RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A new European-inspired restaurant is coming to Carytown next month and co-owner Fabiana Calandriello says she can’t wait for people to see it for themselves.
Calandriello grew up in Venezuela, her mother was Venezuelan and her father was Italian. She said that the mixture of cultures inspired her to travel. In her late teens, Calandriello moved to Spain to be closer to her European roots.
“It was mostly when I moved to Spain that I expanded my knowledge of food,” Calandriello said. “I love this side of me.”
As early as 15 years old, Calandriello worked a number of jobs in hospitality and dining. When she moved to the United States only seven months ago she knew she wanted to continue in that space. Calandriello moved to Richmond to be closer to family.
“I always wanted to come to the states,” she said. “I really like [Richmond]! I’m not a fan of big cities…I like how the city is developing. You can do so many things and be creative.”
Before Botanya, Calandriello had been working at Kabana Rooftop in downtown Richmond. It was here she met the owner Kunal Shah, a seasoned restaurateur and one of the founding members of LX Group, a Richmond-based lifestyle and entertainment company.
“Kunal didn’t know exactly what it was going to be,” Calandriello said. “He had this dream of great food, great cocktails and fine dining.”
The two decided to go into business together and bought the space at 3314 W. Cary St. As co-owners, the two have been sharing responsibilities, according to Calandriello.
“Right now we’re doing it half-and-half,” she said. “He has a lot of experience with this; fine dining, owning restaurants…I’m going to be more focused on the front of the restaurant.”
Calandriello said she’s excited to have recently hired the restaurant’s head chef, who is in the process of crafting the menu. She said the menu will feature Italian and Spanish dishes such as pasta, paella and tapas.
The restaurant will have a soft opening in early October with family and friends before its grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 15.
“We were originally aiming to open in September,” Calandriello said. “But sometimes it’s better to take baby steps and make sure that the experience is the best it can be.”
Botanya will also host a little over 70 people and will feature a patio space facing Cary Street. It will initially only be open for dinner from 4 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday until Sunday but Calandriello said she isn’t ruling out lunch and brunch for later in the future.
“I just want people to go and experience it for themselves,” Calandriello said. “We know we’re going to do something good.”