The Roman Villa, at 273 Duanesburg Rd. in Rotterdam, has been a favorite dining destination for our family for the last 15+ years.
Tucked in the back of a large parking lot, the building exterior has a rustic look. Walk inside to the cozy main dining room and be welcomed by Jackie, the flame-haired hostess who has been the front of house fixture for many years.
Decorated with mauve and red tones, lots of wood and a brick fireplace that helps take away the chill on cold winter nights, the dining room has 5 booths and about 10 tables but never feels crowded even on the busiest nights.
The large bar area is in a separate room. There are several tables with views of the 2 wide screen TVs which are tuned to sporting events. Any food from the menu can also be served in the bar area.
The Roman Villa has many tried and true Italian meals and with the addition (Dec 2010) of new Chef Danny Delorenzo, several recent specials have been exciting and delicious.
Pricing is budget friendly with appetizers ranging from $5.95 to $9.95 and entrees from $9.95 to $23.95 with most around $16.95.
My sister has several ingredients she cannot eat and the kitchen has always been very accommodating in tweaking the dishes to meet her needs.
All dinners come with a choice of soup or salad and non-pasta entrees come with a choice of either a side of pasta or potato and vegetable.
The Roman Villa also serves some of the best pizza around. Nice, crispy crust, fresh flavorful toppings and never greasy. Available in 8 and 12 cut for in-house and a 24 cut for take out only.
Some of my favorite dishes are:
Hot Antipasto Dinner – this used to be an appetizer but is now available as a dinner. 2 huge garlicky shrimp scampi, 2 moist, sweet scallops, 2 little neck clams, sautéed slices of red and green peppers, sautéed artichoke quarters, fat mushroom caps in red sauce and hot cherry peppers surround a piece of luscious eggplant parmesan. A treat for those who can’t make up their minds. A little of everything. The eggplant parm has thin slices of lightly battered eggplant nestled in between mozzarella cheese and melts in your mouth.
Braciola – 2 pieces of round steak that have been pounded flat, spread with a garlic paste, wrapped up and braised in the Roman Villa’s deep, tomatoey red sauce . Served over a mound of homemade linguine. Yum, yum, yum.
Haddock Provencal – my father’s favorite. 2 firm slices of haddock dipped in a light egg batter and sautéed in a light volute sauce with sliced tomatoes. A beautifully fresh and flavorful dish.
Shrimp Risotto – this was an appetizer special on our most recent trip. The risotto was perfectly cooked. Creamy from the garlic and parmesan cheese, the rice with just the right amount of bite. Topped with 2 huge shrimp seasoned with garlic, basil and oregano.
Rigatoni Bolognese – another great special. This bolognese rivaled any I had when I lived in Italy. The meat had been slow cooked until it practically dissolved in the rich, red sauce. Rigatoni, the bolognese and ricotta cheese were all tossed together and served with fresh basil on top. I’m hoping they make this a permanent addition to the menu.
I don’t think you can go wrong with any choice on the menu. If you want a delicious, home cooked meal in comfortable, family friendly surroundings, you’ll love the Roman Villa.
The Roman Villa, 273 Duanesburg Rd., Rotterdam. (518) 355-2090 Open Wed. to Mon. 5 – 9 pm. Closed Tuesdays. They also do catering. Call and ask for Bill. I’ve used them several times and always got raves from my guests.