We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A Pleasant Surprise”
Review of Chianti Restaurant - CLOSED

No photo provided
Got a photo?
Add it.
Chianti Restaurant
Price range: US$15 - US$20
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed 31 March 2013

My wife and I stopped in Salem while on the way to Asheville. Frankly, we didn't have high expectations about dining, but we decided to try Chianti, guided only by the brochure in our motel. From the outside it seemed to live up to our expectations: a modest place in an unimpressive building in a thoroughly ordinary location. What the heck, we thought, let's give it a try. That turned out to be the best decision we made all day.

What we found was an Italian restaurant (with a touch of Thai as well) that did things in the best Italian tradition---just let the ingredients speak for themselves. We had the best mussels we'd ever eaten, along with a fettucine raguttate that was simply unbelievable. Our server was knowledgeable and attentive to our needs and Luciano, the owner/chef, came to our table at the end and was utterly charming.

If you're ever in the Roanoke area, go west of the city to Salem and give Chianti a try. If your experience is anything like ours, you'll be glad you did. I can't guarantee you'll meet your former boss nine hundred miles from home, as we did, but even without that it's a stop worth making.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Traumatik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (14)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

2 - 6 of 14 reviews

Reviewed 19 March 2013

Went to Chianti for lunch on 2/22/2013. Two if us ordered the lunch lasagna with salad included for $9.99. Salad was OK. Lasagna came with lunch portion (to be expected) but was only lukewarm. When we got the bill, owner had charged us $15.95 for the lasagna and $8.95 for the salad. We approached him and he recognized his mistake and changed the lasagna to $12.95. We told him that was still wrong and that we had ordered the lunch portion for $9.99. He said that we got the dinner item because the other couple with us has asked for the dinner menus. He turned his back on us and walked away. We did not want to make a scene with our friends there. We sent the owner/chef a letter and never heard anything back. We gave him a month to rectify or at least apologize before we are writing this review. No wonder we were the ONLY people in the restaurant for an hour and half.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Annie749
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2013

Four of us went to Chianti's for lunch. For some reason that day, we were the only ones in the restaurant for the first half hour. We got VERY personalized service from the owner. In fact, one friend who had been there before, asked about a particular dish she didn't see on the menu. The owner created a unique dish, just for her, for lunch that day. The vegetables in my dish were very fresh, still with a slight crunch to them. The minestrone soup was fabulous on that cold day. One odd thing was two of us got a house salad and we each had the "butt" of the lettuce head on our plates. Some strange Italian delicacy? The Tiramisu was pretty good, not the best I've had but better than some.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ReikiForAllBeings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2013

We went here for dinner last night on Valentine's Day. The place was full and there were only two waitstaff -- the owner and one very unfriendly girl that just did the water and took plates away.

It took forever to get drink orders. The owner tried to talk my parents into his special house wine and they relented, but changed their mind. My dad went and found him and said that they would like a bottle of merlot instead. Then, the owner comes around with his house wine and says to them, "Try this." They do, and nod their heads politely. Then, he sets the bottle down and leaves. Ok, so much for the wine they VERY specifically asked for. Also, this is a very cheap wine that he sells for $22 a bottle.

I ordered a glass of chardonnay. I got pinot grigio. Whatever. It's white...I'll drink it. What really frosted me later, though, was that when we were doing our ticket and telling his wife what we ordered, I said I had chardonnay. The owner butts in and says, "No, bah...chardonnay...We don't have in Italy. I brought you pinot grigio." I couldn't believe it. They didn't mistakenly mess up my order. He chose to ignore my request.

So, if you come here, be prepared to pay for whatever Luciano wants you to have. In fact, why order at all?

Funny story -- the owner was trying to get the attention of the waitstaff helper and was saying, "Teresa, Teresa." No answer. "Hey you. You. I don't remember your name." No answer. "Sweetheart." Ah, finally, she turns around. He doesn't even know her name? Ay, ay, ay.

Meanwhile, we were not amused and trying to imbibe on our mistaken wine and make the best of it. Then, it took forever to them to take our order.

While ordering, we asked if the entrees came with salads and we didn't really understand what he said, but he said not usually, but no worries, I take care of it.

He brought salads for everyone, which were quite good, but then there was a $6 charge for each person on our bill for a small side salad. My husband did not even want a salad. The unclear communication due to language barriers and just being nebulous is quite a problem.

The food came and everyone enjoyed what they had. My husband was parched as our water was never refilled once, not until we were waiting for the check that is.

Then, of course, the parade of give-me-whatever-you-want-me-to-have continued with dessert.

And, finally, we waited FOREVER for them to sort out the check. They were handwriting and calculating each bill. At least they didn't have stone tablets.

While the food was pretty good...it was not worth it. We were there for two and a half hours. The service was TERRIBLE and we didn't get what we wanted.

Man, Olive Garden doesn't look so bad now. ;) Kidding, kind of.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank parisbound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2012

Wonderful nightly specials - a good place for a special occasion, sort of pricey - but if you want a good value, order one of their nightly salad specials and an appetizer, you will be full and not break the bank.

Thank Travelmom29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing