Clifton / Italian / $$
Some restaurants are more about a feeling than the food. This is one of them. No doubt, you will enjoy your crispy-thin pizza at lunchtime or creamy gnocchi at night, but Trattoria Villagio is a meeting place, a spot to relax and enjoy the charming town of Clifton and all it has to offer.
Maybe you’re out to lunch with your BFF; meet them at the front trattoria area, lined in old brick that transports you to somewhere far more fun than a quick stop on a workday. Maybe you’ll indulge in a glass of wine, or a Silva Sangria. The latter is exceptionally refreshing thanks to its combo of pinot grigio, elderflower, strawberries, and grilled peaches. But you don’t need more than water with lemon to get that on-vacation feeling.
Time slows down, too, with a relaxing dinner on the patio, where you and your crew might start with an outsized tower from the raw bar. It’s not quite Tuscany, but there are moments when Clifton is even better.
See this: There’s lots to see here, from the raw bar out front to the back patio that surrounds a mighty outdoor fireplace.
Eat this: Short rib ragù, gnocchi, pizza Margherita
Service: It depends on the night; the friendly staff can get harried when it’s really busy.
When to dine here: The group you’ve assembled doesn’t want to dress up to get fine wine and Italian food in a charming setting.