A few months ago, I began a “Traveling during COVID” mini-series. The purpose of this series is to share the various safety precautions that the tourism and hospitality industry has implemented to ensure the safety of guests during this global pandemic.
Featuring locally sourced ingredients from North Carolina purveyors, today’s spotlight shines on DiValletta Restaurant which is located in Greensboro, North Carolina inside the luxurious Grandover Resort.
An Italian Restaurant with Southern Flair? ?
It’s no secret that COVID-19 (and now COVID Jr.) has hit the tourism and hospitality industry harder than any other virus we’ve faced in quite some time.
Many establishments, both large and small, have felt the jolting impact of COVID-19 this year.
How Has COVID Affected DiValletta?
The DiValletta Restaurant was closed from March and reopened a few months later. When the restaurant reopened in July, sanitation stations were installed for staff and guests to use according to the state of North Carolina’s re-opening guidelines.
As I was leaving the restaurant (Don’t worry, I’ll get into the yummy cuisine momentarily ?), I was blessed to meet the Assistant Food & Beverage Outlets Manager, Oliver Milani. He came over to greet me and ensure that my meal was satisfactory.
We began to have an impromptu interview about the impact that COVID-19 has had on the establishment.
I noticed that there were touch-less “sanitation stations” strategically placed around the restaurant for servers and customers to use at-will.
During the time of my visit, standing was not allowed in the bar area.
Most areas of the counter were protected by sneeze guards. Milani said that all guests would have to be seated to be served at the bar which only had 8 bar stools spread around the bar counter.
The Grandover Resort and Spa
Because I’d been quite busy since I arrived at the Grandover, I made sure to visit DiValletta for Sunday prior to checking out.
Oliver shared the restaurant’s current operating schedule. They’re currently open on weekends and then Thursday through Sunday mornings since breakfast is their busiest time of day.
Late Sunday morning was the perfect time to go for brunch. There were just enough customers around.
The masked hostess, Katherine, was able to seat me at a table with an accommodating view of both exits. Almost immediately, Poly, my masked new friend, came over to where I was to get me started with a glass of water and a menu.
I ordered the $13 Grandover omelette that was made of 3 eggs, mushrooms, bell peppers, green onions, spinach, ham, and diced tomatoes with Gruyere cheese. Honey, I’m drooling as I reminisce about this dish! The omelette came with a side of hashbrowns (potatoes) and a choice of oatmeal or yellow stone-ground grits. I’d never had yellow stone-ground grits so I chose that over oatmeal. Also, because of my absolute adoration for bacon, I ordered a side of applewood smoked bacon which was an additional $3.50, and a $2.50 cup of coffee (free refills).
Between Poly, the charming gentleman from Mexico who was assigned to my table, and Greg – utterly courteous gent who wasn’t even assigned to me but kept coming to check on me – my water glass and coffee cup stayed full. The coffee was so delicious! I had no need for sugar and was able to enjoy several cups of coffee with only cream.
The Grandover Omelette
The omelet was thick and full of fresh-flavored veggies. It paired well with the yellow stone grits, which by the way, had a creamy, milky taste to it. Additionally, there was a cute ‘lil wedge of an orange slice and a fresh strawberry to garnish the plate.
The grits were thick in consistency and buttery. It was like a thick buttery flavor consumed the grits. Don’t get me wrong; this didn’t taste bad at all. Although these grits were far different from any others I’ve had before, I actually enjoyed the taste and appreciated the consistency.
The bacon was okay but it was a bit chewy. Of course, this could have been because it’s smoked applewood bacon or maybe because I let it sit for a moment while I was on the phone. ???♀️
The Hashbrowns (Potatoes)
These babies right here?!?!?! Oh my word! These would make you fight your favorite oldest sibling!
I was a bit thrown off by the menu’s label of “hashbrowns” for this side. When the dish arrived at my table, I was like, “Ummmmm…where’s the hashbrowns???” ? But these potatoes – or hashbrowns as they call them – were demolished in what seemed like seconds after they arrived! “Delicious” doesn’t even do these potatoes any justice!
Well-seasoned with peppers, onions, and mushrooms, these hashbrowns were the perfect side for the meal. Mind you, everything that I’d ordered was already hitting the spot – you know that spot that needs some TLC when you’re hungry and ready to devour the first thing you see? Yep. That spot! – but if I can slide in a bit of contemporary vernacular here, ? these here potatoes hit different.
Honestly, I could’ve been fine and full from the hashbrowns alone!
The DiValletta Restaurant was very clean, had a delightful aroma of breakfast and brunch, and was quite welcoming. The architectural design of the restaurant gave me European vibes, much like the kinds of designs that I saw while backpacking through Europe in the summer of 2017.
The innermost seating area was wedged between sturdy columns that reminded me of Rome. The ceiling had a mural that reminded me of the Sistine chapel with its look and feel. Along with the cozy vibes from the walls, the atmosphere from top to bottom was serene and a nice change of scenery.
The staff at DiValletta Restaurant were courteous and attentive to my needs. Poly paid close attention to my needs along with the other guests he served. He, along with other wait staff such as Greg, Maria and the Assistant Banquet Manager, Milly Arriaza, displayed customer service skills that radiated patience, kindness and excellence to those of us they served.
As you could tell from the impromptu interview above, Oliver, the assistant manager, was charming and courteous enough to converse with me about the status and changes of the restaurant during this pandemic. Speaking with him was unplanned yet pleasant and rewarding as he provided an insider’s perspective on the processes implemented to ensure the safety of guests and continued quality of hospitality in spite of the impact of COVID-19.
The Payment System & Price of Meal
After I completed my meal, Katherine brought me the bill and I gave her my debit card to pay for the transaction. There was a physical exchange, however, our hands never touched. The only item that either of us touched was the folder that the receipt came in and my card.
If you are expecting contactless pay, this establishment doesn’t have that feature at the time of this review, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was something that they ended up within the near future. Still, my entire meal was less than $20 USD and I enjoyed every bit of it.
The winner of the day???
In comparison to this restaurant and the Level 7 Rooftop bar, the quality of the food and the amount at The DiValletta is no competition. This restaurant shockingly wins over the other as the quantity of food, quality of taste and overall menu prices were more favorable than those of Level 7 Rooftop bar.
This shocked me because the DiValletta is located inside of the Grandover Resort and Spa and gives the impression that the prices would be higher than they currently are.
If you’re ever in the Greensboro area and are able to book a stay at Grandover Resort and Spa, I would recommend dining at DiValletta for a unique experience of European architecture and good ‘ol Southern cuisine. ?
I’d like to thank the staff at the Grandover Resort and Spa, along with the stellar staff at DiValletta Restaurant, for being such benevolent hosts. I look forward to returning and trying other menu items post-COVID.