A little bit of Italy in Chesapeake, VA
|Little Italy Ristorante
3308 Taylor Rd.
Chesapeake, VA 23321
Phone: 757 483-8162
It’s been a while since I’ve had a good, solid Italian meal, and today at lunch I had one. While exploring the Western Branch area of Chesapeake and Portsmouth, my stomach began growling at me, loudly, and I started to look for a likely candidate for lunch. The big red and white ‘Little Italy Ristorante’ sign next to Taylor Road with ‘buffet’ written on it caught my attention.
As I entered, there were only a few diners, so I had misgivings. How good could a buffet be for only $4.99? If it was so good, why not more diners? Well, the food smelled good and my stomach growled even more loudly, so I decided to try it. After all, I’d at least get a chance to write a bad dining review for a change.
No such luck!
The friendly wait staff took my drink order as I was inspecting the buffet line to see if I really wanted to have that, or to order off the menu. The buffet looked good. The spaghetti wasn’t gooey, nor was it pre-mixed with sauce. Good signs so far. The pizza looked and smelled good, one cheese and one pepperoni were available on the buffet. There was also the makings of a simple salad, nothing fancy, just a few basics, but it all looked fresh, another good sign that the restaurant was serious about good food. One of the buffet choices was steamed broccoli, which I like, but not with Italian food.
So I ordered my Coca Cola and a glass of water, grabbed a plate and proceeded to make a small salad on my plate; some lettuce, a few carrot slivers and some dressing, and the dressing was in individual serving containers. I liked that hygienic touch.
I helped myself to a couple slices of pepperoni pizza to go with my salad. Unlike one of the chain pizza places, whose huts shall remain un-named, the pizza was tasty, not too salty, and it had a “just right” crust that was somewhere between chewy and crispy. The waitperson brought red pepper and Parmesan cheese shakers to the table, another nice touch, and refilled the water and cola glasses without asking or intruding on my meal.
After the salad and pizza, I returned to the line, not really hungry anymore, but wanting a bit of the spaghetti and meatballs I had looked at earlier as I perused the buffet line. I took some spaghetti, covered it with a bit of sauce and a few meatballs, and took a stuffed seashell pasta for good measure. It was all good. The sauce was thick and tasty, no acid aftertaste, and the pasta was done to perfection. Again, the chef had not overdone it with the salt as so many other Italian places do.
Everything I ate from the buffet tasted fresh and appeared to be freshly prepared, nothing canned, dehydrated or frozen.
Had I ordered off the menu, I would have had a choice of appetizers, soups, salads, subs, burgers, various pasta dishes and a nice selection of Italian specialties. They also serve beer and wine, in addition to a selection of non-alcoholic beverages. This is a place I’ll certainly return to so that I can try some of the most interesting menu items.
Again, there is nothing fancy about this restaurant, but the food at Little Italy Ristorante is much better than that warehouse place that advertises Italian food, delivers a mere shadow of Italian cuisine and charges more than Little Italy Ristorante did. Like the “big boys,” Little Italy Ristorante accepts MasterCard, Visa and American Express.
Little Italy Ristorante is a bit off the beaten path, but easy to get to off I-664, and not too far from Chesapeake Square Mall. So, if you are in the area of that mall, I recommend you try Little Italy Ristorante instead of the fast food places that will cost at least as much but give you much less in terms of nutrition and taste.
Hours of Operation (Subject to Change):
Monday - Thursday: 11 AM – 9 PM
Friday - Saturday: 11 AM – 10 PM
Sunday: 11 AM – 8 PM
Take Out Orders Also Available.