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Bravoo ($$$); India K'Raja Restaurant ($) 

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Bravoo ($$$)

I was really looking forward to being a first-timer at Bravoo, an Italian restaurant stashed away in the back of Midlothian Green Shopping Center. I'd checked out the menu online and everything looked delicious — lots of mozzarella, sauces of all flavors, fresh pasta and plenty of garlic, all prepared in the Northern Italian tradition.

Our waitress showed up promptly and took our orders for drinks and dinner. We also chose a half order of Bravoo bread — baked Italian bread topped with arugula, mozzarella, tomato, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and fresh basil ($3.75). The combination was very tasty. Forty minutes later — yes, 40 — our dinners were served. During that time, we did not see our waitress.

My dinner of veal piccata and angel-hair pasta ($19.95), usually a foolproof choice, was fine but not fabulous. Bottomless Pit's saltimbocca ($18.95) was swimming in a sauce that also resembled brown gravy rather than the promised Marsala wine and fresh sage. He reported that his veal was tender, like mine, but the accompanying herbed spinach, prosciutto and mozzarella contained no prosciutto. Ah, well — what's a detail or two?

It must mean something that Bravoo was booked solid on a Saturday night. But our experience was soured; maybe some of the staff didn't show up that night. — Elizabeth Cogar

9930 Midlothian Turnpike
Midlothian Green Shopping Center
320-8029
Monday - Thursday 5-9 p.m.
Friday - Saturday 5-10 p.m.

India K'Raja Restaurant ($)

India K'Raja, now 6 years old, is a comfortable and interesting mix on the fun side of kitsch and the downside of Empire, and without tiresome tape loops of anonymous ethnic music. The service is professionally attentive and, in our case, very informed.

They divide the appetizers into vegetarian ($2.50 - $3.50) and nonvegetarian ($3.95 - $4.95). We enjoyed the range of textures and tastes of the vegetarian sampler ($7.95), ordering also the condiment sampler ($6.95), which gives seven more options.

Among them were raita (a cooling yogurt dip), salty achaar, sweet mango and tamarind chutneys (also available separately for $1.50 each). K'Raja also offers 10 bread choices ($1.75- 2.95), which are fun to mix and match with the condiments.

Entrees ($8.95 - $14.95) are divided into five extensive groups — rice (biryani), chicken, lamb and beef, seafood, and vegetarian. We had chicken pasanda and the sweetish flavors of mango, almonds and raisins combined into an intriguing sauce.

For most of us, an Indian meal is a once-in-a-while occasion. I almost always remind myself afterwards that I should do it more often. — Davis Morton

9051-5 W. Broad St.
965-6345
Open Sunday - Saturday
Lunch 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Dinner 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

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