401 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC | Directions 2751635.911088 -79.060605
Mon. CLOSED;Tue. - Thu. 5am - 9:30pm;Fri. - Sun. 5am - 8:30pm
Just like Florence – Fantastic restaurant! After spending 1.5 months in Italy last year, I can honestly say the food here is as good or better than the nicer restaurants I found in Italy. And that's no surprise -- Trilussa's chef hails from Florence! The dishes are always fresh, flavorful, and made to order. The waitstaff is helpful and attentive. I enjoy the classic pasta dishes, but my favorites are the meat and seafood dishes (more tasty vegetables and sauce, fewer carbs). If you save room for dessert, the tiramissu is to die for!
Trilussa is small (seats maybe 30 max), so make a reservation for larger groups.
Dean Smith is a regular – OK, OK, it is a next door neighbor to University Massage, but University Massage was there before Trilussa, and will be there when they're gone. My wife and I have wanted to try this place on numerous trips to Chapel Hill and finally did. The ambiance from the street draws you in and the interior is quite romantic and quaint. A rainy Saturday night would be perfect. Maybe a little Dean Martin, Sinatra or Billie Holliday in the background. I can't say that the food was excellent, but it was fine. The server was excellent, the wine was excellent. Everybody strolls by and looks in or peeks at the menu on the wall outside. Get the window table to your right as you go in to get the Franklin Street experience and to avoid the door draft to your left. It is an inviting place, especially for couples. I think you pay more for the atmosphere than the food itself and you do get a real feel of Italy in here.
Famed local writer Art Shansky was dining when we came in. Our server pointed out that Dean is a regular, usually take-out (I wonder why?). For a quiet romantic evening, try it, you will remember it. But exit stage right (unless you want a massage). Not recommended with a stomach full of Tuscany, nor necessarily with your spouse in tow.
The kind of quaint mom-and-pop operation one might discover while Eurailing through the small towns of Italy. – In Short
One chef-owner, one waiter and a few linen-dressed cafe table makes up this eatery's atmosphere. You'll see UNC sophisticates dressed up for a date, academic Chapel Hillians in search of a "hidden find" and folks who've just happened upon the place while strolling down Franklin Street. A primarily Italian menu-linguini, veal spiedini, Caesar salad, chicken Saint-Florent--with Spanish paella and Creole jambalaya entrees thrown in to satisfy vegan/vegetarian tastes.
Wonderful – My wife and I had an excellent time dining at Trilussa last night. The service from our waitress and the chef/owner was exceptional throughout the meal; Giovanni even sent us a free glass of recommended wine to try with our meals. The small dining rooms provides an intimate setting for dinner. The meals didn't rush out of the kitchen, but what's the hurry when you can hear the sounds of fresh ingredients being chopped in the kitchen. Both entrees were excellent and we were left highly impressed by Trilussa. Possibly the best Italian dining experience to be had in Chapel Hill.
The closest to Little Italy I've found. – I've lived in New York for a long time and frequented many places on Mulberry St.
The decor and single chef-owner might throw one off at first, but it gives me the nostalgia of the mom-and-pop kind of restaurant I visit in Little Italy. It is tiny and full of knick-nacks which adds to its charm. The food courses did take some time to come out, however I expect this at any romantic establishment as I do not want to rush through the evening. I found the food full of flavor and each dish remeniscient of good Southern Italian quisine.
I've been back many times since and each experience is unique, some better than others, but none that have left me disappointed. The very fact that this is such a unique place for the Triangle Area keeps me coming back.
you've got be kidding me – Upon entering the restaurant, my significant other and I found the ambience to be quaint and reminiscent of Epcot Center. The server was very nice and welcoming. But let's cut to the chase: it took FOREVER for us to get our appetizers and entrees. This was probably due to the fact that there is only one chef and one server in the entire restaurant. To make things worse, the food was absolutely tasteless (extremely bland, to be exact) and was definitely not worth $15-17 a plate. The steamed muscles tasted like old socks and the sauces lacked flavor. The only good things were 1. the bread, 2. the salad, 3. the water. I'm sorry to say that I would not recommend this place to any one of my friends that I care about nor would I ever return.
Worth one more chance – Service was almost adequate; not great, and my salmon was overcooked and the sauce watery. On the other hand, my companion enjoyed his food and the stuffed mushroom appetizer was good. This place's feel is more like a casual italian restaurant. I'll give it one more try.
Romantic Dinner – My wife and I had the pleasure of dinning at Trilussa for our wedding night dinner. I had called ahead and made reservations and explanied the importance of the evening. When we arrived, the waiter escorted us to a table right near the window which had 6 roses in a vase put there especially for us! The intimacy of the tratorria provided the perfect romantic setting for our evening. We both ordered salads and a glass of house wine. Both were splendid! For our main course, we ordered the Filet Mignon in a special wine sauce...This was the most tasty and flavorful piece of meat I have ever eaten. Incredible! For dessert we ordered coffee and split a piece of Tiramisu. Once again, Fantastic! Service was impeccable and our glasses were always keep full. Trilussa now holds a very special place in our hearts and memories.
Mama mia! – If you can get over the fact that they are located next door to University Massage, Trilussa's is the number one Italian restaurant in the Triangle. The initmate, home-like atmosphere complements the food and wine, and the service is impeccable. Parking can be tricky, as is always the case in Chapel Hill, but it's worth circling the block a few times. Try the tortellini and the house chianti - my personal favorites.
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