Traditional ingredients draw loyal patrons

• Vaughan Today •
Best of Vaughan 2011

"Everyone at the Villaggio Risorante are very honoured to recieve this award and would like to thank the wonderful residents of Vaughan for their continued loyalty as we will continue to strive for food and service excellence."

UPDATE:

The readers of Vaughan Today have awarded Villaggio Risorante with 2011 Best of Vaughan — Gold Award — Best Italian Restaurant.

The awards celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of the city and recognizes businesses — as selected by Vaughan’s own residents — for their outstanding services throughout the year.


ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

Traditional ingredients draw loyal patrons
Vaughan Today • Sepember 2011

Anthony Barbiere recently installed a pizza oven in his restaurant. Villaggio Ristorante now serves gourmet pizzas specially prepared by a pizzaiolo — a pizza chef with years of experience in Italy. Barbiere made the change to diversify his menu and attract different clientele, in particular fami­lies.

The family-run restaurant, located on Nashville Road in Kleinburg was nominated in the Best Food and Drinks category for the first annual Best of Vaughan contest.

Barbiere said the sluggish economy has affected his customers' eating habits and business isn't at past levels. Regulars who used to eat their weekly now visit biweekly or monthly, he said.

But he takes pride in the restaurant's loyal following. "We continue to build our clientele," he said. "But we also take care of the people that we have."

In addition, Villaggio takes con­siderable pride in using the finest ingredients, Barbiere said. Vegetables are never pre-cooked, frozen or canned. Even the gnocci and pizza dough are homemade.

"Food is always fresh. We use traditional ingredients and our olive oil is directly imported from Italy."

Villaggio also tries to offer a friendly atmosphere for its customers. The owner compares the experience of eating at the restaurant to sharing a traditional Sunday meal with the family.

One of Villaggio's popular dishes is the lamb in mint sauce. The other ... drum roll, please ... is rabbit with homemade gnocci served in tomato sauce.

"It's not something everyone does,"  he said.