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“One of the few upscale places to eat at 3:00PM”

Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar
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Ranked #32 of 545 Restaurants in Charlottesville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: French, Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Nestled inside the Main Street Market at 416 West Main Street in Charlottesville, Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar offers a menu and wine list that fuses the culinary and viticultural traditions of Italy, Greece, Spain, and the South of France.Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar celebrates the exciting synergy of food and wine and the sparkling flavors of the Mediterranean. Our menu is complemented by an extensive wine list that covers the breadth of the Mediterranean, featuring an outstanding selection of wines by the glass as well as rare wines at exceptional values from our Wine Shop. We offer 5% off retail when you purchase three bottles, 10% off retail for six, and 20% off retail for a case.Orzo Offsite offers the exceptional cuisine and warm hospitality that you've come to enjoy at Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar. From simple to lavish, Orzo Offsite caters weddings, political fundraisers, corporate functions and intimate dinner parties (to name a few). We create beautiful, seamless and unforgettable events.
MidAtlantic
Level Contributor
48 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“One of the few upscale places to eat at 3:00PM”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

I used to eat at orzo a lot when we first moved to town. It has always been solid with friendly and competent service. I had sort of forgot about it until my wife and I found ourselves with nothing to do on a weekday afternoon. Looking around on my phone, none of the places we wanted to try were open : They all close between lunch and dinner because it is slow. I remembered orzo, looked it up and sure enough they were open. Yay! I had the burger with grilled romaine and gourmet cheese. It was really fantastic. We also got a plate of olives, and some nice French Chardonnay by the glass. I don't remember what Mrs had, but she was very happy with it. Service was crisp and friendly especially considering we were one of two tables occupied.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PhiloFarnsworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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252 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    137
    71
    23
    16
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
170 reviews
110 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Almost there, but not quite...”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

is how I would describe our dining experience at Orzo.

The food is excellent, and I thought very creative and distinctive in preparation and presentation. This is definitely a fine dining experience, on a par with its peers in Charlottesville, perhaps better than most in terms of the menu.

The pricing is a bit steep. We dined here during Restaurant Week and despite a prix fixe menu of 3 courses for $29, escaped with mere change for a $100 bill after extras like one glass of wine (very good wine, by the way), and iced tea, and a coffee, plus tips and taxes. This is, after all, Charlottesville, not NYC. That said, you can easily run the tab up that high, or higher, at other fine restaurants in the area.

Portion sizes were fine -- typical of a fine restaurant. I agree with the observer that if quantity were what was most important, then there are other less savory choices, plus a few good ones Thta is not the emphasis of this establishment, and there is enough "there" there that you do not leave stuffed, nor hungry -- which seems just right to me.

The atmosphere was just not there. Pretty much soulless, cosmopolitan, semi-chic, crowded, and semi-noisy. This place is slightly more romantic than a dine-in restaurant at Grand Central Station in NYC. Seriously, it is really too bad -- I like a comfortable space with a reasonable chance of enjoying my dinner and my company. The seating spacing reminded me of coach class on a commuter flight, and the table and chairs were darn close to spartan. To me, it created dissonance between the meal itself and the dining experience.

The "outdoor" dining area -- though we did not use it -- looked remarkably unimpressive. Half was actually indoor, within the market plaza, offering no benefit of being outdoors at all, but instead the negative of being a part of market foot traffic. What a joy that must be.

Fortunately, the service was quite good. Could have been slightly more personable, but I gather Restaurant Week offers little extra time to dote on the guests. And, as far as that goes, I prefer attentive staff that is not obsequious. This restaurant, this night, struck the right balance. The recommendations from our waitress were spot on.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Eric S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A New Chef Comes to Town”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

My wife and I had tried Orzo and had not been been impressed. Based upon a recommendation we recently tried it again (twice) and now have a new favorite in Charlottesville. The difference from our previous visit is the recently hired chef from New York. Chef Lasley has revised the menu and has introduced many creative and flavorful items such as filet of beef carpaccio, house made pumpkin ravioli and local pork roast. I find reviewers comments about portion sizes and high prices surprising. If a big portion is more important than fresh ingredients and creative cooking someone would be better off at a chain restaurant. I find the food and wine prices at Orzo to be in line with comparable upscale Charlottesville restaurants. On both recent visits we found the wait staff to be extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the food they were serving.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank TFB353
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Pretty good but way overpriced”
Reviewed December 14, 2012

The food is good. Nice wine list, particularly by the glass. But small portions of food and wine by the glass are small. For example, they squeeze five glasses of wine at $8-$10 each out of a bottle, vs. four or less at most other places. And the amount of food for $19-$25 per entree is shockingly small.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank foodfellow5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsville, VA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Consistant”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Always good creative dishes and excellent, personalized service. Prices are fair. We have had many repeat visits and we are never disappointed.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank marvScottsville_VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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