Casa Grande Revisited

November9

Do you recall the scene in Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp” when the canine couple set up behind an authentic Italian restaurant for a romantic feast of their own?  That is exactly what Casa Grande (at 984 Sargent Ave.) reminds me of.  There are red and white table cloths and white candles melting down the sides of old Chianti bottles.  I would not be surprised if an accordion player made the rounds some evening.   In the mean time, Luciano Pavarotti serenades over the stereo system.

We have been dining at Casa Grande for decades (they have been in business for over 35 years) and each time I arrive, the place is packed. Yet it is not one of those restaurants that you hear/see a lot about.  On this early weeknight, we got the last table in the little main floor area.  There have been times that we have dined on the second floor, which I believe is only open on weekends.  Everyone surrounding us seemed to be regulars and indeed one of the servers was hugging and kissing patrons upon their arrivals and departures.

My husband and I sometimes have a difficult time deciding what to order at a place like Casa Grande, so well known for their portion size.  We consider pasta a special treat and are concerned about filling up with too much of it.  But the perfect solution is cheerfully accommodated when we select their largest dinner salad and spaghetti with seafood and we share both.

La Giardiniera Salad is chock full of romaine tossed with onions, tomatoes, green pepper, olives, cucumber, grated mozzarella cheese and house dressing.  Thin slices of mild capicollo (a cross between salami and ham) adorn the top. 

We are thrilled when more slices arrive at the table with a fine dry salami, more olives and spicy marinated eggplant.  This little plate is our anti-pasta which comes with each noodle dish that is served.

When high quality seafood is simply and quickly sautéed, we prefer not to let an overpowering pasta sauce interfere with the delicate taste.   Casa Grande lets you choose the preparation style and I almost always opt for the oil and garlic.  This particular evening, the kitchen was very generous with the garlic.  This became the second reason that my husband and I were glad that we had shared the dish.

I would recommend that you make reservations as you will not want to miss out on this authentic treat.

Casa Grande Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “The strands of spaghetti were vital, almost alive in my mouth, and the olive oil was singing with flavor. It was hard to imagine that four simple ingredients [olive oil, pasta, garlic and cheese] could marry so perfectly.”-Ruth Reichl

Love-that is all.


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posted under Restaurant Features
4 Comments to

“Casa Grande Revisited”

  1. Avatar November 9th, 2012 at 9:45 am Emma Says:

    I’ve only been here once, but absolutely loved it. It got me hooked on spicy marinated eggplant. I’ve since been known to eat half a jar before realizing what I’ve done. This place is definitely one to try again!


  2. Avatar November 9th, 2012 at 9:55 am Kathryne Says:

    Love marinated artichokes! Two other lovely Winnipeg restaurants where it is featured in pastas are Mise and Cafe Carlo. Oh, Oh,now I want some!


  3. Avatar November 9th, 2012 at 6:02 pm Linda Cooper Says:

    My husband is part of the Ukulele Club of Winnipeg and they meet upstairs of Casa Grande on the second Tuesday of each month. Great music and great food. I go along and listen to the music and frequently order myself a great salad and pizza.


  4. Avatar November 9th, 2012 at 8:53 pm Kathryne Says:

    Sounds absolutely perfect.


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