4098 Oaklawn Boulevard Hopewell, VA 23860
Last week I went out to dinner with Amanda and her family to celebrate her Grandmother’s 79th birthday at Rosa’s Italian Restaurant in Hopewell. I had wanted to review Rosa’s for quite a while and this afforded me the opportunity to do so. Even though it is in Hopewell, Rosa’s has always been one of the nicer Italian restaurants in the area and the only one that serves breakfast. In the past I remember the food being quite good. So I went in with extremely high hopes.
Inside Rosa’s is decorated nicely. Of course it has an Italian theme; but it is not nearly as tacky as Pino’s nor is it as dark and dreary as Leone’s. It is bright and colorful and has a pretty nice layout. Amanda and I were a little late so as soon as we sat down we had to pour through the menu. While the décor was better than most other Italian places its menu was not. The menu was dominated by pizza, which If I had wanted pizza would have been awesome. There were many different types and styles with any different assortment of topping you could ask for. They were not as unusual or as artistic as Dante’s but they sounded good. That was the highlight of the menu. The rest of it contained the usual pastas and subs and for some reason a large amount of non-Italian entrees. I was in the mood for a savory unique pasta dish. There was none to be found on the menu. They had pasta but it was your typical spaghetti and meatballs type stuff. The subs and the rest of the menu was also pretty typical Italian fare. There was not even a seafood alfredo dish on the menu. I was so turned off by the menu selections I ended up ordering the appetizer sampler as my meal; not the best idea.
It took a while for our food to be prepared which was no problem because it gave us plenty of time to converse. After about 15 or 20 minutes our food was served. My plate contained, chicken wings, fried zucchini, fried cheese balls and jalapeño poppers. Everything except for the chicken wings was fried. It all tasted good, not amazing but good. The only exceptions were the cheese balls and the fried zucchini. The cheese balls were tiny and were a lot more fried dough then cheese and the cheese that was there was weird tasting cheddar. The fried zucchini on the other hand was very good. The outside was crispy and crunchy and the inside and soft and tender.
Overall, Rosa’s is neither extremely great no it is bad. If you’re in the mood for Italian style pizza, not what you find at Pizza Hut or Papa John’s, this is the place to go. But if you are looking for something out of the ordinary I would try elsewhere. I am not dying to go back to Rosa’s anytime soon but I will not be upset if I do; but next time I will skip the sampler and stick with the pizza.