Tra Vigne Pizzeria: St. Helena
By Sean Grainger and Brennan Puiia
Stationed right off Highway 29 in St. Helena, Tra Vigne Pizzeria is a quaint Italian restaurant with the selling point being a family type atmosphere and college hotspot.
A handmade brick oven brought out in the open gives customers a view of the authenticity that TVP tries to encompass. The pizzeria doesn’t want there to be any mistake about it—this isn’t “Joe’s Pizza Shack” that doubles as an arcade and hour-long amateur mic-night on weekdays. This is a classy place all the way down to the mahogany tabletops. In this way, TVP uses pathos by appealing to the emotions of parents. It’s impossible to speak on behalf of parents since the writers of this entry are far from becoming part of that elite crowd, but we presume that avoiding a little league soccer team’s pizza party would be priority number one for many of them.
The menu is short and can be completely viewed (with the exception of wine) in the centerfold. The selection remains basic so the customer isn’t overwhelmed with a ton of choices, but rather 4-6 options within six categories.
What makes TVP especially popular among students is the ten percent discount you get if you mention you’re a student of Pacific Union College. You couldn’t appeal to a group of customers any better way then offering them a way to save money by doing something they would do regardless. In this way, TVP is sacrificing a brief monetary gain by ensuring the longevity of the customer returning.
The service we received at TVP was exceptional. Right as you walk in the door, you are told to sit at any table you would like. This automatically shows the customer they are “of value” by giving them the open option. Once you are seated, they give you a minute to look over the menu and come at an appropriate time. After the food is brought out, they aren’t breathing down your neck asking if everything is alright, nor are they leaving you in the dark waiting to get the check. Drinks are brought to you when one is empty as well as the check a few minutes after you are finished.
The particular waiter we had was a seasoned veteran. You could tell by his behavior with us, along with other customers he was helping. He welcomed us with a “what’s up guy’s?” and was casual with us our whole dining experience. Then while waiting on an older business man, he was much more professional as he discussed the featured wines and their qualities. This revealed the actor motive because of his change in talking and stance. Even with this noticed, neither dialogues sounded fake.
After the billed was paid and we were ready to leave, he sent us off with a “Thanks a lot guys” and a confident, “see you next time,” showing positivity that we would be back again.