Some types of restaurants seem to bring back memories of childhood. You know the scene--parents pack the kids into a big old station wagon on a Saturday evening, maneuver the car onto the highway, and count the minutes until everyone is settled into the comfortable confines of a classic Italian restaurant. For many, it's a memory that never quite disappears from the mind, and though there used to be places like Villa Rosa in nearly every nook and cranny of this country, there aren't quite as many around anymore, even in the Boston area, which used to have old-fashioned dining spots like these all over the place. But this totally retro spot near East Milton Square (and not too far south of the Boston line) is certainly one that fits into this category.
From the classic neon sign on the front of the building to the comfortable old chairs and tables in the dining area to the working-class bar to the left of the dining room, Villa Rosa is a true throwback. This is not a place to go if you are looking for upscale northern Italian food or inventive pasta dishes. The name of the game at this Italian restaurant is red sauce, red sauce, and more red sauce. From the house-made Italian bread to the hearty lasagna to the tender veal, the meals at Villa Rosa are tasty, inexpensive, and simple. And for those who are pizza lovers, you may want to skip the dinner menu entirely, as the thin-crust Italian-style pizza is what brings many to this place; the pepperoni pizza and the hamburg pizza here are particularly fine, and the pizzas with other toppings are well worth getting, too.
Villa Rosa is easy to find--it is only a few blocks from the Southeast Expressway, and perhaps a 10-minute ride from downtown Boston (as long as you're not going there at 5:00 on a weekday)--but it remains unknown by many. For those who wish to relive the simple memories of station wagons, rumbling stomachs, tangy red sauce, and tasty slices of pizza, stop by the Villa Rosa; you'll surely be stepping back into a bit of history.
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