Once the hankering for a hearty Italian pasta dish hits, nothing can satisfy the craving until you heed the call. Norfolk has no shortage of delectable Italian restaurants, but there’s one that stands out for its supreme dishes and atmosphere. Razzo is located on Little Creek Road in an old fire station, providing all the cozy vibes, and is the ultimate Italian dining experience.
Razzo offers robust plates, from Chicken Parmesan and Veal Francese to award-winning Lasagna and Stuffed Eggplant. Aside from the delectable cuisine, Razzo offers a welcoming and warm atmosphere to pair with your pasta. It’s the perfect balance of classy and comfortable, making it the ideal Italian spot. The building retains elements of the fire station that previously inhabited the space, including exposed brick walls and a fire pole. The friendly and professional wait staff are thoughtful and attentive, and the fine wines to pair with dishes provide an elegant mood without feeling stuffy.
The History of Razzo
Razzo was founded in 2007 by G. Dominic “Butch” Germano, his long-time friend and colleague Aimee Templeton, his niece, Theresa Dunleavy, and her husband Matt. Prior to opening Razzo, Butch was a long-time restaurateur. He was the son of Italian immigrants who grew up in the Ocean View area of Norfolk. One day, Butch decided to open an Italian restaurant in the area where he grew up to bring authentic Italian cuisine to his Ocean View community.
Butch, Aimee, Theresa, and Matt made a great team for many years until Butch passed away in 2011. Aimee, Matt, and Theresa continued to run the original Razzo in Ocean View until their lease ended in 2019 when the building was sold. The three partners then purchased a building from the City of Norfolk that was previously a firehouse and re-opened Razzo at the current location in March 2020.
Razzo’s Food and Wine
Razzo’s comprehensive menu is packed with all the Italian classics. Mouthwatering appetizers include steamed clams, calamari, and fried mozzarella. Entrees range from brick oven pizzas to Penne a la Vodka and Rigatoni Bolognese. There’s something to satisfy all guests, from the pickiest of eaters desiring a simple meal to those looking for a gourmet Italian spread.
Italian bread offered for the table is made daily from scratch, as well as all sauces, dressings, and desserts. The knowledgeable staff members are always happy to provide wine recommendations to pair with dishes to provide the best experience possible to customers.
The Classy and Cozy Atmosphere
When visitors approach the building, there’s already a feeling of cozy warmth and friendliness from the beautiful brick building and string lights over the patio. Once inside, friendly faces are waiting to greet guests, and nostalgic photos adorn the walls to paint a picture of Razzo’s history and Italian heritage. The exposed brick walls provide an approachability, like you’re sharing an Italian meal in a friend’s dining room, blended with the essence of Norfolk history. It feels more elevated than just hitting your local pizza joint, but is also comfortable over other stuffy, high-end Italian restaurants. It’s the type of place you can tell there are “regulars” that everyone knows, and leaves you wanting to be one of those people who frequents Razzo.
Thanks to a great staff, for the past 16 years Razzo has been able to provide excellent customer service while serving fine Italian food in a casual atmosphere. Razzo is a wonderful space for the Norfolk community to gather and enjoy a warm meal together.
The next time your stomach tells you it’s time for a meal chock-full of carbs and cheesy goodness, pay a visit to Razzo to have your taste buds astounded.
Tiffany grew up in Chesapeake but has called Norfolk home for the past seven years. She fell in love with the city while working with Festevents during college summer breaks. She graduated from James Madison University (Go Dukes!) with a degree in corporate communication. Tiffany now works as a digital marketing specialist and enjoys strolling and rollerblading her way around Norfolk. She lives in Ghent with her husband Trevor, and their two cats, Tux and Joe.