Meridian Industrial

VILLA NAPOLETANA

2022-05-24 | KEITH O'CONNOR

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Why go Searching for Italy like Stanley Tucci on his popular CNN television show when you can find a bit of Napoli - or its better-known English equivalent Naples - right in East Longmeadow? Villa Napoletana has been serving up a taste of the finest southern Italian cuisine since 1998, where you will be greeted by their friendly, welcoming staff headed by Giuseppe "Joe" Manzi, the restaurant's chef manager.

Born and raised in Italy, Manzi and his family moved to the United States in the 1980s.

“I opened Villa Napoletana on St. Anthony’s Day, June 13, 1998, in homage to my parents, Anthony and Silvana Manzi, and to bring the tradition of real authentic Italian cuisine to the local area. Even now in her seventies, my mom regularly visits the restaurant and specially crafts recipes that are added onto our menu."

While the menu features a wide range of choices that are both traditional and unique and is set up in a way that offers the flexibility to enjoy either a full-course meal or share drinks and appetizers at the bar.

There is a wide selection of appetizers to choose from including a unique, warm Bruschetta which they call Panzanella. It's a Freselle bread with freshly diced tomatoes, basil, minced garlic, red onions, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese.

For those with a taste for seafood, the chef recommends their Clams Casino, formerly remembered as the "Frank Sinatra." The popular dish features freshly caught clams 

on the half shell stuffed with bacon, onions, peppers, garlic, and a lemon and white wine reduction with a golden crumb topping baked to perfection.

Some taste-tempting appetizers include the Portabella Imbotti, the Friarielli, and Artichoke Francese. Portobello Imbotti, another popular appetizer, offers a grilled portobello mushroom marinated in extra virgin olive oil and freshly minced garlic with a house-made sausage stuffing, and topped off with a hint of melted Asiago cheese. Friarielli is a broccoli rapi sauteed with sweet sausage, extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon.

“Another very old dish is the Artichoke Francese, which here in America is served as artichoke hearts dipped in egg batter, lightly fried, and finished in a lemon, white wine and butter sauce. If you were in Italy, you would be served a whole artichoke, steamed with the leaves still on it,” added Manzi.

Still other mouth-watering appetizers include Mozzarella al Bufala Fresca, Calamari Fritti, Calamari Fra-Diavolo, Zuppa di Clams or Mussels, Gamberi Grand Marnier, Mozzarella in Carozza, and Gamelli.

When it comes to the main course, guests can choose from nearly 50 entrees. Many love the Spaghetti Puttanesca, made with olives, capers, onions, and fresh parsley in a plum tomato sauce. For those craving a taste of comfort food, there is the Red or White Lasagna to choose from.

The red Lasagna is made with our homemade Bolognese sauce with ground beef, pork and veal, and whole milk ricotta made in-house stuffed in between layers of pasta and topped off with a warm mozzarella finish.

Villa Napoletana also offers multiple options for vegetarians. In addition to the Pasta Primavera, those with dietary restrictions love the Lasagna Bianca.

“One of my mother’s gifts to the restaurant was her White Lasagna, which she makes with a béchamel sauce, a European sauce made from scratch. Of course, there are layered noodles, grated Grano Padano, ricotta, and yellow squash and eggplant. It’s a perfect meatless option,” said the chef.

For those with other dietary restrictions, gluten-free pasta is available as a substitute in any dish.

Other popular sellers include their Penne ala Vodka made with sausage and prosciutto, garlic, shallots and red onions in a pink vodka sauce, as well as their Grilled Veal Chop, a 14-ounce, bone-in veal chop grilled to perfection that is topped with a port wine reduction.

For guests craving other choices, the entrees are categorized into pasta, carne (meats), pollo (chicken), vitello (veal) and pesce (fish). The menu offers options such as: Fettucini Alfredo, Penne Vesuvio, Orecchiette Romane, Spaghetti Carbonara, Lobster Ravioli, Pasta al Forno, Pasta Primavera, Penne all’ Arriabbiata, Beef Marsala, Tournadoes di Carne, Filletto Azzurro, Stuffed Beef Tenderloin, Delmonico Steak, Pollo Inpacottata, Stuffed Chicken Florentina, Chicken Modena, Chicken con Cognac, Vitello alla Mamma Flora, Vitello Marsala, Veal Gorgonzola with Shrimp, Linguini with Clams, Pesce Spada alla Napoletana, Gamberi Francese, and Pescatore with Risotto or Spaghetti.

What’s a delicious Italian meal without a little vino from 

Italy or a cold beer like Peroni, Italy’s number one premium beer. The bar also serves up a number of specialty cocktails, including the restaurant's famous espresso martini and popular choices Manhattan and a smoked Old-Fashioned.

When COVID-19 changed the restaurant industry forever in 2020, small business owners had to become more creative to survive - for Villa Napoletana that meant turning to takeout and creating family bundles.

Villa Napoletana created family bundles, available for curbside pick-up or delivery by Delivery Express or UberEats, that include house salad and bread. Entrees, ranging in price from $38 to $60 include Shrimp Mediterranean, Pasta Toscano, Chicken Parmesan, Gorgonzola Crusted Beef Medallions or Grilled Salmon Fresca, as well as a variety of Pasta Buckets. Appetizers to choose from include Asiago Artichoke, Antipasto Napoletana, and Villa Bread. Desserts such as Tiramisu and Chocolate Chip Cannolis and others are available for takeout as well.

Now that the warmer weather has arrived, Villa Napoletana has opened its outdoor patio, located right next to the restaurant. It was originally licensed by the town to help the restaurant during COVID-19 when many patrons preferred the safety of dining outdoors. It was so successful that the patio continues to function today for those who enjoy dining al fresco.

Villa Napoletana offers Sunday Brunch from 10am until 2pm with mouthwatering delights for both breakfast and lunch. Hungry guests can begin with a Belgian waffle or omelet that is custom-made to order with all the fixings. Classic options such as home fries, eggs Benedict, sausage, and bacon are always featured, as well as a carving station for specialty meats. Hot entrees rotate weekly, but you will regularly find various options such as seafood, beef, fresh vegetables, and plenty more to choose from. Guests can end their meal with an assortment of cakes to choose from as well as other gourmet desserts and fresh breads alongside hand-held fruits.

But the fun doesn’t end at 2pm on Sunday. From 5-9 pm, Villa Napoletana offers their Wine & Dine Special featuring a complimentary bottle of Chianti or Pino Grigio with the purchase of two entrees and an appetizer, and you will be serenaded by talented live performers.

Don't expect to dash in and out for a quick meal at Villa Napoletana. All dishes are freshly prepared in house and take time from the kitchen to the table, leaving a while to sit back, relax and enjoy the company.

Villa Napoletana is located at

664 North Main St. in East Longmeadow and offers complimentary valet parking on weekends.

Hours are Monday through Saturday from 3-11 pm,

Sunday from 10am to 2pm, then 3pm to 11pm.

For more information, call 413-732-9300 or visit villanapoletana.com

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