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“Another tough rating - Read on for explanation”

Villaggio Ristorante
Ranked #2 of 97 Restaurants in Lutz
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Kids, Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
Dining options: Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Authentic Italian food. This restaurant has been at this location for more than 20 years. A local favorite, it has it's regulars and has stayed in business because of the quality food and the very warm and friendly staff. And everyone gets to know Giuseppe, the owner.
Prescott, Arizona
Level Contributor
132 reviews
92 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Another tough rating - Read on for explanation”
Reviewed 21 June 2014

Last night I went to Villagio with dear friends. We had no idea what to expect when we walked in as I had not gone through many of the posted reviews. We were simply hungry and the decision of Italian was made.

Getting there is difficult but is not their fault. The construction on the surface roads is terrible and I am certain effects many things about this restaurant at the current time. I would guess that attendance has been down and fighting with the construction debris has not helped.

Once we got parked, we walked in and felt almost beset upon by the staff - Five staff members "confronted" us at the door, and welcomes us. There seemed to be an owner, a maitre d, two servers and a busser - all waiting for us. We were directed to the left of the hostess station and in the second booth on the left. This detail is important later on in this review.

When were were greater we were also greeted in Italian. Any English was spoken with the same heavy accent that caught me a little off guard. Just what type of restaurant did we enter? Even our server, a young woman who was very gracious and professional, yet spoke tithe same accent. It was only when we were leaving and requested a take out menu (and was referred to their business card which had the web address), that she explained that this was 1) authentic Italian cooking, 2) that this was a family run business, and 3) their prices were very reasonable. Had they explained some of this up front it would have eased my confusion and "concern".

We needed some extra time to order as a result of a menu that had a select number of traditional dishes along with some interesting twists. The specials, too were presented by our server and sounded excellent - so much so that I had opted for the Grouper Piccata that was on special. There was also a buffalo mozzarella appetizer special that I should have paid more attention to. We did order the bruschetta which appeared with dark red tomatoes and a light seasoning with what I thought was a "curd-heavy" cheese but surprised to find the aforementioned milky, subtle and silky cheese.

The portions sizes are perfect, if not on the large size especially when considering the side of pasta with almost every dish. The pasta is served al dente and is perfectly toothy. The sauce is light and tastes as if it was prepared freshly on site. A perfect balance of seasoning and garlic so nothing fought for "taste control" over another.

The piece of Grouper was of just right proportion and was served in a butter, garlic, white wine and olive oil sauce. While at first glance it looked a little heavy and the number of capers extreme, but in hindsight I have to say almost perfect. The others at the table enjoyed their entries as well (consisting of a chicken dish and lasagna which I was told tasted better than it looked and it looked great.

OK, so then why the rating? Remember that I told you about the room to the left and the second booth on the right? Well, there is a wall opening between he two rooms and it is above the first two booths on the right in this room. We heard every word of the conversation on the other side of the wall. Everything and all the intimate details about a failing marriage.Nice, hunh?!

Add to that the fact that as I was facing out toward the street and I faced a window in the wall that separated the tables in this room from the hostess stand, and was able to watch what appeared to be a fight amongst the staff and the owners about table assignments or something or other. remember that I mentioned the heavy Italian begin spoken? Well, watching an apparent disagreement between family members in which Italian was virtually every work spoken (except for the passage "this whole room [the other one] and three tables!") made me admittedly uncomfortable. An issue may have been that we were significantly under-dressed for this restaurant and felt as if the placed us here to allow us to enjoy but be segregated front he bivalence of the guests added to this.

I don't know that I am correct but if so, I would have rather had the staff explain that there was a dress code. If I am incorrect and just sensitive to the activities, the arguing was improper and should have never taken place where customers would experience it. That window as well needs to go - it is downright creepy to have a window to a management location where they can "eyeball you" throughout the meal, that faces you directly.

The over zealous staff, the audio issues and the window - bring this rating down an important point. If you go insist on sitting to the right of the host stand. There was a harpist playing which we could hear, so I cannot comment on the layout of that side but know this - stay away from both two on the right of the left room!

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MRMED8R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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171 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    39
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    14
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
St. Augustine, Florida
Level Contributor
95 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Will never go there again”
Reviewed 11 June 2014

We have been here before and found it to be decent. Last evening we went to celebrate a friend's birthday and it was very bad. Lousy service, 2 of 4 entrees had to be sent back, server was rude, and manager did not care. No bread brought to the table until about 40 minutes after being seated even though we asked for it. Waiter was not only rude to us but rude to the 1 pleasant person who was trying to help, a female food runner.
Not only is it pricey, but for the food not being prepared correctly, the waiter not taking the order properly, and then being charged double for drinks.... this is a "never again" experience. I hope some people read this and save themselves the time and expense and go elsewhere.
I like to write nice reviews and recommend places to people, but in this case it more like a warning. To top it off, the server seemed to know the service would be reflected in his tip, so he did the old gratuity is already added in trick to insure himself a tip. I understand this is common with a large party, but not a party of our size. There are many better places to go that would appreciate the business and this place will never get another dime from me.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Don W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lutz, Florida
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Feshly made pasta and excellent service”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

There are always featured nightly soecials, and if you want something in particular, they will whip it up for you. Excellent service and everything tastes so fresh! Highly recommend this for any occasion.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank gaysefus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lutz, Florida
Level Contributor
33 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Italy in Lutz”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

My husband and I love Italy, and discovered this wonderful Italian restaurant in Lutz years ago! The food is delicious, the service is incredible, and the atmosphere has a real family feel to it. I almost hate to review it because I want to keep it our secret:-)

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Heidi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Level Contributor
210 reviews
112 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Friendly Staff, Good Food”
Reviewed 9 April 2014

I have been to this restaurant twice in a few weeks. The most recent was for my wife's birthday with another couple. The waiter remembered us from a visit a few weeks prior, even to the point of showing where we sat during our last visit. The food was very good. The meat and cheese tray is a nice appetizer for two. My wife had the lobster ravioli and raved about how delicious it tasted. I had one of the specials, the mixed seafood over risotto with a lemon garlic and butter sauce. My meal came with a lobster tail, clams, muscles, and squid, all for under $30 for my meal. It was a large portion and was very, very good. The seafood and risotto were all cooked perfectly. We shared a Tiramisu which so so delicious and fresh, it alone would cause me to return. The prices are fair and the harpist playing soft music is a nice touch. On the down side, I think the tables are a little too close for my liking and the service can be a bit slow at times. This is what keeps it from a rating of excellent in my opinion. I will most definitely return. Alessandro is a wonderful server and rather funny as well. A little hidden gem in Lutz.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank gscar35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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