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“Fresh. Local. Delicious.”

Risto's Place Food & Spirits
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Ranked #3 of 165 Restaurants in Statesville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $27
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Risto's Place has the feel of fine dining in the neighborhood. Sheryl and Risto Toukola purchased the restaurant in 1999 and operated it as Mayo's Ristorante. In 2007, Risto accidentally lost his life and Sheryl recently renamed the restaurant "Risto's Place" in his honor. Risto left his mark on Sheryl's life and he continues to be with her in the form of a yellow butterfly. Sounds crazy? It's not. On a warm winter day in January 2008, Sheryl was having lunch at an outside café when a yellow butterfly landed on the railing beside her. It just sat there while she ate. Who's ever heard of a butterfly in January? Since then, the yellow butterfly continued to appear to her many times in many places. When Sheryl's granddaughter sees a yellow butterfly, she shouts with joy, There's Papa Risto!" This phenomenon is the impetus that led to the creation of the butterfly in Risto's Place logo, and the reason Sheryl wears a butterfly necklace every day. Corny, maybe, but true. It is said that every restaurant must have a specialty. Sheryl's specialty is fresh food, made from scratch with produce and fruits from the local farmers' market. Herbs are home-grown, desserts homemade daily, soups and sauces simmer long hours on the stove, not heated from a can. Sheryl serves only fresh fish caught in the wild in American waters. Sausages, salamis and cheeses are still sent to Sheryl from specialty stores in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Go Steelers!) Coffee, however, is shipped in from her favorite roastery in Seattle, Washington. She is all about "Buy American". Her dishes are from an American manufacturer as is her silverware and glassware. She gets canned tomatoes from a California grower and cannery. She purchases every item she can American- made. Prosciutto, however, would not be the same unless it was aged in Italy. Many of Risto's Place customers are travelers on their way to Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Savannah, Charleston, Atlanta and Florida. They seek refuge from the fast-food and chain options available just off interstates 40 and 77. Risto's is just one mile from either of these exits. It is amazing that most of those who dine at Risto's going, also time their drive to dine at Risto's when returning. Risto's Place also offers a complete lounge menu for those seeking a less than a full meal, although full meals may be ordered in the lounge. Complete bar and wine services are available and live entertainment can be enjoyed on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and some Saturdays. Open Mic is held every Tuesday at 7:30pm. Solo acts perform on Thursdays at 7:30pm and Bands play on Fridays at 8:00pm. The lounge atmosphere is akin to the television bar affectionately known as "Cheers". Risto's Place lounge and dining room are located at 123 North Center Street, Statesville, North Carolina and are open Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 5:00 pm. Dress code is casual. Lunch is available Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 am until 2:00 pm. Reservations are not required, but are recommended so that staffing is adequate for the crowd. 704-872-5557.
Reviewed October 20, 2012

Right from their website, this says best what you'll taste: "fresh food, made from scratch with produce and fruits from the local farmers’ market. Herbs are home-grown, desserts homemade daily, soups and sauces simmer long hours on the stove, not heated from a can."

Angie and I were on our way to Asheville for the weekend (from the Triangle) and wanted to grab a bite to eat about half way. It looked like we were nearing Statesville, so we started searching while we traveled on I-40. We wanted something good, not just grab and go, and we weren't in a big hurry. Judging by the ratings, and that the restaurant was only a mile or so from I-40, we decided to try Risto's Place.

As soon as we entered the front door, we felt right at home. Our server was incredibly attentive and we even had a nice conversation with Sheryl while we enjoyed the warm, charming atmosphere.

From the Grilled Scallops Ala Orange appetizer, Nuts & Berries salad and Tomato Bisque soup, to the Entrees, to the homemade Tiramisu, this was a real treat. And the coffee was even fresh and bold to finish off a truly delicious experience.

The entire tangent took about an hour, and it was totally worth it. When we go to Asheville again, Risto's Place will certainly be part of the trip.

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1  Thank Greg5555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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153 - 157 of 158 reviews

Reviewed September 7, 2012

We ate at Risto's yesterday for lunch and it was so good! The service was outstanding, the hostess, the server and even the owner all had conversations with us and stopped at the table to make sure everything was good. The place is very cute and the food is all fresh, local and housemade! We weren't really hungry enough for dessert but couldn't pass up the orange cake with cream cheese icing! Everything was fabulous from the quesadilla to the tomato bisque! Can't wait to go back for dinner!

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Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

We selected to eat outside which means we could have our dog with us. The meals were excellent and it was very amiable to eat out side amidst the local clientel

Thank johnshawhouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Good food and nice interior. This place was Mayo's renamed to Risto's, same place, same location. Good salads, downtown looks really nice. Close to I-40

Thank ChasJhsn1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2012

We were staying overnight in Statesville, NC and this restaurant was recommended by the clerk at the front desk of our hotel. We arrived at 5:30 on a Wednesday night, pretty early for dinner but we had been driving all day and were starving. We were the first customers, but it filled up during the time we were there. All the food is made with local and/or natural foods. I had wild striped bass with just dug potatoes; my husband had pasta with marinara sauce. Both were excellent. Then --- the most incredible tiramisu I have ever had . Who would have thought there would be such a great restaurant in a little town right off the interstate!!

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

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