Villa Nova Restaurant
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- Villa Nova Restaurant
Villa Nova is a place that I've probably driven by a thousand times and always said to myself, "Drew, you should eat there someday." Alas, I never had until recently. Wish I would have come here sooner.
I came in here with the expectation that I would be surprised if we got a great meal. I expected to get a great view, and have at the very least a good conversation with some good friends.
We got great service all the way through, from start to finish. Our waiter played up the Italian waiter card, dropping little cute Italian words here and there and dawdling all over the females in our group. It was cheesy, but they ate it up. We kind of got pressured into ordering some extra orders of their mozzarella, which didn't really make me all that pleased, but the total experience was very positive so I'm willing to let it slide.
I had the Gnocchi Al Verde, and it was splendid. The gnocchi were light, fluffy, and decadent. They came in this decadent Gorgonzola cream sauce that caused me to be seriously full after about 3 bites. I, however, sucked it up and ate most of it for the team. It was worth it.
I would definitely come back here for a nice dinner right on the water. The price point is slightly more expensive than Mama D's, but although Mama D's wins in service, Villa Nova wins with an authentic, old world feel, and a delicious view.
- Villa Nova RestaurantMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersFoodies+ 2First to Review
Another installment of the alphabet dinner series finds us at Villa Nova for 'V'. I've always passed by Villa Nova but I had never been there to dine until now. We made 7pm Open Table reservations for a Thursday evening but it wasn't too busy at all. I arrived early to catch the last of Happy Hour. They have $5 drink specials that include a list of martinis, wine, and beer. It's nice to savor a drink peering at the waterfront view. We let the host know that we had arrived and he said that we could come back whenever we were ready for the table, no rush. Indeed, Villa Nova moves in the opposite of bullet-time where everything is at the most leisurely pace one can imagine.
Most of us ordered 2 drinks each, making the bill easy to split for the waitress and then we headed over to our dinner table for the evening. Villa Nova specializes in Italian cuisine and there was a lot of it to choose from. Think Godfather, think pricey. We made the mistake of asking to split the fried mozzarella appetizer ($6.95) because the waiter basically split 4 appetizers for 8 people. Oops. But it was really good so we couldn't complain. We just wish we said we wanted to split just 2 appetizers but we ate it anyway because it was REALLY good. It was a fried slab of mozzarella under a layer of hot marinara. It was stretchy, ooey, gooey, and delicious. Our complimentary bread basket came out after we ordered. They offer butter, olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar to accompany the bread. I was pretty happy at this point.
I ordered Piatto Villa Nova ($26.95; veal medallions with fried eggplant, roasted vegetables and spaghetti). It was really good. I liked the portion size and I love that the pasta is made in house. You also have the option of doing beef filet medallions instead of veal and mashed potatoes instead of spaghetti. Grace let me try her mashed potatoes and they were creamy with just a hint of garlic.
My friends ordered:
Gnocchi al verde with gorgonzola ($16.95). These were delicious spinach and potato dumplings with the perfect al dente texture in a luxuriously creamy sauce. I'd be happy with this dish anytime.
Short ribs: Beautiful texture and the sauce was really good. But I can make short ribs at home so I don't usually order them.
Eggplant Parmigiana ($15.95). I heard this was the best she's ever had. That's a good thing.
Chicken Parmigiana ($19.95). Winner, winner, chicken dinner! I tried a bite and the chicken was moist and the sauce was the same marinara we had tried all night.
Portabella and eggplant ravioli (?) Delicious pockets of savory goodness. These were amazing and the sauce was just divine.
For dessert, we ordered spumoni ($4.25) and the chocolate souffle ($7.95). The chocolate souffle wasn't too sweet and really light. The spumoni came as a slice of layered ice cream cake. It looked pretty good but it was too cold for me that evening.
It was a really good dinner. Service was leisurely, not rushed but sort of dragged at the end. We had a great conversation over dinner and our water glasses did not sit empty for long. Our waiter was really great and entertaining. At 8pm, every evening they have a live piano player in the lounge. Great date place. Valet is $3 per car and is worth it if you don't want to find parking. It's PCH, afterall.