By W. A. Muller
Alex Kalas and Thomas Billante, owners of a profusion of restaurants in Miami as well as Chicago, have transformed the space that was once home to Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant & Bar (40 Central Park South) and opened the new Villagio On the Park, a refined Italian restaurant that allows al fresco dining with views of Central Park. According to Alex, both he and Thomas decided to open a restaurant in New York City because, “the many New Yorkers who have been to our restaurants in Miami have had wonderful dining experiences. Now they can be on their home turf and enjoy our authentic, fresh taste of Italy in one of New York City’s finest neighborhoods.”
The stunning interior was Designed by Jeffrey Beers International, who also created the unique looks of New York restaurants including db Moderne, Villard Michel Richard and Towne, Villagio On the Park boasts a modern aesthetic built on marble and wood. Walls are lined with rustic pizza paddles, enhancing your experience of an authentic slice of Italy, while hundreds of illuminated crystals hang from the ceiling and reflect off one another to cast an ubiquitous glow.
Under the helm of Executive Chef Paul Johnston, Villagio On the Park makes its own pastas and imports many of the essential ingredients from overseas, such as Portuguese octopus and calamari from Europe. Signature dishes include a gondoletta stuffed with spinach and ricotta in a truffle mushroom cream sauce, and zucchini flowers, which are harvested in Palm Beach, filled with smoked mozzarella and prosciutto. Pizzas are baked in the woodburning oven, and gluten-free options are on the menu. All desserts, such as apple pie al la mode, tiramisu, chocolate soufflé and crème brulee are created on the premises. Central Park evokes magic and beauty no matter what the season is, and Villagio on the Park only maximizes the experience. At Villagio you can expect to be treated like family; from the minute you walk in the door, Manager Fabrizzio and his team will enhance your dining experience with friendly and attentive service.
Villagio on the Park
40 Central Park South
New York, NY 10019