Having grown up in a family business I have a special place in my heart for family run restaurants, especially those that have stood the test of time.  One such place is Villa Mosconi, in Greenwich Village, which has been at the same location, on MacDougal Street between Bleecker and West Houston Streets, since 1976.  Villa Mosconi is old school Italian and it will definitely bring you back to your childhood from the moment you walk through the door.

You enter the restaurant at the bar.  Some of the same people have been sitting at the bar for probably 30 years, but don’t be afraid because they are all friendly.  The bar walls are covered with photos of famous people who have been to the restaurant over the years – Even a resident New Yorker will find themselves staring at the wall of fame.  The main dining area is pretty large for a Manhattan restaurant and the tables are spacious and comfortably distanced from one another.  I am a little burned out on the restaurants that pack you in tight, like sausages, and seat you on the lap of the person that is supposed to be sitting next to you…and they aren’t even at your table!  There is no overlap or sausage squeezing at Villa Mosconi’s unless you order the Sausage and Peppers!

The feel of the main dining room is like stepping into your grandmother’s house, from the coloring to the pictures on the wall.  It is what it is and that’s what I like about the place.  Villa Mosconi isn’t trying to be the new cutting edge “it” place that is impossible to get a reservation to until it is heard of no more.  Now being run by the next generation, you will still see the same friendly faces that have been serving up great Northern Italian cuisine for years.

Having visited Villa Mosconi long enough I feel like have watched Danny Milano, part owner, grow up in the restaurant.  He used to bus tables, when he first started, and now appears to run the dining room.  He has a mastery of the menu and can recite every dish from memory.   Danny still shows off a proud little smile when he talks about a dish that was created from his grandmothers own recipe which is Tortelli with Butter & Sage..which is awesome.

Villa Mosconi

Grandma’s Tortelli with Butter & Sage

Think of any Italian dish that you have ever had at an Italian Restaurant.  If, by some chance, you can’t find what you want on the Villa Mosconi menu, not to worry as they will make it for you.  I never say no to Fried Calamari.  They deliver a portion for two that might be a little greasy but I love every last piece of it.  I also never say no to the Portobello Balsamic – I have a sick addiction to Mushrooms and they crush it at Villa Mosconi.  Table favorites, for starters, also include the Hot & Cold Antipasto, Baked Clams, and Baked Artichokes.

Villa Mosconi

Eggplant Parm & Eggplant Rolatini

Villa Mosconi

Homemade Gnocchi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to the main courses, assuming you have any  room left from the apps, my favorites include: Fettuccine Mushroom (yeah, mushrooms for app and main…I do that), Eggplant Parmigiana, Eggplant Rolatini (and they will do a 1/2 and 1/2 for you if you like – See picture above left!), Pollo Alla Mosconi (don’t ask because it’s a secret..unless you have an allergy and then maybe Danny will tell you what’s in it) and Veal Parm.  They make the biggest Ossobuco I have ever seen and I am amazed when I watch people finish the entire plate.  And it’s old school Ossobuco over a giant portion of Risotto so I would suggest bringing your stretchy pants!  The Villa Mosconi fish is always tasty and fresh and, last but not least, Danny’s Grandmother’s pasta which is Tortelli Sage Butter Delicious!

And Desserts…really?  Are you kidding me?  Ok – here goes: Spumoni, Tortoni, Zabaglione, Tartufo, Tiramisu, Italian Cheesecake – Bring it On!

At Villa Mosconi you will eat like king and be treated like one of the family.  It isn’t the newest Italian Restaurant on the block but I can guarantee you that it will still be there long after the fad restaurants have come and gone.  Great place to go around the holiday’s and perfect for large groups.  They can accommodate groups of all sizes and have a pretty cool back room with an all glass roof.

Go home again and stop in to Villa Mosconi’s

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Chief Eating Officer
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I see food - Everywhere. I eat, sleep, and drink up NYC as much as possible. It isn't always about what you see but how you see it - A brain that has seen the inside of the corporate world, the back rooms of the legal world, but prefers the comfort of a walk in cooler - Not everyone can appreciate the smell of a supermarket freezer.