Finally tried Bel Villagio after much recommending by Arthur Schwartz. It's on Bleecker betw. 6th and Carmine where Caffe Lucca used to be. It's 228 Bleecker, 924-9717.
We made a 7:30 res. at about 7 on a Saturday night (not really a res., more calling ahead to make sure they could accommodate myself and 2 friends which was no problem).
The place was classy but cozy inside: dark wooden walls, white table cloths and curtains hiding the bustle of Bleecker St. well. Very nice, very italian waiters, busboys and maitre d. In fact the maitre d. checked in with us several times without being annoying or interupting.
I started with the BRESAOLA which was mentioned on this board recently. It's air-cured beef for those who don't know, kind of like beef prosciutto. I got 4 big paper-thin squares on a plate topped with arugala and shaved parm. Excellent! One friend had TUNA TARTARE topped with a pile of fennel, very good but mild and simple in a nice way. The 3rd friend had SEAFOOD SOUP (a special) a lovely broth with mussels in the shell, clams out of the shell, and some chunks of white fish of some kind) which was very, very good.
Then I had the delicious VEAL SCALLOPINE W. FIGS IN A MONTEPULCIANO SAUCE. It consisted of 3 nice sized, very tender pieces of veal, each topped with about 1/2 of a flat, warm, cooked fig, and bathed in a rich brown/wine sauce. There was enough fig to go with every bite--a pet peeve of mine is when the fruit served with a meat dish is not enough to go with each bite as I love fruit and meat together!
One friend had the SALMON, very good, not too noteable, kind of a "safety" dish. Great if you really want a nice dish of salmon.
The other friend had the POLLO BEL VILLAGIO A/K/A CHICKEN MARSALA. Again, excellent, rich yet light sauce, very tender chix.
All of the above entrees came with roasted potatos and wonderful garlic stringbeans.
Not time or room for dessert just some good espresso.
The appies were $5-9 and the entrees were $13-18. The price seemed perfect for the place. 2 of us had chianti by the glass and the bill split 3 ways was about $34 each.
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