Bryan and I went out the other night and decided to try the Villa, what was once Le Chardonnay. We never went to Le Chardonnay, so we can't tell you how it has changed, but can offer a fresh view on a new restaurant in our neighborhood.
We live in the Tucker Jefferson neighborhood, just two blocks away from Overton Square. It was one of the main reasons for buying our house, the ability to walk just about anywhere we need, specifically some of our favorite restaurants.
Excited to try a new restaurant in our area, within walking distance, we walked into The Villa on Friday night. Maybe its been a while since we've been to Overton Square on a Friday, but it took us a long time to find a parking spot and it looked like all the restaurants had a wait.
When you walk into the Villa there is a sign greeting you at the door to see the bartender for a table. Its the first time I've seen a sign like that. I stood at the crowded bar for several minutes before someone even acknowledged me. She didn't even give me a guesstimate on how long it would be to get a table. We found a place at the bar to tide us over until we got a table.
It actually didn't take long to move to a table, 10-15 minutes. However, it appeared that the bartenders played hostess and waiter. I didn't see one employee that seemed like a real waiter/waitress. Everyone was a bartender/runner.
While our food was good, the service was awful. Its not the employee's faults... they are understaffed by at least two. It took a full hour to get food. We had to wait five minutes after receiving food to get silverware. We were never offered bread or appetizers... even though we saw other tables getting free bread.
The atmosphere is great, although rather loud. They could use a bit more fabric in the place relieve some of the loudness of the space. But otherwise a well decorated and appropriate.
Maybe we were there during their busiest time ever, or maybe that's just how it is. But the service was awful and I probably won't be back unless we hear the service has vastly improved.