Maurizio’s

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In between our afternoon walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg and our ghost tour of the same area later that night, we refueled at a fantastic Italian place called Maurizio’s.  I had read great reviews of it on TripAdvisor, and those reviews turned out to be delightfully accurate.

Maurizio is originally from a small town in Palermo, Sicily.  The chef began his restaurant career almost three decades ago when he came to the United States at the age of 15.  He worked at his family’s restaurant, learning the Old World way from recipes of his beloved mother.  Eventually Maurizio was able to open a restaurant of his own and to this day it is still located in the Festival Market Place on Route 60 Williamsburg, Virginia. You can find Maurizio himself there, all day, everyday. His wife is in the kitchen making sure everything runs smoothly.

Maurizio’s is in a non-descript strip mall in Williamsburg, which happens to be fairly close to the Anvil Campground.  The interior is much nicer and more intimate than the façade would suggest.  Dark woods and low light make it a soothing spot to dine any time of day.

Maurizio’s takes garlic bread to the next level, with garlic knots that drip with herb-infused oil.  They’re far from soggy, and all that seemingly extra oil quickly gets sopped up as you eat your knot bite-by-bite.  It’s hard not to fill up on the knots, which come to the table in baskets like tortilla chips at a Mexican joint.

Entrees include a salad.  I was impressed by the chilled plates and the triangle of thin salami and cheese on top of the greens, next to the side of dressing.  Mike really enjoyed the spaghetti and meatballs, and I loved the special: broiled scallops with wilted spinach and risotto.  Portions are extremely generous at Maurizio’s, so be prepared to take home at least half your meal.  I even brought home my dessert.  It was actually better the next day after it’d chilled in the fridge.

I think Maurizio himself waited on us.  He was efficient but a sourpuss – until I tried ordering in Italian, apologizing in advance for my pronunciation.  Then, he smiled and complimented my efforts.  After that, there was a lot more smiling, and I found him endearing.

Our meal at Maurizio’s was an event – with amazing food and a romantic ambiance with a touch of authentic Italy.  We’ll definitely be going back if we’re in the area again.

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