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“New star in the Shops at Stonefields.”
Review of Parallel 38

Parallel 38
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Ranked #74 of 628 Restaurants in Charlottesville
Cuisines: Mediterranean
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: Brought to you by Justin Ross, Parallel 38 is a Mediterranean inspired restaurant located in Charlottesville, VA. P38 offers a contemporary yet casual environment that encourages guests to explore the unique flavors found within the temperate latitude of the 38th parallel - along which the world's most iconic food and wine regions sit, such as Alicante in Spain, Italy's Calabria, the Greek Ionian Islands, Napa Valley, and Charlottesville. Enjoy "small plate" dining, innovative cocktails, draft wines, assorted bottled beers, and an extensive wine list from handpicked wineries all available "by the glass", with "Trophy Wines" available "by the ounce".
Reviewed May 2, 2014

We have dined at Parallel 38 three times in a month. Owner Justin Ross has amassed an impressive wine selection. Alfredo Malanis, Jr, Executive Chef is very talented. The small plate format features fresh ingredients, artfully composed. The gnocci is superb. We always share several courses and never feel that we have over indulged. The prices are reasonable given the quality of the ingredients. Last night we sampled a scallop roulade that was as creative as it was delicious. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Last night our server was Katie and the pacing was impeccable. Chic decor fulfills the city craving. This gem is not to be missed.

Date of visit: May 2014
    • Value
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2  Thank Lynne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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139 - 143 of 143 reviews

Reviewed April 26, 2014

This is a tapas restaurant, which means if you are short on cash you probably won't get enough to eat. All joking aside, ordering a full meal from their eclectic menu -- plus a few glasses of wine -- will cost you. Is it worth it? In my opinion, yes it is.

I can not say enough good things about our server tonight. She was awesome. Full of suggestions, polite, engaging, and attentive, she walked us through an incredible dining experience.

Mind you, this is NOT the sort of food I would normally eat. A lot of stuff I've never seen, or am likely to ever see again 'til my inevitable return -- and then, there are plenty of dishes yet to try.

These are small dishes individually prepared, so your meal comes out a dish at a time -- enough time to savor, to share with a friend (perhaps) Done right, as it was for us, you don't need an exceptionally large table when you have but a few 5 inch square dishes at a time -- it is a mystery to me what that person's complaint was about (maybe they have "space" issues). The dining area is contemporary, and not particularly warm -- lots of black, glass, and chrome -- and plenty of space to allow a large wait staff access to the kitchen and tables -- as they keep the tapas moving at your pace. In some sense, we had the feel that our dinner was "choreographed" just for us.

We selected x dishes between two of us, a glass of wine, and a bottle of hard cider. We started with a spread -- Labneh -- a Middle-Eastern yogurt spread that was absolutely delicious, served with wedges of a flat pita bread. We chose the beet and carrot salad, which was served with some sort of greens (sorry, I'm at a loss here) and accompanied with some dressing that was tasty. My wife tangled with a house specialty dish of marinated olives and spicy almonds, while I tried some locally produced (Everona Dairy) marbled cheese made with sheep's milk -- both quite tasty. We shared a rather large portion of Tabouleh that was awesome. Our meat choice was the lamb chop, which was cooked to perfection and accompanied by an excellent sauce. We also shared a seafood dish of shrimp and chorizo -- also excellent. And last, but not least, we shared a single dessert of a lemon cake.

Their wine offerings are impressive in variety and quality -- my wife chose a nice Malbec from Patagonia (Argentina). The hard cider was Potters Craft Farmhouse Dry (also local) -- a nice, dry, sparkling cider with a crisp aftertaste.

All in all, while pricey, we had a great dining experience we had not anticipated, prior to seeing a movie at the Cinema nearby. Truly glad to have taken a chance on something different, and new, on the local dining scene. The menu is suited to guests who are vegetarian, as well as moderate "meat lovers" unafraid of Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern inspired dishes, and is largely gluten-free.

Date of visit: April 2014
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Thank Eric S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2014

The place has a cool "chic urban industrial" decor and vibe. We were there for an early pre-movie bite, a bit before the Friday night rush. The service was attentive, and the idea of the menu was VERY appealing….advertised as "Mediterranean small plates," a variety of categories from charcuterie to beef & seafood. We were advised that 2-3 plates per person is a good target, and that recommendation was spot on.

The food however was only okay. When I think of Mediterranean, I think highly flavored "party in my mouth" kind of seasoning. Of the five plates ordered, we did enjoy the pork belly, the cheeses and veggies. The other options were unimpressive. Calamari was bland --not really fried, not really marinated, not really anything. The chicken wings were weird. Heat hot! But again, bland and quite dry.

I feel like, if they refine their recipes, this is a great addition to the Cville dining scene. I'll remain hopeful.

Date of visit: April 2014
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Thank caligal831
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2014 via mobile

Had to try this out, as they only had one mediocre review. All I can say is yum! The lamb chop was terrific, accompanied by a little bit of braised lamb mixed with root vegetables. And the pork belly tapas was to die for! My daughter had the tuna tartare and was thrilled with it. Mother had the braesola gyro and was also happy. The wine list is very well done, nice mix of comfortable classics with eclectic grapes for the more adventurous. Server was knowledgeable, not overbearing. Food came out hot (or cold, depending on the plate), and the server alerted us upon ordering that food would come out as it was ready (typical tapas), but it was a smart move to tell his patrons. Dessert portions were perfectly sized. Will definitely be back!

1  Thank ServersDayOut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2014

This is a Mediterranean tapas restaurant and wine bar. We went there with a group of five and my first observation was that the tables are all too small for a tapas restaurant. We tried a sampler of their "spreads", which was quite good. I especially liked their hummus and the fresh-from-the-oven pita bread. We then ordered a variety of plates. The flank steak was overcooked and dry. The calamari was undercooked and extremely chewy. The goat meatballs were tasty but could have used more sauce. The grilled octopus was excellent, however. It was cooked perfectly and tasted delicious. We also really enjoyed the tuna tartar which, with the Mediterranean seasonings, was both interesting and refreshing. The shrimp and chorizo was also flavorful. The most impressive thing about the restaurant was the wine menu. The restaurant has an impressive number of wines available by the glass plus a large variety of reasonably-priced bottles. If we were to go again, we'd probably just sit in the bar area -- that had some comfortable-looking seating -- and have a couple of glasses of wine and hummus while waiting for a movie next door.

Date of visit: March 2014
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Thank Andie-and-Rob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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