Mixing Italian and Greek
Salmon Piccata from Villaggio Ristorante
Photo by Susan Laughlin
Villaggio Ristorante is a meeting ground for two cultures: Chef Babis is from Greece and his wife Alexandra has an Italian background. More than that, his background was in fine Italian cooking in Athens while Alexandra grew up within the family's pizza parlor in New England. The ambiance and style of Villaggio is halfway in between, says Alexandra. She designed the soothing interior in soft greens in what was a former Kentucky Fried Chicken joint. You'd never guess it. White linens are on the tables but the menu is priced reasonably. The lunch menu offers a few tastes of dinner at an even better price point. A small bar offers comforts for a solo dinner too.
A few of the pastas are made onsite, including the angel hair, fettuccini and lobster ravioli. All dishes are made to order, like the salmon recipe given here. But the marsala demi-glace is a four-day labor and used liberally for the sautéed chicken and pork tenderloins. Homemade desserts include the tiramisu and cannoli.
A classic salmon dish that can be prepared easily and quickly. From Chef Christos Babis of the Villaggio Ristorante.
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 salmon filets
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs - rosemary, oregano, thyme and parsley
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon capers
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
One lemon cut in half
Season salmon filets with fresh herbs and dredge lightly in flour. Sauté in olive oil quickly until lightly browned. Remove filets from pan and deglaze the pan with the wine and juice of half of lemon, butter, capers and bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Return the filets to the pan and spoon over the sauce and put sauté pan in a 300-degree oven for seven to 10 minutes. Squeeze other half of lemon over filets and serve immediately or hold at 140 degrees until ready to serve.