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Friday, February 26, 2016

Ristorante Villagio

     The Cheesecake Factory across from this restaurant in one of the busiest malls in Miami has a waiting line of roughly 20 people. Villagio is respectably busy, but there is no waiting line. Should I be worried? Is that an indication of its quality? We'll see.
Image by Villagio
     It's large and sleek but understated. It has a full bar and a comprehensive menu. On this day in February, the menu included a Valentine's Day-specific addendum of specials. They start you off with a plate of toasted flatbread triangles and chopped tomatoes in balsamic dressing, a kind of deconstructed bruschetta.
Nice touch, but nothing memorable. In order to plan the meal wisely, I took a peek at the dessert menu and found some intriguing items. That means we could skip the appetizers and go straight to the entrees.
     John ordered the Pollo alla Francese, and I chose the Ravioli di Pera, which I suspected was their attempt at my precious fiocchi. I couldn't pass on that. John's portion was more than generous. The egg-dipped chicken was tender and the lemon sauce subtle. He liked it. I thought it needed more personality. It came with potatoes and gorgeous, robust broccoli flowerets.
     My ravioli were a delightful shade of coral in celebration of Valentine's Day. Again, I expected the sweet pear flavor to have a stronger presence, but the gorgonzola sauce was a velvety dream.
     Up to this point, I felt the entire meal was solid but... what's the word I'm looking for? Beige. I was afraid the dessert would be equally unremarkable, especially since we had decided to order the Profiteroles. When done well, these creme-filled puffs covered in chocolate can be a sublime culmination to any meal. I wasn't disappointed. The dough was soft, the cream inside sweet, the chocolate covering a pleasure. If anything left me wanting, it was a good dollop of homemade whipped cream, but that was forgivable.
     Nothing about this restaurant or its menu could be deemed outstanding, yet nothing about it was unacceptable. It's one of those places I wouldn't crave but I also wouldn't refuse. Run-of-the mill in a good way.

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