Villago - On the banks of Ballston Lake

Sunday, August 17, 2014
Good Morning blog friends!  I've got a quick one for you today, but trust me, it's a goodie.  Last evening John and I tried out a new eatery with our long-time friends, Chuck & Ann Marie.  When I say longtime, I am not exaggerating.....Ann Marie and I have been friends for 57 years!  Right?  That's a long time!  I won't say how old we were when we met exactly (to protect the innocent) but I will tell you we were toddlers.  Chuck was a school chum of mine who I actually fixed Ann Marie up with in high school.  Obviously I had some pretty good matchmaking skills because they will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this October.  Anyway, I could write a whole blog post about our friendship.....and maybe will someday.....but for today I'm here to write about our latest culinary discovery since when we get together, the four of us, it's usually over a meal.

Last evening we decided to check out a new place we'd heard some buzz about - The Villago Pizzeria & Ristorante on Ballston Lake in what used to be the Good Times Restaurant.  The owners of Villago are not newcomers to the restaurant industry.  They also own and operate Village Pizzeria on Route 29 in Middle Grove - many actually say Galway.  In fact, Village Pizzario is has been a family-run business for the past 25 years.  My mom had eaten there and raved about it, so when she heard they were going to be opening a new place on Ballston Lake, she was thrilled.

Villago had their official opening back in April.  It seems word has spread because the place was bustling last night.  I can't imagine how busy it might have been on a evening with great weather.  Villago sits atop a small hill overlooking the beautiful Ballston Lake.  If you're familiar with Ballston Lake, you know there aren't many vantage points where you can enjoy a view, unless you go to the public fishing site.  But Villago has a beautiful clearing where the lake can be seen from inside the restaurant as well as from their gorgeous, new patio.  In addition, you can sit a spell on their front lawn.

Since I try to respect the privacy of patrons, I didn't get a great shot of the patio.  I will tell you it was large and busy and guests were kept cozy and warm with several patio heaters.
Last evening Villago was having a special event complete with a Reggae band, the Robonics, playing outside on the front lawn.  Since it was chilly out, we opted for an indoor table.  We got there at 5:00, so we had no problem getting seated, but as the evening progressed the place got quite crowded.  The word is out, and people seem to have heard.
I was hungry for pizza but the Villago offers all sorts of options from delicious appetizers including Calamari, Sam Adams steamed clams, crispy truffle artichoke hearts, warm olives, fresh bruschetta and your typical options like wings.  For your meal you can go simple and order pizza or choose one of their numerous entrees like Eggplant Napolitano, Haddock Pomodoro, Pork Osso Buco, or for your 'basic' diner...NY Strip Steak, Manicotti, or Lasagna.....just to name a few.  Villago also offers a large selection of hot focaccias and paninis, soup and several salads.  We ordered the antipasto and I can say without reservation, it was the best I've ever had.  It was served in a large wooden bowl and consisted of mixed greens, assorted meats, assorted peppers, red onions, chic peas, and their house vinaigrette.  The vinaigrette is served in a 'bottle' so you can use as little or as much as you like and was a perfect blend of oil and vinegar.  Our salad served the four of us for $11.95.

We ordered a medium (8-cut) pizza, but you could also order a personal pizza or a large, 12-cut.  We chose 1/2 eggplant and 1/2 sausage and it was yummy - even for breakfast today.

Even better than the food and view was the service.  Our server, Heather, was so attentive and friendly.  She visited our table often and was sincerely interested in meeting our every need.  Austin who brought our food - first delicious, fresh, in-house baked bread with oil & balsamic vinegar, and later our salad and pizza, was friendly and comedic and treated us like long-time acquaintances, or regulars.  In addition the Reggae event featured some "tasting" opportunities.  A very pretty gal whose name I neglected to get brought us samples of some rum - Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced and Banana.  I tried the coconut and let me say, "It was amazinggggggggg"  Ann Marie said the Banana was good too.  If you're a rum drinker, I'd recommend it - highly ;)

Thank you Villago for a wonderful evening and some great food.  We will definitely be back.  If you're in the area, be sure to check out Villago.  Just take Exit 11 off  I-87 and follow Round Lake Road west and turn left at Lakeside Farms.  For a preview of what you might order, check out the link below and good luck making a decision.  If you're like me, you'll want one of everything on the menu.  And if food is not on your mind but you're looking for a place for a snack and a drink - this is your place.  Catch the sunset and make some friends.  Tell them I sent you.

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Thank you for allowing me to share by photos and thoughts with you!  And Have a Great Day!!!

All photos, unless otherwise noted, were taken by Gail A. Welter.  All Rights Reserved. Photographs in this blog may not be downloaded, reproduced or manipulated in any form or fashion without my express written consent.

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