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From Takeout To Fine Dining,The Villa Keeps On Evolving



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From Takeout To Fine Dining,The Villa Keeps On Evolving


Sixteen months later The Villa reopened, offering an elegant main dining room that seats about 85 in booths along three walls and at tables in the room’s center, a private 40-seat function room called the Octagon Room — which from the outside gives the building a turret effect — and a large takeout area.

The Octagon Room has become a popular place for wedding rehearsal dinners, christening parties, bridal and baby showers, birthday and anniversary celebrations, and the like. It has a full-height slanted ceiling that reaches a domed skylight in the middle and has been painted to resemble a sky. The decoratively painted walls look as if they are of stone, with grapes “growing” around the door and window frames. Local artist Claudia Coopersmith created the outdoor effect.

In 2004 The Villa opened a side porch off the main dining room that seats about 40 and offers a nice view into Sandy Hook Center. A burgundy awning protects diners from sun and rain. It is an available seating option when not reserved for private parties.

The Villa Restaurant is a family business. Mr Kala’s sister Patty Lafiti greets and seats guests, while her husband Zudi Lafiti is the restaurant’s chef. Mr Kala’s two sons also work there, and his 18-year-old daughter helps with table service on weekends.

The Villa is open for lunch and dinner, from 11 am to 10 pm, seven days a week. The lunch menu is served from 11 to 4, dinner from 5 to 10, and daily specials are always offered. From Monday to Thursday, The Villa offers a prix fixe dinner menu that includes appetizer, house salad, entrée, and dessert for $19.95.

The four appetizer choices are fried mozzarella with tomato sauce, fried calamari with herb aioli, and two types of bruschetta, artichoke parmesan or gorgonzola mozzarella. There are ten entrée choices, which range from baked lasagna or veal parmesan to seafood fra diavolo or shrimp in garlic and wine sauce. The dessert offerings are cannoli or chocolate mousse in a dark chocolate shell.

Bread and foccacia are baked on premises daily. A selection of foccacia sandwiches, most $7.95, are available for lunch. The grilled portabella mushroom and mozzarella cheese, and the grilled eggplant are the favorites. Four deli-style sandwiches are offered at $7.95; a number of baked dishes — manicotti, cheese ravioli, eggplant parmesan — at $8.95; and pastas and risottos at $9.95.

Lunch choices also include several salads, ranging from $6.95 to $11.95, and 12 entrees, $9.95 to $12.95.

The dinner menu is more expansive, with salads and appetizers ranging from $4 for a small house salad to $10.95 for shrimp cocktail or grilled chicken Caesar salad. Among the pasta and risotto offerings are farfalla pasta with grilled chicken, bacon, and sautéed onions, $14.95, rigatoni with hot Italian sausage, baby peas, and tomato cream sauce, $14.95, and seafood risotto for $17.95.

Entrées include lobster ravioli in veloute sauce, $19.95; grilled Maine salmon filet, $17.95; grilled filet mignon with demiglace, $24.95; and veal marsala, $17.95. As a special, The Villa’s rack of lamb is a favorite.

Wine is available by the bottle or glass, and there is full-bar service.

Pizza is part of the restaurant’s name, and The Villa is a popular spot for eat-in or takeout pizza and grinders. The Villa Special is feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, spinach, and fresh garlic.

All items on the full menu are available for takeout as well.


The Villa Restaurant and Pizza, 4 Riverside Road in Sandy Hook; 203-426-1710 for the dining room, 203-426-4740 for takeout. Also see www.TheVillaRestaurantofNewtown.com. Open seven days from 11 am to 10 pm.

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