I've been looking for a place to celebrate my departure. Well, celebrate is not exactly the word. Get together with friends before I leave. So far I haven't found what I was looking for because I have too many criteria : bring your own wine, made for groups, price range 15-25$, interesting choices, no group menu, not far from a metro station for easy access. I spotted Pizzeria Casa Nova, an Italian restaurant, and decided to give it a try with my sister.
The place would have been fine except for one thing. You'll know why soon enough.
So my sister and I got in. The place looked quite nice and cute (there was an awesome giant fork on one of the walls) and there weren't many customers (we went on a rainy Sunday evening). Since it's a BYOW they don't serve alcohol.
So we sat down where we wanted : on some comfortable white cushioned bench. The lady who served us seemed lovely, and I believe the man sitting in the back was an employee or a friend.
My sister was going out that night to see our brother's show, so she ordered entrées instead of a meal. She asked for fried calamari and onion soup when I ordered Casa Nova snails and seafood linguine.
Hey guys, a candle!
The waitress came back with a basket of warm garlic bread, the soup and the snails.
Casa Nova snails
The garlic bread was rather good, crispy outside and soft inside. We found the onion soup broth too salty to our liking. Honestly I think onion soup is better with Gruyere or Parmesan cheese, but they used what I believe was mozzarella. Oh well, it does melt well under the broiler. The Casa Nova snails are basically garlic snails with mushrooms and cheese gratiné. It would have been good ... if it were less salty.
Then the waitress brought the fried calamari and my seafood linguine.
The texture of the fried calamari was right and the seasoning was fine. However the marinara sauce and the salad ruined it. They were both too salty and the lettuce they used was iceberg ... come on. Some arugula would have been better to go with the seafood. As for my seafood linguine, I found the texture of the pasta was right, the plate was pretty to look at, but the sauce was a bit too thick and ... yes, too salty.
As you might have guessed, the amount of salt in the food was my biggest disappointment. Other than that, the location is fine, the restaurant is fine, the service is fine, the prices are fine ... but damnit please tell your cook to go easy on the salt. My sister is a smoker and even she found the food too salty.
Honestly I don't think I would come back. The customers that were there that night seemed to enjoy their time and food. Maybe it was fine to them and we're just too sensitive to salt. That makes me kind of sad because it seems like one of those restaurants help make a neighborhood more lively.
As you can see, I still have trouble shooting pictures in low lighting. But don't you worry, someday I will make awesome pictures even in the crappiest lighting.
For more information on Pizzeria Casa Nova and to order :