Lasagna at Anna’s Kitchen in Virginia Beach is a must-have thing – Daily Press

My introduction to Italian food was very primitive and sparse. Originating in the American South in the late ’60s and early ’70s, there weren’t an abundance of Italian restaurants. More importantly, my grandmother – who raised me since childhood – always viewed anything other than the dishes I grew up on as fishy.

So I started with spaghetti at Shawnee’s, and the occasional frozen pizza. But somewhere in my high school years, I discovered lasagna, and I was really hooked.

Lasagna is a hearty and delicious dish, with layers of flat pasta, meat sauce, ricotta cheese, and other cheeses. There is a bad lasagna, where the pasta is too crunchy or the cheese is too greasy. But then there’s a good lasagna, where everything seems to be okay with the world.

It’s a good lasagna they serve at Anna’s Kitchen on the Hilltop in Virginia Beach. This esteemed restaurant comes honestly. Namesake Anna Alosa and her family came to America from Calabria, Italy, and the dishes served here were delivered from her mother.

Anna is a quaint restaurant located in the Regency Hilltop Shopping Centre, with walls lined with faux brick and dark wood accents. The smell of tomato sauce hits you as soon as you open the door, and if you’re not really hungry, you will soon be.

My partner Doug and I started with the Greek salad ($10.99) which promised to be big enough to share. It did not disappoint – in fact, it was large enough to bring home for lunch the next day.

A large bowl is filled with crunchy, cooled romaine lettuce as the base, and built over and around the perimeter of the dish with sliced ​​cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, kalamata olives, and a sprinkle of feta cheese. The well seasoned olive oil sauce came on the side.

The salad was fresh and tasty, and it was a great way to start the meal.

After bringing some bread with olive oil, we shared some chicken wings and waited for the main event: the lasagna.

A large rectangle of plate was served, with multiple tiers upright, and the noses of tomatoes, meats and cheeses oozing to perfume the air.

Everything here is made in-house, and it shows. The pasta was tender and a great platform for the other ingredients. They slice easily with a fork, and although tender, the dish was strong enough that the meat and cheese sauce cling to the edges for the perfect bite.

I loved the meat sauce: there was a nice basic sweetness in the base of the tomatoes, and hints of Italian seasoning – basil, thyme and garlic – adding savory notes. Soft pieces of ground beef were brown all over, adding flavor and texture. Cheese was also scattered throughout all the layers, and lightly sprinkled on top.

Between the salad, wings and lasagna we also had a portion to take home to enjoy the next day.

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There is no beer, spirits or wine on the menu at Anna’s, so I enjoyed a glass of water. If you have leftovers to take home the next day, I suggest a lovely classic chianti to pair with anything with red sauce.

Anna’s Kitchen is located on Laskin Street in 1940, Virginia Beach. Call 757-491-5050 or visit www.AnnasPizzaKitchen.com.

Parrotheads, take note: Key West Fest at Commonwealth Brewing Company. The event begins at noon on August 13 and includes island-inspired slushies, a pizza bar menu, live music, and more. The event follows the release of Hemingway Key Lime Goes and Islamorada Goes on August 9 and Tranquil Dark Mexican Lager on August 12.

The Commonwealth Brewing Company is located at 2444 Pleasure House Rd. Virginia Beach. Call 757-305-9652 or visit www.CommonwealthBrewingCompany.com

Let’s take it in Virginia Beach Taco Festival, with varying times on August 20 and 21 at The Shack. Eat more than 10 offerings from taco restaurants and food vendors in the area, enjoy a margarita bar, sample tequila, live music, and general vendors. There will also be a taco and chili eating competition. Prices range based on experiences, from $9 to $59.

The Shack is located at 712 Atlantic Ave. , Virginia Beach. Call 757-319-5146. For information and tickets, visit www.VirginiaBeachTacoFest.com.

Patrick Evans Hilton, [email protected]

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