Down Eats: Villa Verde in Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – In Greenville you’ll find many restaurants, but not many serving up authentic Dominican Republic cuisine. One of the only ones to do so — Villa Verde.

“We want them to enjoy the meal, even though it’s different, something they never tried before,” said Eridania Bastardo, co-owner of Villa Verde.

The restaurant actually started as a food truck. Once Bastardo saw how well it took off, they opened up a permanent location on 10th St. about a mile from ECU’s campus.

At Villa Verde, you’ll find things you may have never heard of before, like Mofungo. Essentially fried plantains, mashed up and made into a bowl to hold your choice of protein. Mixed with peppers and a delicious creole sauce, this dish is dynamite.

For us, they made it up using skirt steak.

“It gets marinated in pineapple juice and cilantro. Skirt steak is already a very tender piece of meat. Adding pineapple juice to it just takes it to another level,” said co-owner Yordanys Bastardo.

The dish is a big hit for regulars.

“The Mofungo is delicious,” said Marta Colon, a Puerto Rican native now living in Greenville.

“If I didn’t want to cook, but I still wanted a home-cooked meal, I wanted a place that I could do that,” she said.

If you’re looking for seafood, don’t worry because they’ve got that too. How about a seafood paella?

“You’ve got shrimp, you’ve got calamari, you’ve got squid, you’ve got lobster,” Bastardo said.

Served up with paella rice and peas, and this dish is perfect. Topping it off though is something you’ll crave for days after — sweet plantains that are fried and caramelized called Maduro.

“That’s delicious,” said WNCT’s Josh Birch. “That could be dessert.”

Villa Verde is also getting fresh seafood in almost daily, from a fisherman out in Wanchese, NC.

“We’re surrounded by water, so we use what we’ve got,” Bastardo said, who wants to serve up the food the same way you’d get it in the Dominican Republic.

One of their light dishes for people watching their weight is a fresh salmon and avocado salad with a decadent homemade dressing.

“Vinegar, oregano, garlic, a little bit of lime juice, extra virgin olive oil,” said Bastardo, describing what makes it up.

And of course one of the most popular items on the menu — a mouthwatering Cuban sandwich, with pork that just falls apart in your mouth.

For more information on Villa Verde, click here.

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