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Bel Villagio

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Frank Nov 8, 1999 10:10 AM

Has anyone been to this pretty new Italian place around 6th and Bleecker? Arthur Schwartz has mentioned it positively and he has yet to fail with great recomendations(and entertaining radio) Any one been there? I was also curious about the Trattoria, Grano in the same general area.

Thanks,
-F.

  1. d
    Deborah Nov 8, 1999 07:29 PM

    Isn't this the place that "The Dolans" (also WOR)frequent? From what I understand, Daria Dolan comes from a restauranteur family and Bel Villagio is their favorite place. Also heard that it's a very pretty room.

    1. j
      Jessica Shatan Nov 8, 1999 03:43 PM

      Hey Frank,
      Bel Villagio is on my list too, as I am an Arthur Schwartz fan as well. Will report back just as soon as I go.
      --Jessica

      6 Replies
      1. re: Jessica Shatan
        f
        Frank Nov 8, 1999 08:22 PM

        I haven't heard the Dolans mention it recently since I started working next to the World Trade Center my WOR reception went downhill. I know they love Vittorio's on Bleecker and that was always their favorite place. I'm either going to Bel Villagio or Shanghai Tang dependending on what my parents mood is the night they come to visit this week. I'll let you know what everyone thinks.

        Thanks for the responses.
        Frank

        1. re: Frank
          d
          Deborah Nov 9, 1999 06:53 PM

          DUH .... you're absolutely right ... Vittorio's, Villagio, Vittorio's, Villagio ........ ;)

          Looking forward to your upcoming review.

          1. re: Deborah
            f
            Frank Nov 10, 1999 11:31 PM

            In a last minute change of plans, we went with another Arthur Schwartz favorite, Ithaka. It was a wonderful meal. Four of us ordered three appetizers(one made for two) and a salad the size of a small Greek Island. Most of the food there was new to my taste buds as I usually steer towards Asian cusine. It was a cute homey atmosphere in a town house, not at all what I imagined. I ordered the cuttlefish with black ink sauce that was delicous even though it left it's calling card on both on my teeth and pants. It was baked in a clay pot with elbow shaped pasta. The Cuttlefish was the most tender I've ever eaten and had a consistency and luciousness approaching that of tripe. My wife ordered the grilled calamari which was quite prodigous. Beautifully grilled red with char marks and chewy in a gratifying rather than a teeth-grating way. The Taramasalata was like lox and creamcheese gone mediteranean, so rich and decadent. It was part of an assorted cold appetizer plate that included some eggplant concotion which was a bit too bitter and some incredible Tsatziki and a great stuffed grape leaf. Salad's are usually nothing to write home about but the large house salad was enough for five and a beautiful rainbow of green hues surrounded by towers of endive and advocado. We used the rest of the Taramasalata and Tsatziki as salad dressing(a mess to look at but deliscous.) Fried anchovies were delicous but too much for any one man to eat. The only disappointments were the artichoke hearts stuffed with feta and the side vegetables which were on the cold side. Other highlights were the lamb and orzo in a clay pot and filet mignon stuffed eggplant. Most everything was wonderful down to the last painfully bitter ground in our unsweetened Greek style coffee. The service was very pleasant and helpful and made us feel very welcome. We said hi to chef Sam as we left, telling him that we were there on recommendation from Arthur Schwartz, but he looked at my wife as if she was a health inspector rather than an oversatisfied customer. Maybe it was just surprise and exhaustion from a night of such incredible cooking. All in all a great way to end a week of anniversary celebration. Bel Villagio will have to wait awhile as for now we are thoroughly stuffed and happy!

            -F.

            1. re: Frank
              j
              Jessica Shatan Nov 11, 1999 09:35 AM

              Hey, thanks for the great review. Ithaka is on my (Arthur Schwartz) list , too.
              I am curious about the prices at Ithaka..... it is "pricey-save it for a special occasion" or "just a little expensive-go with a fellow foodie" or what? Thanks!!

              1. re: Jessica Shatan
                m
                MU Nov 11, 1999 10:35 AM

                I'd say it's in the second category.

                1. re: Jessica Shatan
                  f
                  Frank Nov 17, 1999 09:45 AM

                  I would say it's a great value for the size of the portions. My wifes grilled clamari filled a whole huge platter. Entrees were like $16-25(we didn't ask for the whole fish prices) Appetizer's were $5 to about $10 for the assorted appetizer's for two. It was all so affordable compared to what we imagined it would be like we way overordered. And if you order any of the baked in a clay pot dishes expect a serving for two people.

                  Enjoy!
                  Frank

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