The following restaurants have previously occupied or currently occupy this location.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Saturday, December 28, 2013
For lunch on Friday, December 27, 2013 I went to Apple Blossom Mall and Buca di Beppo, its new Italian restaurant that opened on December 16. It has an entrance from inside the mall, and also an outside entrance for access when the mall is closed. It's open 11:00 AM-9:00 PM Sunday-Thursday, and 11:00 AM-10:00 PM Friday and Saturday. The phone number is 540-667-8466.
The location is near the main mall entrance and J.C. Penney, and first housed a Ground Round operation. Later, a succession of other restaurants operated here, but the space has now been completely redesigned. There are five named dining rooms and a bar, and the facilities can seat 200 diners inside and another 48 on a patio. This is the 97th Buca in the US, and the first one to open in the state of Virginia.
The restaurant was fairly busy when I arrived at 11:45 AM. I was seated at a table for two next to a wall in the Pope's dining room. Most of the other tables were for four. A long bench along one wall faced a number of tables for serving a group. All of the tables were covered with plastic cloths with an imitation red gingham pattern.
The Pope's table adjoins this room in a circular alcove decorated with pictures of various Popes. Its round table can seat eight to ten people for special parties, and the guest of honor gets to sit in the Pope's chair.
The room's walls were covered with pictures; most were black and white vintage photographs of various subjects. They were surrounded by strings of colored lights like those on Christmas trees. Later, I discovered that this was true in all of the rooms, and that there are thousands of these photos. There was background music, somewhat intrusive at times.
The $4.95 Lunch Special gives you half a sandwich, soup, and a tossed salad. The regular lunch menu, effective until 3:00 PM, includes Pasta, Paninos, Soup and Salad, Frittata, Ensalate, Pizza, Entrees, Baked Pasta, and Dessert. I ordered Frittata and soon received a small loaf of Italian bread, partially sliced and was offered butter or olive oil.
While waiting I asked Diane, my overly attentive server, for the dinner menu. It said that dinner servings were Family Style, with each dish meant to be shared, like at home. Buca Small serves two or more, while Buca Large serves four or more.
This menu's main categories were Antipasti, Insalate, Entrees, Side Dishes, Traditional Pasta, Baked Pasta, Specialty Pasta, Pizza, Panino, Bira (Beer), Cocktails, and Non-alcoholic Drinks.
My slice of frittata was quite generous. It was topped with tomato sauce, and accompanied by small chunks of deep-fried potato. While I was eating, Diane and another server were busy rearranging a number of empty tables to provide a long table to seat ten members of a family group.
Diane took me on a tour of other rooms after I had finished eating. The Wine Room had racks where people can put their signed, empty wine bottles. The Bar Room has sixteen stools at the bar. The Frank Sinatra Room has many pictures of the star, and the Poster Room has its posters on the ceiling.
Buca di Beppo is now on my keep list. I'm looking forward to having dinner with someone to see how the Family Style of serving works in practice. Incidentally, the Italian name can be roughly translated as "Joe's Basement".— Anonymous Reviewer
Saturday, December 21, 2013