A great take on traditional Italian food
Villagio on the Park, located at Central Park South, is a very chic and upscale Italian restaurant that has the friendliest of staff and the best food you could ever imagine. Upon arriving, we could tell that this restaurant is a hot spot by how packed it was on a Tuesday night. The venue boasts great ambiance and fabulous interior decoration. With the restaurant being located right outside of Central Park, you can also choose to admire the park and the people going in an out. Outdoor seating is also available and we definitely suggest it on a beautiful day.
One of the drinks worth mentioning is the pomegranate martini made with Ketel One Vodka, pomegranate, and lemon. This drink, although very simple, is light and refreshing and the pomegranate flavor really shines through. In fact, the lemon added to this drink accentuates the pomegranate taste and adds a wonderful flavor. If you are into fruity drinks that are very refreshing, then this drink is the one for you. Another great drink available is the Midtown Summer which is made from Belvedere vodka, fresh strawberries, basil, and soda water. When you first take a sip of this drink, you immediately taste the strawberry but then the basil flavor takes over right after and it is refreshing. This drink is both fruity and fresh and the soda water keeps this drink light and bubbly too. Both of these drinks are tasty choices so be sure to try them out!
The first course that was served was a dish called Gondoletta which was four tortellinis filled with pecorino, mozzarella, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and spinach, in a light truffle cream sauce. This dish was delicious and the pasta was cooked perfectly. One bite into the tortellini and you can taste the variety of cheese stuffed into the pasta however, the cheese was not too overwhelming. The truffle cream sauce was very light and you get a truffle note at the very back of your palate which made the dish even better. This dish had balance. And what is interesting is that throughout all the Villagio restaurants in the country, the New York City Villagio is the only one that serves this delicious dish.
The next course served was the Risotto Dolce Vita which is Carnaroli rice, diced shrimp, spinach and goat cheese. This risotto is one of the best risottos out there. The rice was cooked perfectly and it was seasoned well. The risotto itself was creamy and smooth and the shrimp in it was absolutely perfect. The shrimp was plump and juicy and the creaminess from the risotto added a lot of rich and sweet flavor to the shrimp. Eating the shrimp alone is tasty but eating it with the risotto combines a lot of flavor and different textures in one bite.
The third course of the night was a classic chicken parmigiana which was chicken breast lightly breaded and topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella. On the side was the vegetable of the day which in this case was chard and also served with potatoes. First off, the potatoes on the dish were delicious. It was salted nicely where the potatoes had flavor and were very starchy which is a good thing in my book. And the vegetables were cooked nicely and we loved the light garlic flavor. The star of the dish was the chicken and the chicken had such nice breading, which gave it the crunch that it needed. The marinara sauce tasted very fresh and the mozzarella on top was a great finish. The chicken was moist and tasty and this dish is a great take on a classic Italian dish. Just beware that this dish can serve two hungry people so sharing is always a good thing.
And lastly, dessert came. For dessert we had a chocolate lava soufflé cake with vanilla ice cream on the side. As soon as you dig your spoon into the cake, a rush of gooey chocolate comes out and spreads all over the plate. The cake itself was moist and paired with the gooey chocolate gave it a very rich taste and it was very chocolatey. Paired with the vanilla ice cream made this dessert even better. The hot and cold contrast was just what we needed.
Overall, Villagio on the Park was a great dining experience. The staff was very friendly and could answer any question about the menu thrown their way, the overall ambiance and setting was nice, and the food was everything you could ask for when looking for delicious Italian food.