I am always ready to try a new restaurant, especially an Italian restaurant, so I was excited to try Villagio Restaurant in Roselle IL. My sister and her family had visited this restaurant over two years ago and said it was fantastic. This most recent visit to Villagio was to celebrate my niece’s graduation. My sister made a reservation for six of us.
I arrived with my party at the restaurant, which was located in a strip mall next to a bar. We walked in and were seated off to the side at a nice, large table to accommodate our party of six. We were greeted by a woman, whom I assume to be the manager, named Joy. She looked very frantic and worried. She kept stating to us that they were unexpectedly busy and asked if we needed anything. My whole table responded that we were alright for now and quickly scurried away to the back of the restaurant.
We waited quite some time for our server to come to our table to greet us. She finally appeared and asked for our drink order and if we wanted appetizers. I looked around and saw that the restaurant was busy, but it did not affect our service at this point.
We put in an assortment of appetizers to try. We ordered a dozen baked clams, Polenta Rustica, calamari, and grilled octopus. As we waited for our appetizers, we enjoyed the bread on the table. It was warm and very good. There was a red garlic dipping sauce on the table that was delicious. We sat waiting for our appetizers, which took about twenty-five minutes to finally arrive at our table.
The Polenta Rustica had a very odd taste, almost like a BBQ sauce. I have never tasted anything like it before and it was not pleasant. The clams were the size of nickels and some had a good flavor. while others tasted like a heavy fishy flavor. The calamari was extremely salty and the grilled octopus tasted like rubber.
We were not off to a good start, but the evening was not bad because we were still enjoying each other’s company. So far, the appetizers were not great, but they were still edible. The manager came back and asked how we were doing and kept stating that she was very busy and couldn’t wait until tomorrow when the night was over. I felt her pain, as I was in the restaurant business for a number of years. I know what it feels like to be super busy and under-staffed.
At this point in the night, our waitress came by for a second time with refills. This was 2 refills in about an hour. She asked if we were ready to put in our food order. I ordered lasagna with a side of meatballs and the rest of my party ordered the following dishes: Pasta Carbonara, Gnocchi Alla Caprese, Chicken Parmigiana, Veal Marsala, and Penna Renata. All of our meals came with the option of soup or salad. The soup was Lentil and it was not very good. The salads were average and nothing to really talk about.
We waited for our food to come out and, at this point, our waitress disappeared. We didn’t even see her taking care of other tables. We waited for close to an hour for our food to come out. At this point in our night, the experience was not going great. The manager Joy stopped coming to our table and the overall friendliness was gone. We were getting anxious about the whereabouts of our food After more than an hour had passed, our food arrived via a food runner. He was not very pleasant and hastily put our dishes on the table. We took our first bites and we all agreed that the food was horrific. My meatballs tasted like larger versions of Spaghettios that I ate as a child. My lasagna was a wet mess and not firm at all. The noodles evaporated in the sauce. The Carbonera tasted like a tub of salt was poured into the pasta. The Gnocchi Alla Caprese had cold cheese put on top of lukewarm pasta. Everything was just awful!
We had now been at this restaurant for over two hours and everything I had to eat here was awful. All of us were ready to leave at this point. My niece didn’t even eat her dish because it made her feel nauseous. My sister complained about the food but still paid the bill. She asked if my niece’s dish could be removed because she didn’t even eat it. The food runner and waitress both took turns dealing with our bill and then returned it back to us with an attitude. My niece’s dish was removed from the bill.
I completely understand when a restaurant is busy and it can get stressful for servers and cooks. However, this restaurant has been in business since 1997 and they should be more prepared, especially if there are reservations and not just walk-ins. The manager Joy even admitted to my sister, after she approached her, to give them another chance in the future. She admitted that she did not have the right staff to produce the quality she knew the restaurant had in the past. Due to my overall experience, I give the Villagio Restaurant a rating of 2 out of 10 and I do not recommend it.
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