Braving the Frozen Tundra for an Italian Feast

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Well, after many, many days of single digits, the temperature finally crept into the mid 20's,  bringing my self-imposed house arrest to an end.  It seemed a good time to venture out, camera in tow, for some food, photographs and good conversation with hubby!  We seem to have our best talks when driving the countryside!  Some days we have no idea where we'll end up, but today I had a definite destination in mind and that was the Village Pizzeria in Middle Grove, NY.
Today was my second visit - the first time was the day we visited Santa at the winery down the road. That was the day I was feeling a bit tipsy after a 1/2 glass of wine!  In fact, we were all a bit giggly that day joking with our waitress, promising not to be too loud or disruptive.  We're a couple of lightweights when it comes to alcohol!   Today, however, John and I were not under the influence, at least not of alcohol.  Today we were intoxicated from unbelievably delicious food!

As you view the exterior of Village Pizzeria, you'd probably not imagine the level of culinary sophistication served within the modest walls, but oh, you'd be so mistaken.
The pizzeria - which serves delicious brick oven pizza, also serves a wide variety of Italian dishes, including chicken,  seafood, veal and pasta, salads, sandwiches and downright amazing appetizers.   On our last visit, the four of us sampled a few, including Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese (yummy), an Antipasto - to die for, and chicken wings, so so good.  We also had a pizza that day and loved it.  The Pizzeria has one of those menus that makes you frustrated and indecisive ---- because you'll want one of everything on it!  Trust me - go hungry!  Just the same, today we made pretty quick choices.  I ordered the special today  - with proscuitto, fig and Gorgonzola ($12.00 for a 4-cut).   John ordered the Village Pizzeria Sampler ($16.00) which consisted of a Florentine stuffed shell, manicotti, eggplant rollatini and chicken parmigiana.  We also ordered a salad to split - the Pear Gorgonzola Salad with mixed greens, caramelized warm pears, walnuts, gorgonzola and craisins ($10.99).   I bet you're drooling, right?
The salad was huge, would have easily fed 3 or 4.  We brought home 1/2.  It came with a creamy apple cider vinaigrette that was perfect, not too sweet, not too tangy.  They also brought out a basket of their homemade-every-morning bread.  Let me just say -- aaaaaamazing -- by far the best Italian bread I've ever eaten - ever.  It was heavy and dense on the inside and a little crusty on the outside, but not too crusty.  Along with the bread came a dish of seasoned olive oil with a little balsamic vinegar.  I'll confess right then we decided to eat all the bread and bring home our meals for leftovers!  It was THAT good.  They need to sell that stuff!!!
By the time our meals came, we were full and satisfied but holy cow, the good stuff was still coming.  My pizza was to die for.  The crust was tender yet substantial and the combination of the sweet figs with the salty prosciutto and Gorgonzola were scrumptious.

John said his sampler, which I didn't have room to try, was delicious as well.  He did try a bite of each item and the rest we happily brought home for leftovers, including 1/2 of my pizza.  Our bill came to $41.00 (we did not order beverages), which I think is very reasonable for the quality and amount of food we were served and considering it will feed us a complete second meal.

Just as good as the food was the service.  Our waitress was Kristen (later joined by Sierra).  Kristen was fast, friendly, attentive, intuitive and informative.  At the end of our meal when I told her I'd be writing a blog, she gave me a restaurant menu along with a catering menu and told me a little about the pizzeria's history.   Village Pizzeria has been around for over 20 years - same owners and much of the same staff.  Kristen, in fact, has been there for 9 years.  It's easy to see why they are so successful.  Obviously it's not only a good place to eat, it appears from their long-term staff that it's an equally good place to work.   The dining room was quiet during our late afternoon lunch, but the bar area was busy with diners enthusiastically enjoying the football game on TV.  While the pizzeria may not be the newest, or fanciest restaurant in Saratoga County, the food and service rank up there with the best of them.  I know we'll definitely be going back!
Village Pizzeria is located on Route 29 just 12 miles west of Saratoga Springs.  In addition to a very large menu, they also carry an extensive (over 300 bottles) wine selection, 70 of which are available by the glass.   The pizzeria caters events, on and off the premises.  Check out their website with the link provided below.  You won't be disappointed.




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