Little Saint descends on Devil’s Triangle

little saint bar

Little Saint opened at 2901 Park Ave. on Tuesday. (J. Elias O’Neal)

A local restaurant group has served up its first Museum District venture.

Little Saint, the latest addition to RVA Hospitality, which owns Tarrant’s Café, Max’s on Broad and Tarrant’s West, is now open in the former Deco Ristorante space at 2901 Park Ave.

It’s the first restaurant opened by RVA Hospitality owner Frances Santarella, who took over the company last year from her late husband Ted Santarella.

Sean Rapoza is Little Saint’s general manager, coming over from Tarrant’s West to oversee a staff of about 30. He’ll be joined at the end of the month by bar manager Ryan Pantos, who’s currently at Graffiato Richmond downtown.

Alex Enggist, a 17-year chef with stints across the region at The Daily Kitchen & Bar and Commercial Taphouse & Grill, will be Little Saint’s executive chef.

With 1,300 square feet indoors, the restaurant was designed by Frances Santarella to give patrons an open and airy space.

Hanging and mounted plants decorate the 1,300-square-foot space. (J. Elias O’Neal)

To conjure the feeling of a grand front porch, Little Saint is surrounded by plants hanging in the windows, mounted to the wall and on shelves throughout the restaurant. At the base of the windows, mason jars full of tea sit percolating – a practice southerners call sun tea.

“If a customer wants to take the tea and the jar, they can leave $1 deposit,” said RVA Hospitality operations director Liz Kincaid. “When they return the jar, we’ll give them their $1 deposit back.”

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served, with dishes including hoecakes with orange blossom butter and chicory syrup and bison burgers served with tomato jam and pimento cheese.

The beverage menu includes beers from Hardywood and Strangeways, and several cocktails such as the Ubiquitous Mule – made with Richmond-based Belle Isle Moonshine, lime and ginger.

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