Villa Verone adds Italian ambiance to atmosphere

By Lauren Anderson

Villa Verone — 219 State St. in Sycamore 895-9400. (Italian) How Expensive — $$$

With its cozy charm and quaint Italian decor, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped out of the ordinary and into a true Italian novelty.

It was about 8 p.m. on a Sunday night, the place was pleasantly alive but not too crowded. Immediately, I was struck by the layout of the restaurant: Separate dining coves gave off a cozy ambiance and a comfortable atmosphere. Yet, it was intimate enough to feel a sense of privacy.

We sat at a table close to the bar as Italian music played in the background. Other Italian restaurants I’ve been to play purely Frank Sinatra or just American music. Villa Verone, for our hour-long stay, played Italian music along with Sinatra. Music creates a feeling you belong in the place. Mexican restaurants should have Mexican music, and if you want to feel like you are in Italy, Italian music is essential.

So the music was pleasant and quite audible, but still quiet enough to carry on a conversation.

To begin the meal, our buoyant, but not annoying waitress greeted us promptly and informed us of the specials as she set down the bread. The bread was a little dry, but not overly so. With a softer middle and a crunchy outside, it was perfect for olive oil dipping. It is unfortunate neither parmesan cheese nor vinegar was set at the table to mix with the olive oil.

The menu has variety; a little for the meat lovers and a few vegetarian dishes as well. With so much to choose from, it is best to go with your server’s recommendations. Our waitress suggested the pollo parmigiana (chicken parmesan) as one of the most popular entrées. I decided to take her advice and went the traditional route and ended up quite pleased.

The pollo parmigiana, with two pieces of lightly breaded chicken and a side of pasta in parmesan sauce and a bit of mozzarella, was a dish appealing to the eyes along with the taste buds. The smell of tomato sauce, carried by the steam, wafted up from the dish. Not surprisingly, the boneless chicken was cooked to perfect consistency and was easy to chew. I like this dish because it had a tomato base and wasn’t overly spiced or sweetened. The chicken was great in that it was not too tough, only lightly breaded and the ziti noodles were nice as a side.

Want to try something a little less traditional? With a little ricotta, spinach, and prosciutto drizzled with a light cream sauce, the rittolo pesano was a different dish in both presentation and taste. It too was a recommendation of our waitress. It tasted almost like eggplant, but with a well-balanced cheese accent as a complement.

If you are of age, go with the house Chianti as a nice dry red wine to delight your taste buds along with this entree.

In summary, food so good it will make you cry a’more!

*Villa Verone is open for lunch and dinner daily.

*Traditional casual attire.


(Determined by the food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance and value.)

****= Outstanding

***= Excellent

**= Very good

*= Good

(Indicating the cost of a meal)

$$$$= More than $20

$$$= $10-20

$$= $5-10

$= Less than $5