Last Friday night, I ventured into the city with a few friends in search of Edo’s Squid. After successfully finding parking, we ran down the block, hoping to get inside the restaurant before it began to pour down rain.
We headed toward the restaurant’s sign. When we saw the entrance, however, we thought we were in the wrong place. The steep staircase seemed like a back entrance to the restaurant, so we went back outside in search of another way in. After watching other customers enter the restaurant via the staircase, however, we realized our initial guess was correct and headed inside.
Edo’s Squid is a small Italian restaurant located on North Harrison Street near VCU’s campus. When we arrived for our 6:15 reservation, we were guided to our table by the window. As we looked out at the street below, soothing music played in the background of a dimly lit room full of chatter and candles. As we waited for our waiter, we noticed all kinds of customers in the restaurant. Whether it was the father and young daughter enjoying their spaghetti, the elderly couple sharing a meal together, or the group of VCU students chatting about class at the table behind us, everyone seemed to be enjoying the evening.
“What I like the most about a place like Edo’s is that you can tell the food is really alive,” says Upper School art teacher Pam Sutherland. “When it comes to the table steaming, you know it’s alive and fresh.” A friend of Edo’s owner Ed Vasaio, Sutherland has been to the restaurant many times.
When we first saw Edo’s menu, we were all a little overwhelmed. Our inexperience with the menu created some confusion when it came time to order. However, our mustachioed waiter was very patient and answered all of our questions, even recommending his favorite dish. As we munched on our crunchy fresh bread, soaked in olive oil and strong vinegar, we ordered an appetizer of red peppers and mozzarella.
The appetizer was, in my opinion, the best dish of the night. The cold, fresh mozzarella paired perfectly with the sweet red peppers drenched in olive oil. “It was really light, fresh, juicy, and palate cleansing,” says Sonja Kapadia (‘17). We wolfed down the appetizer and decided to order our meals. After some deliberation, I ordered the broccoli rabe pasta. Sonja ordered the puttanesca pasta, and Mia Jackson (‘17) ordered the all’amatriciana pasta.
When our plates arrived, we were shocked by their size and decided to split our meals between the three of us. My pasta came covered in garlic, olive oil, creamy ricotta, parmigiano, and crunchy, chopped up broccoli rabe. The puttanesca pasta, which quickly became the group favorite, came in a red sauce that tasted fairly similar to the red pepper flakes I usually put on my pizza. Combined with the soft spaghetti noodles, it was the perfect amount of spice. Finally, the all’amatriciana pasta consisted of penne noodles with a cheesy red sauce. Our trio quickly ate our fill and asked for boxes before ordering dessert.
For dessert, we had the choice of gelato, tiramisu, or cannolis. We decided on the tiramisu because it was large enough for all of us to share. Cold and liquidy with a strong rum flavor and light cream on the top, the cake was the perfect end to our meal.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Edo’s Squid. At an average of around $10 per entree, we were able to fill our stomachs without emptying our wallets. However, I would emphasize making reservations, since the restaurant is fairly small and has limited seating. The food and overall experience were amazing, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new restaurant to try in RVA.
All photos by Claire Andress.