When it comes to Italian food, I go for the savory, the spicy, the adventurous. I like the tang of tomato sauce and the zesty zing of peppered dishes. I don’t want dairy creaminess and I definitely don’t want chicken. This mindset is always firmly in place as I peruse the menu.
It’s not that creamy sauces and chicken aren’t good, they are, and they are as an Italian combo. Chicken Alfredo is an iconic Italian dish, and it’s always been okay when I’ve had it, but it always seemed so… boring. It’s like Italian food with training wheels. It’s what you order for your kid or what your brother-in-law with the simple palate eats when he wants “ethnic food.”
But I passed judgement too soon. I felt this way about chicken Alfredo only because I’d never had chicken Alfredo done right. Ray at La Villa fixed that for me.
Ray’s creation features creamy Alfredo sauce, chicken, and pasta, but that’s where the similarity to other chicken Alfredo dishes ends. I’m not sure about just what the difference is — maybe how he grills the chicken, maybe the weighty tones of cheese coming through on the Alfredo — but there’s a complexity in this dish on par with more flamboyant Italian fare. It’s now my choice as a kind of Italian comfort food. It’s what I’ll be ordering on my next visit.