When Villa Farotto debuted in Chesterfield Valley 10 years ago its chef was given a few restrictions from Jim Parrott, patriarch of the original Farotto’s on Manchester.
“Don’t mess with my pizza; don’t mess with my sauce, dressing or dough. Anything else is fair game,” Proprietor and Executive Chef Gerard LaRuffa recalls his father-in-law saying – and he took that advice to heart.
When LaRuffa, his wife, Lisa, and brother-in-law, Jeff Parrott, designed their Chesterfield restaurant, the concept was mortared in red sauce – and culinary creativity.
“If you would lift our restaurant up its core foundation would be Manchester’s red sauce,” LaRuffa said.
But the restaurant also offers more than the pizza the original Farotto’s is known for. As LaRuffa explained the menu’s base has expanded to include prime cut streaks, fresh caught fish, amazing pastas and salads.
“We’re a multi-concept restaurant,” LaRuffa said. “There are three different concepts here: the Vineyards, the Cellar Bar and the Café.”
The Vineyards provides an upscale dining experience with a dining room that opens to an inviting terrace for gathering and al fresco dining. Complementing the Vineyards’ sophisticated surroundings – including an impressive wine wall – is its menu, featuring updated classics such as Braised Short Rib and Porcini Fettuccine and its signature steak, Bentley Beef Tenderloin. It’s a steak that lives up to its namesake – a rich, prime cut, wet-aged, 10-ounce tenderloin custom-grilled and topped with peppered bacon and a cabernet Gorgonzola demi-glaze.
Other Vineyards standouts that customers crave include the lemon herb marinated Rotisserie Chicken, grilled to achieve a beautifully bronzed, crisp skin, and the daily fish feature, which is often Villa Farotto’s famous Chilean Sea Bass.
“We lightly season our sea bass with our grill marinade of extra virgin olive oil, a touch of soy, fresh garlic and black pepper. It’s grilled to crisp the top and finished in the oven so it gets nice and buttery on the inside before it’s hit with a little lemon. It’s amazing and people love it.”
All entrees, such as the sea bass, steaks and chops, are paired with two sides. Counted among the standout sides are the wild mushroom risotto and creamed spinach topped with Parmesan and pine nuts – a to-die-for must-have for any creamed spinach fan.
Villa Farotto’s fast, casual side is The Café, located just off the Cellar Bar and connected to the outdoor courtyard. The Café abandons formality and makes ordering simple and quick with counter service. The menu is also streamlined, specializing in pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and its hidden gem, the Rotisserie Chicken. It’s an excellent choice for families and hungry, time-crunched professionals looking for a quick dine-in lunch, dinner or takeout option.
The final element housed under Villa Farotto’s roof is The Cellar Bar. Supported by both the Café and the main dining room, the Cellar is able to offer guests the best of both menus. In addition to its food and libations, The Cellar Bar hosts live bands (many four- to five-piece bands) Thursday through Saturday.
Villa Farotto’s trifecta – The Vineyards, The Café and Cellar Bar – is a winner. Continuing to deliver dining diversity under one roof while giving its customers what they crave.
“From experience to food to ambiance, we try to be a little bit of everything for everybody,” LaRuffa said.