorante can be your go-to. We're located in the heart of Chapel Hill on Franklin street and can be available for large parties. Come say hello to our owner/head chef and our friendly staff.
Reviewed December 22, 2012 via mobile

We went to Vespa for dinner after having driven by its unassuming exterior many times. The restaurant is small, like many other Franklin Street eateries, and has a retro style decor. There are huge movie posters on the walls. Tables are lined in a single row and despite their proximity there is an intimate air about the place.

The menu has all the usual northern Italian dishes, some with a creative twist. My wife and I shared the 'eggplant caviar' for an appetizer. The 'caviar' part consisted of roasted mashed eggplant with a dash of salt, pepper and olive oil. This was complimented with dollops of black olive tapenade and toast points.

For the main course, my wife had a baked pasta and cheese entree and I had the mushroom risotto. Both were very well done, large sized (for us), and served piping hot. Neither of us was able to finish all our food and had no room for dessert. A glass each of the robust house chianti topped off a satisfying meal.

The service was pleasant though short-staffed which may just have been because it was a Wednesday evening though all the tables were occupied.

We will definitely return.

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Thank SelectTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (116)
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80 - 84 of 116 reviews

Reviewed November 12, 2012

Food was pretty good, but it had a nice, diverse menu. Lots of choices for salads, pasta and entrees. Very nice wine selction. But, the wine starts around $25/bottle.

Thank jnenc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

On a Chapel Hill street lined with restaurants, Vespa Restaurant is a winner. The ambience is a combination of European flavor and contemporary design. My first visit was with a lunch group of about 30; the staff was prepared to handle us with excellent fresh salads and our choice of entrée. I was very impressed with the unusual combination and special taste of my choice of smoked salmon with pasta. The service also kept up with late-comers. Overall, our visit was a very pleasant one. There is a parking lot next to the restaurant, a boon for Chapel Hill’s busy Franklin Street.

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Thank GundlachB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

Wow, how can you mess up a simple dish like seafood risotto? Well, if you care to find out go to Vespa in Chapel Hill. We were a group of 12, the waiter refused to split the ticked upfront, I would understand if we had asked for that after we ordered. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the evening. Service was as if we were an imposition, but even that was better than the food. The risotto was not fully cooked, dry, and bland. Fortunately they did not manage to mess up the wine. Perhaps this is acceptable to college freshmen.

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1  Thank Frafroni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

Mushroom with polenta appetizer is great & the spinach cheese ravioli with sage butter is excellent. Last meal was freshly made fettucine and it also was terrific I'm not a cannoli fan but Vespa's is delicious. Server was attentive & manager has both times been very accommodating & helpful. Now my favorite Italian restaurant ( I like 411 but both my meals at Vespa have been more subtle flavors, the freshly made pasta here wins). Outside tables are quiet though there is street noise. Since we are cyclists my husband was counting 32 whizzed by in 30 min along with skateboarders)- inside is quet but I like sidewalk dining. House Chianti was soft & light

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Thank ChapelHillmuncher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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