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For Living La Dolce Vita at: "La Villa"

La Villa should change its name to Land of Ziti. This local eatery of mine makes quite literally the best-baked ziti I have ever had, and I have had a lot. When you order be sure to get it how I like it with little sauce and well done. There is nothing that beats a pile of pasta topped with cheese turned into very crunchy pieces. I can eat an entire pan like that. In fact I am craving it as it I type, which is probably the worst part about being a blogger who writes about so many delicious food so often. While I hate a bad meal it is easier to write about those when trying not to become morbidly obese.

La Villa is a restaurant I have been to many, many times but not within close proximity of another visit. It is the place my family goes to on special occasions like Mother’s Day and birthdays. It is slightly more expensive than other, similar places in my neighborhood but it is so worth it.

Previously I had written about Salvi’s (, the Italian restaurant owned by Frank’s (, my favorite pizzeria. While I adore both of those venues, Frank’s is best for a weeknight slice and Salvi’s for a quick bite or if you have a large group dining. The plates are good just not ground breaking. 

The only other Italian restaurant in Brooklyn I truly love is Gargiulo’s ( but this is really for parties or extra fancy dinners. In fact I plan to continue celebrating my birthday there sometime this month. God only knows what I will have when I am there. This is not a place where you have a standard meal as visits are few and far between.

For me La Villa takes the cake. And by cake I mean baked ziti. It is the kind of food you walk in knowing you want even though you know you should try something else but can’t bring yourself to miss out on your favorite dish. Luckily I am always with a hungry group that is willing to share. The baked ziti is enough food for me for two days especially if I start out with a rice ball. Here lies my second favorite rice ball of all time as opposed to what I tasted from Artichoke Pizza (

But for those not in the mood for ziti there are more than enough other choices. Sometimes the menu becomes to overwhelming so you just go back to your old standard. The one thing I love as much as this baked ziti is their zucchini pizza. Unfortunately I have no pictures of this treasure because every time there is one around it gets devoured so fast there is only an empty pizza box left. That and a strong smell of garlic. This pizza has no sauce on it, just fresh mozzarella, garlic seasonings, and thin crispy slices of zucchini on it. This is yet another example of a simple recipe resulting in a culinary masterpiece. Actually all of the pizzas here are exceptional. You cannot go wrong trying the deep dish that has four personal pan slices.

I cannot recollect a time when I have had dessert at La Villa. I am always so beyond full I am waddling out of the restaurant. Plus there is always dessert at home no matter what reason prompted our meal out.

While I am from an Italian background I took only Spanish during my school years, even in college. I use to drive my uncle crazy; when he would speak to me in Italian I would answer in Spanish. It was a reflex plus let’s face it I am a ball breaker.

But when it comes to living “the good life” no Italian language skills are required. “La Dolce Vita” is a universally understood concept. I like to think that a good meal out is one of the best ways to demonstrate the art of doing nothing while cherishing life’s simple pleasures.

They say that art imitates life. Or is it the other way around?

Well today’s blog certainly influenced my lunch thus connecting my art and meals inevitably together. Once I envisioned the smells wafting from the door as the deliveryman hands over my food, made me realize that my decision had become a forgone conclusion.

This is just one step that made me satisfied this Sunday.

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