SAPORI: Flavors and family

There is a fresh new hot spot for dining in Chester. Sapori Ristorante Italiano is not your average mom-and-pop pizza and pasta eatery.  The Amato family, originally of Carini, Sicily, relocated to Chester Village in Festival Park to open Sapori, a modern Italian-American restaurant full to the brim with personality.  Inside you’ll find art by local artists, some made by proprietor Joe Amato, an herb and flower garden, and a plush lounge and waiting area complete with kiddie tables and toys. The illuminated bar seats eleven and features two large-screen televisions perfect for keeping up to date on sports events. There is also a banquet room for special events and hosts up to 40 people. The 4,000 square foot space has a seating capacity for 120, and the family plans to open an outdoor patio with up to 10 more tables in the near future. Also coming soon is a brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday mornings and live music.

Joe and Angela Amato, along with sons Dario and Luca are familiar with restaurants. They owned Little Italian Pizzaman and Luca Italian restaurant, both in Prince George, from 1999 until 2010. Sapori is a new concept, however, staffing more than 20 people and accommodating 120 customers with an all-new menu featuring fresh ingredients and homemade sauces.  Chefs Joe, Dario, and Luca conceptualized a dynamic menu that is a fusion between traditional Sicilian family recipes and modern culinary techniques. Sapori is Italian for “flavors,” and the flavorful menu features new-American dishes, like pancetta and cornbread stuffed pork chops and ribeye chimichurri (parsely-laced pesto),  as well as some old family favorites such as arancini (stuffed rice balls) and creamy lasagna. To stay fresh, seasonal menus may change slightly quarterly.

The beverage list is also something new for the area, highlighting some Virginia wines and offering a majority of often more hard-to-find beers to compliment the dining experience.  A few nights a week, chefs flex their culinary muscles with off-the-menu specials. Among the family’s goals for Sapori are to create a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere for families, to support local farmers and artists, and to offer fresh and healthy ingredients—allowing diners to branch out and excite their pallets in new ways. Visit their website at www.saporiflavors.com to learn more.

Comments

Unsanitary and unfair labor practices

Really disappointing; the menu and location are good, but the health violation I witnessed was appalling. I went in for training as an employee for one day. The salad was handled by a server with bare hands rather than tongs; they laughed and told me not to follow their example. I put in my two weeks' notice and asked when I could pick up my paycheck (I bussed tables and helped the waitstaff). The manager told me they would not be paying me because it was a "shadowing opportunity". I was not notified of this in advance. This is illegal.

Unsanitary and unfair labor practices

Really disappointing; the menu and location are good, but the health violation I witnessed was appalling. I went in for training as an employee for one day. The salad was handled by a server with bare hands rather than tongs; they laughed and told me not to follow their example. I put in my two weeks' notice and asked when I could pick up my paycheck (I bussed tables and helped the waitstaff). The manager told me they would not be paying me because it was a "shadowing opportunity". I was not notified of this in advance. This is illegal.

Sapori

My wife and I dined at the new Sapori Restaurant recently and were thrilled to find such good food and atmosphere just a couple of blocks from where we will be moving in two weeks. We will definitely frequent Sapori often. We met Angela and one of the sons came by our table to inquire about our meals. We assured him it was all delicious. Thanks to the Amato family for sharing their skills and friendliness with us.

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