If you're craving some affordable Italian-style dishes, then look no further than Villagio. A quaint and cozy restaurant conveniently located in Kantari, Villagio offers the fine dining experience worthy of any date, elegant family outing, or classy rendezvous—all without the hefty price tag.

Now before we begin talking about the food, what makes Villagio truly worth your time is its breathtaking atmosphere. Light pine makes up the floors, walls, and bar, giving the restaurant and open and inviting aura from the get-go. The music is a culmination of the sweetest jazz tunes, and the people, a collection of well-dressed (think business casual) class. Even the seating boasts comfort—including the bar—as no place is too crowded or inconvenient. It's like a glass-encased cozy wooden cabin with superb lighting and inexhaustible Italian food.

Did I say food?

Beirut.com was able to interview Villagio's Head Chef, Tarek Hamadeh, who spoke of his extensive cooking experience— chronicling a 20 year career in the United States, all of which began in New Orleans. In fact, if you're familiar with New Orleans style cooking, you might even be able to detect unique textures and flavors in Villagio's otherwise orthodox dishes. The two disciples combine to create a heartily spiced meal, echoing the pallets of what seems to be a collection of countries—albeit in a very satisfying way. "I love the Italian people," explained Hamadeh, "Being Lebanese, we tend to pick food that is close to our own culture."

Indeed, Villagio's cuisine is much like our own—yet with notable differences, which I'll leave you to figure out. Sahtein peeps—err, I mean—buon appetito!

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