The red lights of Bang!’s signage and the luscious red interior of the restaurant herald the coming of something delicious and exciting. Even from the street, Bang!’s small remodeled-home space is intriguing. A front porch, and a back patio, plus a small bar downstairs and a living room of 5 or so tables, make for a very intimate restaurant/dining setting. And everything is red!
Red is known as the color of courage, love, passion, and power. Some say that the color red can even increase human appetites and metabolism! While the science behind those statements remains to be rigorously proven, the color red does seem to connote its own mood, and the interior of Bang! definitely points in that general direction.
Bang!’s enchanting red velvet upstairs space is reserved for large parties, and consists mainly of a sofa or two, coffee tables and colorful accent pillow-cushion-stools. Overall the space at Bang! seems designed to imitate a small party or gathering in your own home. And upon entrance, a party mood, or a night-out-on-the-town mood descends. The full wall bar, highlighted in reds and bright lights, might just put the brain onto party thoughts.
The back patio, an outdoor space backing up to the bar, features a stone wall with tinkling, running water sounds as well as Christmas lights on the lone tree shading the water feature. In warm weather months, these are the tables to seek out. The front porch and front patio offer views of Market Street and a sideline view of the backs of the buildings on the Charlottesville Downtown Pedestrian Mall, which also has its own charm.
And the food? Well, it’s tapas or small plates--“Asian inspired” according to the website--and signature martinis. Small plate tapas allow for a greater variety of dining experience, since 2-3 dishes are needed to make a meal. Those with larger appetites can enjoy a greater variety.
The menu at Bang! works a little as in a sushi restaurant, where you mark up on the menu itself what you want to have. The order is then placed in the kitchen, and served at your table as the dishes are ready, in no particular order.
Bang!’s selection of vegetarian options is quite good, although a little on the “fried” side of preparation. Beef, shrimp, crab, pork and tuna tartare cover the meat options. But the presentation of the food and the atmosphere of the restaurant itself are one-half to two-thirds the experience. Desserts are kept simple with Asian doughnuts, fried bananas, chocolate and ice cream.Some patrons skip the main meal altogether, instead focusing on a great martini and a tapas appetizer or two.
Bang! is a great destination restaurant in Charlottesville because the vibe of the place is so red, romantic, and alive with energy. Bang! is located two blocks off the Charlottesville Downtown Pedestrian Mall at 213 Second Street, SW, and can be reached at 434.984.2264