Ralph's Ices and Villa Cafe
SI Yanks cancelled so we drive around and around with no particular place to go. Saw Ralph's on Victory Blvd near College of SI. The lemon was great. Pieces of pulp and rind. Better than Todaro's or La Continentale(which is sadly moving uptown and merging w/La Fortuna). Corona next stop. My girlfriend had the black cherry which was really good. $2.25 for a coffee cup(10-12oz), 1.25 for a small(4oz?)
As for Villa Cafe. I thought it was wonderful. We had grilled calamari loaded w/garlic. My girlfriend thought it was better than Brunetta's on 1st Ave. A little bigger serving (ample for 2), but $10-11. It wasn't a hurt or a hit. Soft and a little chew. Delicious. I had the chicken pizziola. Sweet tomatoe sauce with peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and garlic on a delicately breaded cutlet, pan sauteed, with a slice of prociutto. A side of garlic green beans and carrots. Quite tasty. Actual carrot flavor and not just a toss away. And a potato croquet. Finely breadcrumbed mashed po lightly fried. Only thing w/o garlic and it was good, in spite of that. My girlfriend had the linguini w/ red clam sauce.; She gave it a fork and spoon up approval. The pasta was light and loose. The olive oil actually had a distinctively pleasing taste. Loaded w/garlic and stewed tomatoes and 10-12 decent sized fresh clams. A glass of house white, 2 O'douls and an expresso with tax came $48. We left $60. Ya start out with a comp bruschetta and 2 breads. One of which was a peasant style. Great crust. Hearthy taste. My mate enjoyed the sesameed Italian. Our waiter was great. Attentive and just plain nice. Italian born. Smooth. A real pro. I'd bet he's a part owner. And a smoking section equal to the non. Side plates were changed. he said they have a little club action downstairs. They have 2 places. We went to the one on Fingerboard near Bay St. Close to the Verrazano. The other's on Hylan. This one is in a residential neighborhood. We'll definitely be back. Probably for the make up game.
By the way, we drove from Manhattan via (free) Holland tunnel to Bayonne Bridge($4) and back via the V(free) and the Manhattan Bridge. Bayonne looks like a trolling area.
I am so excited to get a villa cafe recommendation! It is so hidden on that road, you have to KNOW it's there. I drive by all the time and the Lillet umbrellas outside this summer have intrigued me - now I have your recommendation and good pricing as justification to drag my husband to yet another untested restaurant........
if you eat in that general area, steer clear of the new place "Rare Olive" on Bay Street a bit further down near West Coast Video, it really really stinks.