Friday, August 3, 2007

Villa Dolce Review

Arugula and Spinach Salad

Misto Pizza

I have a lot of catching up to do on my restaurant reviews. Admittedly, I’ve fallen behind and have quite a bit to say about some great new places I’ve tried in recent weeks. We’ll start with the most recent. Last night, I dined at a place called Villa Dolce, located at 1828 Parmenter Street in downtown Middleton, which bills itself as a “modern Italian café.” Recently, my roommate and I have been on a mission to try more of Middleton dining—although only the local establishments, not the big box chains which seem to be so abundant in that area.

Villa Dolce is a charmingly decorated café located in an old house that features small and intimate spaces that are both modern and casual. We opted to dine outside, at a small table overlooking the sidewalk, to enjoy the warm summer evening—although the bugs did become a bit pesky. Our server was friendly, attentive, and offered us many great menu recommendations. We started out with the Arugula and Spinach Salad ($9.99), which is a mix of walnuts, balsamic marinated onions, ricotta salad cheese, fresh mint, mandarin oranges, oil cured olives, shaved parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. It was very good—the flavors were complimentary, and the presentation was fabulous. I also started with a glass of the Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma, California for $5.50.

For an entrée, Karen and I shared the 12” Misto Pizza ($15.99), which is an extraordinarily mouth watering array of spicy sweet red peppers, rosemary, mushrooms, marinated artichoke, goat cheese, pesto, cheese blend and caramelized onions. Although the pizza was ever so slightly soggy, I did love the crust and the flavors, particularly the goat cheese. And not being one to skip the best part of a meal, and simply ignore the twelve flavors of gelato temptingly displayed in a glass case just inside the door, I decided to try the homemade gelato. I chose to do a flavor combo of pistachio and a hazelnut blend. It was very good, but the portion was disappointingly small, and the price was extraordinarily high, which I only later discovered. The figure nearly gave me a heart attack.

So overall props to Villa Dolce. Great food, service, and ambiance. And as always, please support your local restaurants! More reviews to come shortly. Next up: Willy Street’s Eldorado Grill and MoMo Market.

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