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Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar
Ranked #65 of 567 Restaurants in Charlottesville
Price range: $8 - $32
Cuisines: Italian, Wine Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed November 22, 2013

Let's see: Inadequate parking; long wait; noisy and crowded; mediocre service -- and vastly over-priced. What's not to like?

Dare we add that the ambiance is horrific?

The ONLY saving grace is the food, especially for a chain restaurant. What we had was excellent.

You can do better -- much better -- in C'ville. This place MAY improve over time -- the staff is pretty new. Location is an issue -- Stonefield is a mess, and being adjacent to the Regal has its obvious drawbacks in terms of parking and clientele.

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2  Thank Eric S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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280 - 284 of 318 reviews

Reviewed November 11, 2013

Three of us were celebrating a special occasion, and Travinia did not disappoint. I wanted to try the smoked Gouda Mac and cheese with pancetta side dish, so I opted for a small plate entree...scallops with artichoke-pesto risotto. The Mac was delicious and full of bits of pancetta. Scallops were perfectly prepared. My husband had the seafood pescatora, which was loaded with seafood, and a side salad. He said everything was excellent. Son had veal piccata which he said was great. For dessert, we had creme brûlée and zabaglione, both wonderful. Service was excellent. Can't wait to go back!

Thank VARivergirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

What a welcome change for Charlottesville. Great food and service. The menu offers small plates for those who would like to share or large enough for a complete meal. The menu has a wide range of dishes to please anyone who would like an Italian dinner. The wine list is extensive and the staff can guide you through it.

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Thank booksVa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013

The food was excellent quality. The atmosphere was beautiful and relaxing.The things I did not like: it was a little pricy and three out of the five of the dinners we ordered I thought the portion size was skimpy. We had to ask for the bread (delicious though) and one did not get even a side salad included with entrees but would have to pay extra. For the prices they charge I believe one should at least get a small side salad!

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1  Thank Sharon V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

We went on Halloween night. Our waitress told us they were about to start letting employees go home but suddenly customers flooded in the door. I say this because the service was not bad, and I used the term waitress because sever would be plural in this restaurant because they are a “team service” restaurant where you will see possibly several people at your table.

Our waitress was a beautiful young 19-year-old girl dressed as a cheetah. She was young yes, and like a lot of young folks maybe a bit inexperienced, but she was a willing sweetie. The only misstep she had was totally forgetting our water at first, but then humbly apologized and promptly brought the water. Service overall was good, but one busboy (for lack of a better term) looked high…I kind of wondered if some of the staff enjoyed some smoke together that night. If so, it wasn’t a major problem.

So first the drinks. They have a great drink menu. I had the One Dirty Martini and it was perfect; I consider myself an aficionado of the dirty vodka martini and this one could not have been improved including the blue cheese stuffed olives which made it almost an appetizer.

My wife had the Under The Tuscan Sunset and she said it was delicious but she would have appreciated some sort of edible garnish like cherries or other fruit. These were $10 martinis I did not mind paying for.

We ordered a bottle of J. Lohr Baymist Riesling (California) one of the lowest priced wines on the list at $26 and it was wonderful. I loved the dirty martini so much I ordered another and called both martinis “half of my dinner”. At $20 for the two, they were actually twice the cost of the food I ordered.

The bread they bring to you is fantastic. Your server should grab a plate, drizzle some olive oil on it and suggest you try a dip, if not, help yourself. We are actually ordering the olive oil they use because we liked it so much we want it at home.

An interesting note: You have to pay $3 to add a house or Caesar salad to your meal. Seems unnecessary to me and most restaurants comp a salad with any entrée, but I suppose some people don’t want a salad so a lot of stuff goes to waste if they bring one and a diner eats three bites and they have to trash the rest. If you order a salad, it is good.

So…food: Since I was drinking half my dinner I ordered the Prince Edward Island mussels from the small plate menu. For some weird reason they don’t show their small plates menu on their web site, which is a shame because they have some great items on it that are not on the regular menu. The mussels we steamed perfectly and served with crostini (very crunchy bread) to soak up the liquid goodness in the bottom of the bowl…of which I slurped every last bit of using a mussel shell. Yes…white trash I know, but I kept my pinky extended…so “y’all can kiss my grits!”

My wife ordered the Seafood Pescatora, which she said was delicious; I have her leftover pasta from it and look forward to tasting it. The only question she had was “where is the calamari?” and she was told it was cooked in to the sauce. Her two sea scallops were cooked perfectly, nice and translucent in the middle the way a scallop is properly cooked. If you don’t like scallops that way why order them? When they are cooked trough they are rubbery…that’s kind of like ordering a well-done steak…what’s the point? Order pot roast of you want grey meat! At least it will be tender…

Wife ordered the tiramisu. It was good, but not a proper tiramisu at all. A tasty fail on the dessert.

So I give 4 stars out of five because our water was initially forgotten, the bartender did not provide a garnish for my wife’s cocktail so she could have something to nosh on (all specialty cocktails should always have an edible garnish) and the tiramisu was not actually tiramisu. Otherwise we were very happy and have never been unhappy at Travinia…except for that three-dollar salad thing.

Oh, my wife wanted to register one complaint: When you arrive, the hostess tells you your wait time and then wants to text you when your table is ready. First of all we don’t “text”…we speak to each other; secondly why would you give your phone number to a restaurant? Call us old, but common sense seems to be losing it’s grip on society.

In addition, the table we were finally seated at in five minutes, not the 15 we were told was open, along with several others right behind where we sat at the bar to kill that 15 minutes. We could have been seated immediately but instead had to hastily settle a bar tab and move our drinks to the table we should have been immediately seated at.

    • Value
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Thank adrenoreceptor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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