Villagio of Sawgrass

Villagio, at the Colonade at Sawgrass Mills, Whole Main Lobster Fradiabolo $26.95.

Passersby might glance at the sleek decor and white tablecloths at Villagio in the upscale Colonnade shopping center at Sawgrass Mills and think: Too expensive.
They’d be pleasantly surprised. Owner Tom Billante specializes in Italian restaurants that are attractive, well-run and moderately priced (case in point – hist Boca Raton, Coral Gables and Kendall Villagio locations). There’s an extensive menu of carpaccios, salads, pasta, pizza and popular entrees with a fairly priced international wine list. It’s a fun dining experience, enhanced by servers who are polite, friendly and attentive.

Ambience: The two-month-old, 250-seat Sawgrass Villagio is bright and breezy, with glass doors and windows overlooking the patio surrounding a lovely fountain. The dominant design feature is an open bar area flanked by a big, back-lit onyx rectangle that frames two TVs. Another attention-getter: a 22-seat onyx table (ideal for groups but open to parties of any size party).

What Worked

  • Complimentary starter plates of warm focaccia triangles topped with bracingly fresh tomatoes splashed with balsamic
  • Lightly battered and fried calamari with slivers of crisp zucchini & a zesty marinara
  • Creamy imported mozzarella burrata drizzled with balsamic and served with a fat tomato and paper-thin slices of smoky prosciutto
  • Polenta Siciliana with roasted peppers, onions, mushrooms and marinara sauce
  • Flavorful agnolotti del magnifico filled with ricotta and spinach (albeit drenched in ultra rich pink sauce)
  • A simply grilled special of mild branzino
  • Standout  and reasonably priced ($26.95) Maine lobster special split and filled with linguine, clams, mussels and shrimp in a kicky but not overly spicy fradiavolo sauce
  • Risotto dolce vita with diced shrimp, spinach and goat cheese
  • Delicious & tender small shrimp
  • Scrumptious apple pie a la mode with a phyllo crust
  • Decadent chocolate soufflé garnished with fresh strawberries and whipped cream

What Didn’t Work

  • Stuffed artichoke loaded with buttery bread crumbs
  • Chewy large shrimp
  • Saffron risotto


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