If you appreciate Loui’s in Hazel Park for pizza, you’ll appreciate Villa Restaurant in Eastpointe for Italian American classics. Both joints are ultra fondly beloved by those who grew up in their respective areas.
I got some takeout last week from Villa (catching some Tigers action in the bar, while waiting) and it was quite enjoyable. Though, given that the place is just north of Eight Mile on Gratiot, I don’t recommend it as a date destination…unless your date has a now distended Red Wings tattoo in an unmentionable area of the body.
I’m a spaghetti snob, but I still found Villa’s spaghetti and meatballs to be delish’. Probably the most well prepared item on the budget friendly menu. Sure, they offer a popular ($12?) Veal Marsala, amenable to The Clean Plate Club bylaws. But, this dish should feature a pan sauce reduction, not be a piece of tenderized meat finished with a spoonful from a pot of simmered mushrooms and a ladle of canned beef broth. Regardless, the meat quality was respectable and portions were generous.
Entrées are served with the obligatory Glad plastic envelope sandwich bag containing nice sliced Italian loaf bread from a local bakery, crunchy breadsticks and Saltines from a box, and little butter and margarine packets. The salads are basic and decent, offered with, among other choices, the very popular House dressing. Again, I ate the whole thing, but that’s all I remember. The minestrone leveraged a Campbell’s recipe, but seemingly was homemade, nutritious and, yes, yummy. My kid’s pizza was good though, again, not memorable.
I hear that certain nights a “spaghetti special” is on offer. After asking, I’m still unclear as to what that entails, but I’m interested to try it. I tasted the decent cannelloni and ravioli (both may be homemade?; in any event, they kick Olive Garden’s b*tt), yet I keep coming back to those meatballs and sauce. Solid.
I also liked the bartender. He’s the epitome of a hometown guy, and he has a policy of pouring a shot also in HIS jungle juice tumbler, every time a customer liquor beverage order is filled. Picture Artie Lange in Beer League. Hilarious. To me, anyhow. I assume he also draws a salary, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If you’re in the area or you’ve just run dry on untried places to explore, then I say, “check it out!”