Sunday, January 29, 2012

Villa Dolce - A Modern Italian Cafe Experience

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Italian Mac-n-Cheese
Villa Dolce is a cute modern Italian cafe hidden in Downtown Middleton.  The restaurant is a redesign of a historic building, creating an authentic Italian cafe feel with warm colors, decor, and ambiance.  Thanks to restaurant week, I was able to experience the delightfulness the restaurant has to offer.  Their Italian Mac-n-Cheese comes out in a cute little black pot topped with herbs and breadcrumbs.  It was a light, smooth, delicious appetizer made with real Mascarpone, Fontina, and Parmesan cheese.  No heavy cream or runny cheese, just real ingredients and real flavors.
Organic Arugula & Spinach Salad

The ultimate salad can be found here at Villa Dolce with their Organic Arugula and Spinach Salad mixed also with Candied Walnuts, Ricotta Salata Cheese, Mandarin Oranges and a Balsamic Glaze; the perfect combination for flavor and texture.  Something so small can cause such an explosion of greatness in your mouth, you can't get enough.  I never thought I could say this, but I would have been fully satisfied with this salad alone.  But I'm glad I didn't stop there.
Angus Flat Iron Steak
Another explosion of flavor came from their Angus flat iron steak served with smashed fingerling potatoes, demiglace, and green beans.  With the perfect char on the outside and modest amount of demiglace; the already juicy, tender steak was enhanced to a "melt in your mouth" gratification. 
Fresh Lemon Pepper Linguini with Tiger Shrimp & Portabella Mushrooms
Unfortunately, there was a dish that left me a bit of confused since there were so many other great dishes.  The fresh lemon pepper linguini with tiger shrimp & portabella mushrooms tossed in olive oil, garlic, herbs finished with shaved parmesan sound great on the menu though it didn't hit my tongue the way it read.  The lemon pepper linguini was a bit strong and overpowering.  It had the kick I love, unfortunately, it was overpowering the wonderful flavor of the tiger shrimp and everything else on the dish.  This was very disappointing since the shrimp was done so well where it embraced the olive oil and herbs.  The more pasta I ate, the more all the other flavors disappear and suppressed into the pepper.  I do enjoy the real ingredients used though didn't enjoy a plate of pepper.
To break me apart from the disappointing linguini, the cannoli brought me back to the expectation I had from the first course.  Their cannoli was made with Ricotta and Vanilla Powdered Sugar dusted with Cocoa Powder.  The shell had a great solid crunch to balance out the smooth light cream on the inside.
Another enjoyable dessert was their tiramisu.  Presented in a tin cup, you still get Lady Fingers, Mascarpone Cheese, Powdered Sugar, Expresso and Frangelico.  So light and delightful, you wish you got two.  It's absolutely delicious and the most perfect tiramisu you can imagine coming from a little cup.

You must try this delightful Italian Cafe at least for the wonderful modern Italian ambiance it presents.

Villa Dolce Website
1828 Parmenter Street  Middleton, WI 53562-3175
(608) 833-0033

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