Went to Villa-O tonight for my Dad's early birthday celebration, since I will be in Boston this coming weekend (which I will do a Boston edition on the blog after...hehe).
4514 Travis St # 132
Dallas, TX 75205-5454
Villa-O is located on Travis and Knox, right across the street from Trece (which is its sister restaurant). Villa-O does the same Monday night promotion as Trece...free appetizer and entree. You have to make reservations for this promotion, and I recommend calling wayyy ahead for Villa-O since it gets booked very quickly. It was packed today when we arrived and continued to have a steady flow of new customers even as we were leaving.
I had high hopes for Villa-O...I was told it was really good and from their website I was looking forward to the organic ingredients and home made pasta!!
We were warmly greeted by our waiter as we were seated. My sister and I ordered a cocktail to share. The Original "Frozen Sfuzzi" (frozen house specialty of Prosecco and white peach nectar) $8~ I love peachy cocktails so I thought we'd give it a try. And my dad ordered a beer: Moretti (an Italian beer) $5~ The Sfuzzi was soooo freaking strong. There was only a hint of peach, it was pretty much pure alcohol... Wayy too strong for me, and we ended up not really drinking it.
Once we ordered our drinks they served us some free bread. The bread was really good. Moist and full of herbs and flavor. They also had some olive oil infused with herbs and garlic on the side for dipping.
Our orders were taken after the drinks were served. The waiter was very helpful by letting us know which selections were better than others.
For starters I got the Caesar Salad (organic romaine tossed with polenta croutons) $8~
The salad was very fresh and not doused with dressing. But there was A LOT of cheese on it. There was grated parmesan as well as slices of another cheese (I'm thinking Pecorino Romano?? I'm not sure...I'm definitely not a cheese expert). I scraped off most of the cheese. The polenta croutons were interesting...I wasn't a fan of the texture but it had a tomato/herb flavor that was quite good.
My mom ordered the Organic Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad (tossed with organic red wine vinaigrette; served with garlic crostini) $7~ The veggies were very fresh and the colors were vibrant. It was underseasoned though. It definitely needed some salt/pepper or maybe vinegar.
The service was SOO much better than Trece. Our waiter, Michael, got upset because three of us got our Caesar Salads before my mom got hers (even though they brought her plate like 2 minutes after...) He genuinely apologized for her wait. I was like "wow...that's some service!" He was super friendly! :)
Next are the entrees...
I got the Penne Pasta with Vodka Tomato Sauce and Organic Turkey Meatballs $17~ The portions of the entrees were smaller than most Italian restaurants but it was a good size. The penne was WONDERFUL. The pasta was cooked perfectly, the turkey meatballs were one of the best meatballs I have ever had. They were so flavorful and tender! The sauce was a tomato cream, there wasn't too much of it so it wasn't too heavy. And there was just enough cheese on the top melting into the pasta to add more layers of flavor. It was a delicious dish.
My sister and dad ordered the Wagyu Beef Lasagna $15~ Wagyu beef is from several breeds of cattle that naturally have more marbling with naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness and juiciness. They are generally higher quality and thus more expensive. It was cooked really well and the beef had lots of flavor...and of course lots of layers of meat, sauce and cheese.
My mom got the Chicken Cacciatore with white wine Risotto $16.95~ I wasn't really sure what Chicken Cacciatore was before tonight. It is really YUM! It's basically braise chicken. Chicken cacciatore is a classic Italian dish, also referred to as hunter’s stew; with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, herbs, often bell pepper, and sometimes wine. The chicken was sooo tender it was falling off the bone. The flavor was full and delicious. The risotto was good as well. Normally I find risotto a little too heavy, but this one wasn't. I actually think this risotto could've used a little more cheese. But without it was still really really good. I think this was the best dish of the night.
And there's no better way to end a great meal with some desserts! We ordered the Cappucino Ice Cream Pie and Vanilla Budin Carmello, which is like a light custard or flan (recommended by the waiter). Each dessert is $7~ Both desserts were delicious! The pie was chocolatey and packed a strong punch from the espresso/coffee flavors. The ice cream was nice and creamy, and really good quality. The Budin was so YUM YUM YUM. It was creamy, yet light, and had lots of flavor without being too sweet.
This was a great meal! My dad was very happy and everyone had a good time. The food was wonderful and the service was great! We all said we would definitely go back again. And get this: after the discounts of the free appetizers and entrees, the bill was only $28 for the 4 of us! O.o How freaking awesome was that? We gave a nice tip according to the original bill amount. My sister and I both agreed that ~$50 for 4 people sure as hell beats $50 a pop at Al Biernat's for Restaurant Week and MUCH better food! :P
I totally recommend this place, even if you don't go for the Monday night promotion. With the quality of the ingredients, awesome flavors, and great service, I will definitely be going back!!
Quality of Food:
Value (with promotion):