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Three Pastas - Pasta Dinner - Girasole - The Plains, VA - Authentic Regional Italian Cuisine

Tuesday and Wednesday Pasta Nights

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Always dreaming of new and creative ways to get you to explore every region of Italy, Chef Patierno will feature three pasta dishes from a specific region of Italy each Tuesday and Wednesday.  For $24.50 you can enjoy the authentic taste of Italy right here at Girasole.  Order one of the pasta dishes or order a sampling of all three pastas from the featured region!  Recently, we featured dishes from Roma in the Lazio region and Genova in the Liguria region.  Follow us on Facebook at and you’ll receive our weekly posts about which region and pastas will be featured.  Hope to see you in the restaurant on a Tuesday or Wednesday for pasta!

Wine Tasting - Girasole, The Plains, VA - Michael Downey

Patio Wine Tasting

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Sunday, June 22nd, 3 – 5 pm

Hosted by Max Evans of Michael Downey Wines
Cost: $35 per person

Featuring the Following
Wines & Light Antipasti

Scacciadiavole Brut Rose NV
Scacciadiavoli Grechetto
Santa Barbara Verdicchio
St. Pauls Muller Thurgau
Dal Maso Gambellara “Ca Fischele”
Zuc di Volpe Pinot Grigio
Santa Barbara Rosso Piceno
D&N Primativo
Dal Maso Cabernet
Dal Maso Cabernet “Montebelvedere”
Castello dei Rampolla Chianti Classico
Degani Valpolicella Ripasso “Cicilio”
Degani Amarone Classico
Andrea Oberto Barolo
Orsolani Passio “Sule”

Father's Day Wine Dinner - Girasole, The Plains, Virginia - Tacchino Winery

Father’s Day Trattoria Dinner

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Sunday, June 15th

Dinner hosted by Romina Tacchino of Luigi Tacchino Winery
We hope that you’ll join us on Sunday, June 15th for a memorable Father’s Day Trattoria Dinner hosted by Romina Tacchino of Luigi Tacchino Winery.  This six course,  fixed price dinner will delight everyone in your family. Chef Patierno is planning the following courses and wine pairings:

Tortellini di Salmone con Piselli dell’ Orto
Salmon Tortellini with Fresh Garden Peas and Pea Shoots
Tacchino Gavi  2011
Calamari Ripieni al Liguriano
Grilled Stuffed Ligurian Style Squid
Dolcetto di Ovada 2011
Anatra Brasata con Pappardelle di Castagne
Braised Fields of Athenry Duck with Chestnut Pappardelle
Di Fatto Monferrato Rosso 2008
Ratatouille alla Romana
Barbera del Monferrato  2011
Ragú di Vitello con Polenta d’Erbe
Veal Ragú with Summer Herb Polenta
Du Riva Dolcetto di Ovada Superiore 2009
Biscotti & Caffè

The cost is $100 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity.  Reservations are required.  Please contact the restaurant at 540-253-5501 to reserve your table for this exciting event.

Mother's Day at Girasole - Girasole, The Plains, VA

Mother’s Day

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Sunday, May 11th

Sunday, May 11th
Reservations from Noon – 9pm

We hope that you’ll join us on Sunday, May 11th for a memorable Mother’s Day.  Chef Patierno will offer the dinner menu all day with the following chef specials:
Tuna Carpaccio
Soft Shell Crabs
Seafood Ravioli
Tuscan Roasted Veal
Braised Braciole in Barolo
Grilled Halibut
Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes

Reservations will be available from noon until 9 pm.  Please make your reservations by calling the restaurant at 540-253-5501.

Santa Barbara Wine Dinner

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Sunday, April 27th 7pm

Hosted by Roberto Rotatori from Azienda Santa Barbara
5 Course Fixed-Price Menu
$ 85 per person exclusive of taxes and gratuity

First Course
Baccalà con salsa di erbe e capperi
Salted Cod with a Caper Herb Sauce
2013 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC

Second Course
Tagliatelle fatte in casa con pancetta, porcini, e castagne
Housemade Tagliatelle with Pancetta, Porcini & Chestnuts
2013 Rosso Piceno DOC  (Montepulciano & Sangiovese)

Third Course
Tradizionale zuppa di pesce
Traditional Adriatic Seafood Soup
2012 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico “Le Vaglie”

Fourth Course
Coniglio farcito
Braised Stuffed Rabbit
2010 “Vigna San Bartolo” (Montepuliciano & Cabernet)

Fifth Course
Assorted Marche Pastries

Lydia and Lou Paterino - Main Dinining Room - Girasole - The Plains, VA, Middleburg, Marshall, Salamander Spa and Resort, Whole Ox, Red Truck Bakery, Gentle Harvest, Haymarket

A sunflower blooms in The Plains

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Selecting a restaurant’s name could be a challenge. But for Lydia and Louis Patierno, the setting inspired their choice: Girasole, Italian for “sunflower.” This cheerful restaurant in The Plains measures up to its name: bright and sunny, thanks to the expansive windows that wrap around the dining room, lush with outdoor foliage in warm weather and colorful with huge vases of vibrant flowers indoors – including, of course, sunflowers. The restaurant’s name, said Mr. Patierno, also connotes both “country” and Tuscany, where sunflowers grow abundantly.

Opening up Girasole nine years ago while still operating their now-sold Manassas restaurant, Panino, the Patiernos consider their finding this location a stroke of divine luck. “I used to come out between lunch and dinner from Manassas for trout fishing,” said Mr. Patierno. “I would drive around and see this corner building, and I would think that this is where I would like to be. If I were out here, I wouldn’t need to drive around looking for a place to fish.”

When the former owner put Girasole up for sale, the couple decided to make the move and to open a country place that features exquisite, from-scratch and traditional Italian cooking – that means breads, pastas, sauces, cured meats and pastries made on the premises by Mr. Patierno, the head chef. It helps, of course, that both grew up in Italian families, where honest home cooking prevailed – although Mrs. Patierno’s mother was Polish. “My uncle had an Italian provision import business,” she said. “I had a chance to work for him, and that sparked my interest in food.”

As for Mr. Patierno, as a college student he spent time in Ravena, in the Emilia-Romagna area of Italy. “That is a very culinary region,” he said. “So, without realizing it, I was absorbing a lot of food knowledge.”

It also helps that both Patiernos are dedicated foodies, having degrees from the Culinary Institute of America and having held assorted chef and management jobs in numerous restaurants, including one very prestigious D.C. restaurant. “I worked at the late Tiberio restaurant in Washington,” Mr. Patierno said about this very high-end destination. “I worked with a lot of great people, mostly Europeans who learned kitchen skills from the bottom up.”

His wife, on the other hand, interned for famed chef Hubert Schmeider after cooking school, then worked in kitchens in Iowa and Indianapolis before returning to D.C. In those days, she discovered, few women were hired to cook in the District, so she worked in hotel management, invaluable training for knowing how to run the couple’s future restaurants.

Now that they focus solely on Girasole, the Patiernos can concentrate full time on structuring a menu that includes such Italian entrée specialties as fritto misto (crisply fried squid, scallops, sole, shrimp, mussels and zucchini) and scaloppini di vitello saltimbocca (veal scaloppini with sautéed onions, roasted red peppers and light tomato sauce). Appetizers include mozzarella fritti (fried mozzarella with a light lemon anchovy sauce). And don’t bypass the pasta. Who could resist pappardella alla Bolognese (wide pasta ribbons with a classic meat sauce)? Delicate pastries and cups of espresso wind up the meal.

Read the entire article

Make Your Valentine’s Day Dinner Reservation

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Join us on Friday, February 14th for a special Valentine’s four course, fixed price menu.

This special menu will feature the following options:
First Course:
Oysters Florentine
Beef Carpaccio
Marinated Grilled Octopus
Buffalo Mozzarella & Grilled Vegetables

Second Course:
Baby Arugula with Shaved Parmesan and Artisanal Olive Oil
Classic Caesar Salad
Fennel Salad with Blood Oranges and Mediterranean Olives
Frisee with Anchovy Dressing and Gorgonzola Crostini

Third Course:
Seafood Ravioli with Lobster, Shrimp, and Scallops
Salmon en Carrozza
Butternut Squash Tortellini
Pork Cheek Marubini
Braised Short Ribs over Creamy, Herbed Polenta
Veal Medallions in a Cream Brandy Sauce with Local and Forest Mushrooms
Roasted Chestnut Stuffed Rabbit

Fourth Course:
Housemade Dessert Selection

There are two seating times available in which to make your reservation. Choose between 5 to 6:30 pm or 8 to 9:30 pm. The cost is $85 per person, excluding beverages, tax, and gratuity. Seating is limited so call 540-253-5501 to make your reservation.

If you cannot join us on Valentine’s Day proper, we will feature dinner and dessert specials all weekend!

Trip to Sicily – May 5 – 16, 2014

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We are planning an exclusive trip to the Sicily region of Italy from May 5th through May 16th. Our tour is small and personal. Local food and wine combined with the history and folklore of the local area. We will stay at Agriturismi when possible. We will visit a Marsala producer, a wine maker, almond and pistachio growers, Sicilian pottery shop, a puppet show, and local markets.

The group is limited to 10 persons. The package price is $3,200 per person and includes transportation to and from the Palermo airport, transportation throughout the tour, accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, and five lunches. Airfare and taxes are excluded.

For more information, visit To make a reservation, please call Lydia Patierno at 540-253-5501. $1,000 deposit required to secure your reservation.

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Art Show & Sale

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Sunday, December 15th from 12 to 5 pm

Join us at Girasole on Sunday, December 15th for a showing of artist Robert Patierno’s work. The brother of Chef Louis Patierno, Robert has exhibited his paintings, prints and drawings in galleries and museums throughout Europe and across the United States. Girasole is proud to display his art throughout the restaurant, including the mural that greets patrons as they enter from the patio. Join us for light antipasti and amazing art as we celebrate the creativity of the Patierno brothers!

Introducing Girasole Marketplace

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We are proud to announce the Girasole Marketplace! See our fine selections below to help make your holiday season easy and enjoyable.

Wine Sales
Love your bottle of wine? All of our wine is available for purchase to immediately take home with you.

You may also place an order for wine at competitive retail pricing. All orders are available for pick-up within 5 business days. Ask your server or the host for more information. Buy a case of wine and receive a 10% discount on your order.

Our country Tuscan loaf is house made and appreciated for its crunchy crust and soft center. Take one home and enjoy for $9 per loaf.

Olive Oil
Enjoy only the best artisanal Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Castello di Poppiano: $38 a bottle or $34 when ordering 6 or more bottles.
Isole e Olena: $28 a bottle or $25 when ordering 12 or more bottles.

Gift Baskets
Let us assemble a custom gift basket just for you. Available for $50, $100, $150, or $200, each basket will be specifically designed to delight your tastes. We’ll include wine, artisanal olive oil, bread, house smoked meats and salmon, specialty cheeses, or a gift certificate. We’re also happy to wrap your purchase to make gift-giving easy and enjoyable.

Gift Certificates
Give a Girasole gift certificate for that special someone, the gourmand, the wine connoisseur, or the hard to buy for friend or family member. Available in varying amounts.