RICHMOND, Va. -- While Pinky's might be one of the newest restaurants in Richmond, Virginia, co-owner Steve DeRaffele is no stranger to the Richmond restaurant scene.
The New York native, who comes from a family that literally helped define the look of Northeast diners, cut his teeth at restaurants like Tarrant's, LUNCH:SUPPER and Brunch.
But when it came to opening a place of his own, Steve leaned on his family -- that includes not only the food he serves but the person he honored when it came time to name the restaurant.
Pinky was his mother's nickname.
"When she passed away, I decided to change up my career and I moved to Richmond and started cooking," he said. "[We're a family of four boys] and she cooked every night for us. A lot of Italian food, but just also like light fresh flavors. And we all were around the kitchen all the time, and it just kind of stuck with me."
While Steve's childhood had a heavy Italian influence, Pinky's cuisine explores the Mediterranean coast.
"It kind of wraps around the whole sea instead of being more heavily in one area, say like Greek or just Italian. So definitely, it plays to a lot of different flavors and different coastlines," he said. "It's something we enjoy doing and it gives us a lot of room to be creative and people [can try] different dishes every time they come."
Pinky's opened in July 2021 and already has a group of regulars who dine there multiple times a week.
Steve credits the food and the vibe he and his staff have worked to create.
"I don't want to sound cliche, but [we strive to make] an honest meal. We know how hard people work for their money. We work hard for our money. We just genuinely appreciate that they choose to spend their hard-earned money here. We try to create the best experience and ask our staff to be as nice as possible, be as genuine as possible. That's what we're hearing back. It's been awesome to hear that everyone has come here, whether it's late, it's early, whoever they have as servers, just getting an honest genuine good time. It's been really nice to hear what people have said about coming here."
Learn more about Steve and Pinky's on this week's episode of Eat It, Virginia!
3015 Norfolk St
Richmond, VA 23230