Italy has given us legendary works of art, from the evocative paintings of Caravaggio and da Vinci to the miniature meat sculptures of Boyardee. Admire edible Italian masterpieces with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of homemade Italian cuisine at The Villa Tuscan Grille in Rotterdam.
The Villa Tuscan Grille’s voluminous menu pairs house pastas and fresh seafood with handcrafted desserts and piping-hot pizzas served on fresh dough. Instead of drawing straws or racing to complete a screenplay at the table, dining companions can eschew winner-take-all contests and employ basic math to evenly divvy up slices peppered with ricotta, jalapeños, and meatballs, or opt for the white pizza’s sauceless blend of broccoli rabe, homemade sausage, and fresh garlic ($6.99+). Signature sauces rain across plates of baked penne ($9.99) before cascading their fragrant lochs over a trio of homemade pastas, such as linguini, fettuccini, and cavatelli ($11.99 each). Tilapia fillets ($14) emerge from the kitchen cloaked in cornmeal armor, fortified further by a dusting of five vapidity-obliterating spices and herbs. Each plate saves a spot for The Villa’s home-baked garlic bread and dipping oil, which prelude a number of homemade desserts—such as hand-dipped tiramisu and bread pudding—to scrawl an appetizing epilogue across the evening’s menu.
Crystal glasses sway above a full-service bar, stocked with frothy suds and voluptuous vinos. Quench liquid cravings with a libation while sidling up to the dining room’s roaring fireplace, the presence of which warms up chilly bodies and allows guests to answer nonverbally when asked to name that with which they should not play.
The Villa Tuscan Grille
The Villa Tuscan Grille's owners Peter and Christina Guidarelli believe in a simple, unhurried approach to restaurant service—before dinner, they encourage guests to enjoy conversation over some house-baked bread and dipping oil. Executive chef Danny and the kitchen staff apply the same unhurried approach to cuisine: they slow-cook their tomato sauces for up to 18 hours and travel back in time to plant the seeds for those tomatoes. In addition to the sauce, Chef Danny prepares Italian classics such as housemade cavatelli and fettuccini topped with chicken or shrimp, hand-cut Black Angus steaks, and fresh-dough pizzas topped with ingredients such as meatballs, broccoli, and ricotta.
There’s a simple, casual atmosphere here; booths are framed by curtains and hanging lamps. In warm weather, feel free to dine on an outdoor patio. The Villa Tuscan Grille also commits to the community: the kitchen uses ravioli and stuffed shells from Pede Bros., and the dining space hosts weekly events such as live music from area bands.