Sapori Ristorante Italiano opened for business Monday in New Town, located in a large space at the corner of Center and Courthouse streets.
“The menu is built to provide traditional staples like lasagna and manicotti to more intricate dishes like grilled Branzino, Tuscan veal chop, quail and rabbit,” said Dario Amato, who co-owns the restaurant with his brother, Luca, and his father, Giuseppe. “You can be as safe or as adventurous as you like.”
The new restaurant is the second location for Sapori. The first location opened in 2011 in Chester just outside Richmond. Amato said the idea behind the restaurant was to create a diverse menu, including fusion American-Italian dishes such, as corn bread and pancetta stuffed pork chops.
“We take our food seriously,” Amato said. “We spent a whole lot of time designing a menu and coming out with dishes that would please the palate. We are a family business. Williamsburg is very big into supporting small business as opposed to the big chains, so we’ll definitely be a part of that.”
Sapori means “flavor” in Italian. Amato said he and his brother grew up around a mother and grandmother who loved to cook and that they have always had a passion for it.
“It was a fairly natural transition to make a living out of it,” he said.
The Amato brothers and their father opened the Chester location together. While Dario will remain there, Luca and Giuseppe will be at the helm in Williamsburg.
“We’ve only been in business for a little over two years, but we’ve received really good reviews,” Amaro said. You can read reviews of the Chester location in Richmond magazine by clicking here.
The new restaurant is the first tenant in that space, located at 4903 Courthouse St.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, operating from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Amato characterized it as “casual fine dining,” speaking of low lighting and custom decorations, including paintings by local artists Lynn Hosegood and Dorothy Grebos.
“The locals have been really cool,” Amato said. “Seeing their excited faces waiting for us to open, it makes us work harder. We really have enjoyed the Williamsburg scene so far.”