In 2021, it was great to see the food scene recover a bit from the pandemic. Restaurants took a peek out of the darkness and realized things were going to get better, relatively speaking. One restaurant group that has been super busy is Giorgio’s Hospitality group. Based out of Durham but with restaurants in Chapel Hill and Raleigh, Giorgio’s opened up Osteria Georgi in April of 2021 and the group has several more on tap in 2022! But let’s focus on what they are doing out in Chapel Hill.
Located in a newer plaza off of S. Elliott Road, Osteria Georgi has a premium corner location which sports a lovely garden patio around the restaurant. Inside you’ll find more of the same: organic, light woods, green velvet, and bell-shaped ceiling fixtures which must have cost a fortune. Like a lot of the Giorgio restaurants, decor is excellent here with a touch of classy and posh. Prints and plants are scattered about the space giving it all a mod European, garden feel. Osteria in Italian usually means a more casual restaurant but let’s just say in the US, we take liberties with language!
The menu at Osteria Georgi is on the smaller side but large enough to keep the family happy. Focused on hand-made pastas along with other regional Italian classics, Osteria Georgi covers 25 or so items across antipasti (first course), primi (first dish), second (second dish), and contorni (side dish) along with some desserts. Given the seasonal menu changes frequently, if you see something you like, order it and don’t wait! Over the course of my visits, I certainly recommend the meaty polpette di norma (meatballs). Dense, beefy meatballs with a fine texture and served up with the house red sauce and whipped ricotta.
For the pastas, I’ve tried the bucatini amatriciana and tagliatelle nero (asparagus, shrimp). Given they are the stars of the show, both pastas were cooked perfectly al dente (toothsome) and I loved the black ink tagliatelle. The fresh shrimp and greens made for a well-balanced and flavored dish, you may or may not see it on the menu! And finally for savories, the swordfish puttanesca which featured grilled, firm white swordfish atop firm couscous and a tomato sauce with capers, lovely.
The desserts at Osteria Georgi are solid, from the classic tiramisu to a butterscotch budino topped with blueberries and candied pecans. Definitely make an effort to dabble in their desserts, it’s worth the extra calories at the end!
Service at Osteria Georgi is solid and consistent. The staff here is plentiful and well-trained, the bartenders are professional and will mix you a nice cocktail. Overall, Osteria Georgi does a fine job delivering very good Italian eats in a beautiful space. I’d list the place as more of a date, family gathering, or special event type spot. The tab will be in the $60 to $75 range with appetizer, entree, and drink so it’s not inexpensive and on the higher side. And with all the newer Italian restaurants in the area, Osteria Georgi has a bit of competition now! But like most restaurants for Giorgio’s restaurant group, you’ll go home happy and full with fond memories.