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Villaggio – fresh home cooking
Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 12:00 AM EDT
The Rigatoni Alla Siciliana is rustic and delicious.
Setting matters when it comes to eating – perhaps not as much as taste and affordability, but it definitely does matter. At Villaggio Whitestone, not only do you get a deliciously authentic Italian meal at a fair price, you also get accommodating service in a setting reminiscent of a Tuscany villa.
Villaggio owner Joe Loccisano knows the importance of his customers comfort and of family. That is why he had his sister, Silvana, design the interior of the restaurant in homage to the welcoming homeland of the restaurant’s cuisine.
“There aren’t many restaurants like ours anywhere, let alone Whitestone,” said Loccisano, whose restaurant is fully dressed in Tuscany murals. “We offer an Italian experience that you can’t get unless you actually go to Italy.”
Thankfully, Villaggio’s classic Italian appetizers are right here in Queens. Start with the Calamari Fritti – golden fried squid with marinara sauce on the side. The squid is not overly breaded at all; instead it is lightly dusted and fried just right. The calamari is available on its own or with fried shrimp, baked clams and eggplant rollatini in the Hot Antipasto appetizer.
Before ordering an entrée, it would be wise to explore Villaggio’s brick oven pizza menu. Brick oven offers unique characteristics in texture and flavor. The classic Margherita is an easy choice – and a wise one at that. Other offerings include the Napoletana, with capers, anchovies, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes; and the Quattro Stagioni, served with prosciutto, artichoke, asparagus, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes.
For an entrée, Villaggio’s pasta dishes are fresh and made to order. Nothing is precooked, so they can easily handle special requests, such as no salt, extra pepper or anything else – including special dietary requirements.
Try the Rigatoni Alla Siciliana for a taste of Italia rustica. Rigatoni pasta sautéed with garlic, black olives, tomato sauce and topped with goat cheese. It’s the perfect marriage of flavors with intensity of the garlic and black olives smoothed out with the natural sweetness of the tomato sauce.
Villaggio’s standout dish is the Cassoletta di Braszino. This dish features a filet of branzino, a type of sea bass, surrounded by shrimp, mussels, clams and basil in a garlic white wine marinara sauce. The fish is light and flaky, while the seafood provides plenty of auxiliary flavors – and that sauce is perfect for mopping up with crusty bread. Speaking of bread, Villaggio provides slices of their brick oven pizza in every bread basket given to their customers after seating. That might be worth the trip alone.
Italian Restaurants in Whitestone, New York
(Let’s Eat In Italy)
The VILLAGGIO Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta Café caters to your taste and mood with an elegant yet relaxed and casual restaurant-cafe. Here you can enjoy authentic Italian cuisine and superb ambiance.
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