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Nite on the Town Restaurant Discount Card, image and link

The Nite On The Town Card is an exclusive membership card that enables the holder to dine at a dizzying variety of the San Gabriel Valley's most popular restaurants at a discounted price.

Simply include your card when paying your check. If you are a party of two, one of your entrees (equal or lower priced) will be free or substantially reduced in price. If there are four or more in your party, two of your entrees will be free or reduced in price and you can visit each restaurant up to three times during 2011 and get a great discount each time

Periodically, SanGabrielValleyMenus.com readers save $5 off the $30 price of the card.  Check back for savings.

Partial list of NOTT Card participants

Beckham Grill, La Fiesta Grande, El Portal, Stoney Point, Radhika, Firefly Bistro, Cafe Mundial, Central Park, Matt Denny's, 1810, Cha Da Thai, Dish, Italian Kitchen, Bella Sera and dozens more. 

Click here to view the complete list, and to see the discount each restaurant offers to Nite On The Town Card holders.

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Dot Com Dining Restaurant Reviews  Click on photos (except logo) to see them full-size

You can also find our Dot Com Dining columns weekly in the San Gabriel Valley Weekly (print media), Mountain Views Newspaper (print media and online), and SierraMadreNews.Net (online)

View the Villa Italia Menu

Restaurant: Villa Italia

Where: 1028 Huntington Dr., Duarte

Phone: (626) 357-3938

Reservations: Not required

Cocktails: Beer and Wine

Service: Tableside wait service

Atmosphere: Comfy and Italianish

Outdoor Dining: Yes

Credit Cards: MC, Visa, American Express, Discover, Diner’s Club, Debit w/logo

Kid’s Menu: No

Senior Discount: No

Food to Go: Yes

Catering Menu: Yes

Price Range: Lunch: $2.95 - $14.95, Avg. $6.99 - $9.99

Dinner: $2.95 - $15.99, Avg.  $9.99 - $10.99

Villa Italia Ristorante is in the Duarte Target shopping center, 1028 Huntington Drive

Minestrone soup

Bread with bruschetta comes with the meal

Pasta Carbonara, with pennete pasta

Chicken Marsala

Homemade Tiramisu

Semi-Frotte, a family recipe from Sicily

 

DOT COM DINING A Look At San Gabriel Valley Restaurants by SanGabrielValleyMenus.com

                                    

Villa Italia Brings a Touch of Class to Shopping Center

 

By Bill Coburn

 

Had a pretty hectic week this week, and didn’t get out to eat.  So here’s a reprint of an article about a great Italian restaurant we visited last August. 

 

When trying to decide on a nice place to enjoy a meal, one would probably not think to themselves, hey let’s head over to the Target Shopping Center.  In the case of the Duarte Target Shopping Center, one might want to give it a second thought.   I went with my wife to a place called Villa Italia, at 1028 Huntington Drive in Duarte.  That’s between the Buena Vista and Mountain off ramps, just north of the 210 freeway.

 

We were greeted immediately when we entered the restaurant, and taken to a nice table near the front.  Shortly thereafter, we were given a bowl of bruschetta with four slices of bread (seconds were delivered promptly when we ran out).  The bread was delicious, and while the bruschetta is largely tomatoes, (which regular readers know I tend to stay away from), I did dip the bread in the bruschetta sauce, and it was a delicious way to start getting my garlic fix.

 

I ordered a cup of minestrone to start the meal, and received a good-sized bowl of a classic Italian vegetable soup, featuring potatoes, carrots, zucchini, celery, onion and parmesan cheese.  For our main courses, Katie ordered the Pasta Carbonara, with pennette pasta (pasta dinner choices are fusilli, spaghetti, linguine, fettuccini, rigatoni or angel hair).  I ordered the chicken marsala. 

 

The pasta carbonara, which features pancetta ham, a white cream sauce and egg, was a good size portion that Katie didn’t come close to finishing.  Carbonara is a fairly regular choice for Katie, and she really enjoyed it here.  She was surprised, and mentioned several times, that it was so hot.  If I remember correctly, she even made the comment that she’d never had pasta served so hot.  I tried it halfway through my meal, and it was still pretty hot, and delicious, and when she was done, I was glad she didn’t finish it, as it gave me the opportunity to have a few more bites.

 

My chicken marsala (boneless skinless chicken breasts sautéed with mushrooms and marsala wine) was served with sautéed vegetables: carrots, broccoli and zucchini with parmesan sprinkled on them. Everything was good, quite hot, and I even enjoyed the zucchini, which I never eat.  The chicken was well cooked, the sauce was delicious, and, while I usually push the mushrooms off to the side, I ate every last one of them at Villa Italia.  Owner Rosetta DiPiazza attributed that to the fact that they use fresh mushrooms, and I think she might be right.  They were tasty, and I’m not the biggest mushroom fan around.

 

Speaking of Rosetta, she opened this place a little more than four years ago.  She had owned a sandwich shop and market in La Crescenta for ten years, and sold it and retired.  For about six months.  She says she was going crazy, so she decided to open, with her husband Bernardo, Villa Italia, and uses many of her Sicilian family’s recipes, particularly the red sauces. 

 

Villa Italia is open for lunch and dinner.  Their lunch and dinner menus both include, pizza, salads, antipasti, chicken, veal, and baked pastas, and the lunch menu also includes hot and cold sandwiches.  You can find their complete menu at www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com/villaitalia.htm, as well as a coupon good for ½ off an entrée with purchase of an entrée at regular price, Monday thru Thursday.  The food’s good, the atmosphere is comfortable, relaxed, and family friendly, while still fairly upscale in its presentation and quality.

 

But I can’t finish this review off without discussing the desserts.  The dessert tray has several different delicious looking offerings; Katie ordered the traditional Tiramisu, I had something called Semi-Frotte.  The Tiramisu is a little different than most, Rosetta told us, because she uses brandy rather than rum in its preparation.  While I tried and liked Katie’sTiramisua, and she raved about it, I didn’t think it was as good as my Semi-Frotte, which was described as featuring toasted almonds in a heavy cream with orange bits and a Gran Marnier-like flavoring.  Rosetta told us she picked this recipe up from her niece when she went back home to Sicily last year.  While I’m not in a position to travel to Sicily for dessert, I can definitely make the trip over to Duarte for this dessert, which I thought was a great ending to our meal.  It was quite good.

 

Villa Italia offers a nice selection of wines, as well.  I tried a D’Aquino merlot from Italy, while Katie had a glass of Chardonnay.  We both felt that they complemented our meals well.

 

Villa Italia does catering as well, and can “deliver the taste of authentic Italy right to your table.”  And you can always call Rosetta during business hours at (626) 357-3938 to order Pasta Trays and Vegetable Platters (or other items) created to order for your special celebration.  They are open 11-3 for lunch, and 5-9 for dinners Monday thru Thursday, till 9:30 Fridays and Saturdays.  They are closed Sundays.

 

I forgot to mention, it’s not just me that like’s Villa Italia – by the hostess stand there’s a big framed picture of a guy who’s known to like good Italian food, signed with a note that the food was great.  And if Tommy Lasorda liked it, what better recommendation can you get?

 

Bill Coburn is owner of SanGabrielValleyMenus.com, a restaurant website featuring more than 160 restaurant’s menus, as well as downloadable coupons.  He has nearly 20 years experience in the restaurant business, and has been eating for much longer than that.

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