Villa Amoura featuresMediterranean menu



    A new restaurant with Mediterranean food and a park-like atmosphere has opened up in downtown Provo.

    The Villa Amoura at 43 N. University Ave. is a restaurant featuring food from Italy, Greece and the Middle East. The restaurant is owned by a Palestinian family that has immigrated to the United States.

    The restaurant is managed by Tony Nicolazar, a member of the family and a BYU alumnus. He created the menu to represent foods from different cultures.

    “We created our own blend, similar to those you find in other countries,” Nicolazar said. “The taste is authentic, but designed to fit the American taste.”

    Even though the flavoring of the meals is cooked to suit the average American palate, the food is different and can be strong for an individual unaccustomed to spicy food. The menu offers many foods that are marinated and spicy.

    “Sauces and spices are what makes the food taste good, for our meats we marinate in wine or olive oil,” Nicolazar said.

    The restaurant is decorated like a park and has artificial trees, small fountains and street lamps used for inside lighting. The tables are arranged with candles that light the restaurant during the darker hours.

    The park feeling fits the restaurant’s name which is translated as “village of love.”

    “I don’t like a stressed-out atmosphere, people should not expect fast food service, the average wait for a meal is about 5 minutes for sandwiches, 15 minutes for an entr?e,” Nicolazar said.

    The wait may take a little longer, but the food is an interesting surprise. Those who choose the falafel will get a traditional Middle Eastern meal — a flat pita roll topped with sesame sauce with chopped tomatoes and cucumbers. If one wishes to eat like a native, then they need to roll the bread up and eat it like a burrito.

    Like the falafel, much of the food is healthy in nature, pleasing those who are vegetarians.

    “The food is healthy because we cook with olive oil, and we use a lot of vegetables in our cooking,” Nicolazar said. “Some of (the vegetables) are unusual for Americans to eat everyday, like cucumbers and lentils.”

    The prices are average for a sit-down restaurant. The average price for sandwiches and salads is $5, while entr?es range from $8 to $12.

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