To hear Fabio Esposito tell it, the pizza business just won’t leave him alone. When he opens Fabio’s N.Y. Pizza in the former High Street Pizza Hut building next month, Esposito will draw on seven years of experience running the original Fabio’s N.Y. Pizza in Gordonsville. “’Your kitchen is our second kitchen,’” he recalls his Gordonsville customers telling him, before he and his wife Elena sold the place two years ago.
The family vibe there was so palpable that, when the Fabio’s staff was hopelessly slammed, diners would pick up bus tubs and lend a hand. Some of those same loyal customers, Esposito says, urged him to stake a claim in Charlottesville. He began work on the new location about two months ago.
And so, come the first week of May, you’ll be able to park in the nice big parking lot, enter a renovated interior, and order pizza-by-the-slice, whole pies, subs, sandwiches or salads. You can get your pizza Chicago deep-dish style, with a thin New York crust, or sliced into Sicilian squares; or, if you’d rather, sink your teeth into a calzone or pepperoni roll. And you won’t mistake Fabio’s for the delivery-and-takeout-only Pizza Hut that it replaces, Esposito says. He’s rejiggered the layout of the space to accommodate tables, and plans to eventually add a patio outside.
Highly scientific studies of the Pantops-area lunch landscape, Esposito says, have revealed that “everybody’s packed.” He hopes families and office escapees will pack in for his pizza, as well.
If you’re muy in the know and you have 85 clams laying around, you’ll get yourself a reservation for the Viva Espâna Spanish wine dinner on April 20 at Fossett’s Restaurant at Keswick Hall. (Got all that?) It’s a chance to try Spanish dishes like paprika beef skewers with eggplant ragu, or crawfish beignets with piquillo pepper remoulade—all paired with wines of Spain. David Shiverick of Langdon/ Shiverick Imports, a Cleveland wine importer, will be on hand to pour vintages like the 2004 Falset Etim Blanc Grenache. Sounds bonita.
Though we haven’t been able to reach Amigos owner Rudy Padilla (also of El Rey Del Taco fame), we can report that his original Amigos location in Woodbrook Shopping Center has closed. No word on the expectations for Amigos’ Fifth Street and Corner locations—nor on what they’ll do with all those leftover beans. We’ll stay on the story.
Deli deal dead
We recently waxed expectant about a second branch of Littlejohn’s opening in the former A&N space on the Downtown Mall. Now, it seems, we’ll have to fend off our pastrami cravings a little longer. “Negotiations broke down” at A&N, says operator Chris Strong, who still hopes (along with brother Michael Crafaik, owner of Michael’s Bistro) to grow Littlejohn’s in some other spot—although not necessarily Downtown. Stop by the landmark Corner deli and lobby for your most-hoped-for Littlejohn’s locale. (Reubens in Ruckersville, anyone?)
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