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BALLSTON LAKE – A successful concept, a neighborhood restaurant and gathering place, perfected over time (and lots of TLC) in East Galway, has been adapted and transmitted to the shores of Ballston Lake.
Behold Villago Pizzeria and Ristorante. Its pedigree was established at Village Pizzeria on Route 29 as a Northern Italian cuisine icon since 1988, a place that nearby locals consider a mainstay and people from all over Saratoga County know is worth the drive. Owners Sandy Foster and Joe Guerrera have combined forces with Sharan and Kurt Zarnofsky on this project at 175 Lake Road in Ballston Lake.
While Sandy and Joe have tended to things in the kitchen and bar, the Zarnofsky’s have lent their expertise in the design and construction area.
The results of their hard work are nothing short of stunning. While elements of the previous restaurant are incorporated into the new design (such as the fireplace and the only public boat launch on Ballston Lake), the overall transformation has made the restaurant and dining area more open, spacious and inviting.
The view of Ballston Lake has been enhanced, with wall-to-wall windows making the lake seem brighter and more inviting than ever.
Of course, long time Village Pizzeria devotees would probably be glad eat to Sandy and Joe’s food standing up in a subway, but the extra ambiance certainly does have its appeal.
One decorative item behind the bar that will remind folks of Village Pizzeria is the 1940s vintage Bevador beer cooler. Joe found another one somehow in a garage in Troy and with some major restoration work has brought it back to its former glory.
But mostly it’s about the food. Many of your favorites are on what Sandy calls “the soft menu.” Several of the signature pizzas, of course. But also Aracini (pesto and mozzarella stuffed risotto balls), calamari, hand made pastas and bread and homemade sauce everywhere.
But this soft menu is just a prelude - an amuse-bouche if you will. The expanded menu will be revealed as part of the grand opening festivities on the weekend of April 3, complete with a formal ribbon cutting and what promises to be a festive party atmosphere.
“Our patrons have embraced us since we opened on March 10. They’ve been dying for this to happen, and we are thrilled.” Sandy Foster noted. “We’ve been busy every night.”
“But we also know how lucky we are.” She said. “We know how important this restaurant is to the community, with its history and being a focal point of activity in the town of Ballston Lake. We are here to embrace that special feeling people have for this place, and to work in concert with them to continue the tradition, and hopefully enhance it.”
So, let the good times roll again!
For more information and reservations, phone Villago Pizzeria and Ristorante at (518) 280-0311 or visit facebook.com/VillagoPizzeria.