Are you tired of chain restaurants that aren’t always fresh?  If you are, you should try Casa Nuova which means “new house” in Italian.  Before you go, get your parents to make a reservation – it can get crowded because everyone loves their great food.  I’ve been there a couple of times and tried different things each time.

The first time I went, I ordered Fettuccine Alfredo as an entrée and Antipasto Freddo for an appetizer.  The antipasto had salami, ham, provolone, and mozzarella cheese with lettuce, tomatoes, olives and a dressing on the side.  It’s plenty to share with your whole family – it’s definitely something to savor!  The Fettuccine Alfredo had delicious long noodles surrounded by a homemade creamy white sauce.   I’ve had this dish at other restaurants, but here the Alfredo sauce seems lighter but still had a great cheesy taste.

I recently went to Casa Nuova again for lunch and had another exceptional experience.  Our lunch entrees came with a house salad that was fantastic.  It has fresh tomatoes and lettuce from their garden, homemade croutons, grated parmesan cheese, and a perfectly paired dressing all in a chilled bowl to keep it crisp and cool.  I almost forgot to mention the basket of warm, heavenly garlic bread they bring as you are waiting for your salad or food.  It is buttery, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, a bundle of joy to eat!  The bread isn’t loaded down with garlic but has a nice garlicky flavor, and they will bring you all you want.  Next, let’s talk about entrees.  My dad had Veal Francese, which is beef lightly fried and served with noodles in a lemon butter sauce.  My mom had sole, a type of fish, in a lemon sauce with artichokes on pasta.  I had the lasagna.  It had indescribable fresh, salty mozzarella, ground beef, and a light tomato sauce.  The thing that made it so good was the lightness of the sauce, and it had more sauce than noodles.  For dessert, I had chocolate mousse cake which was creamy, rich and decadent.  We also took home a tiramisu.

On this last visit, I got a special treat when our waiter, Juan Carlos, asked if I would like a tour of the kitchen.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to see where these delicious meals are made.  At this restaurant, good meals come from a clean kitchen that is well coordinated.  There’s a bread station and the salad station is right next to the chilled bowls.  There’s a big pot of sauce next to the huge stove where they prepare meals.  There was an ice cream maker and a cappuccino maker near the freezer.  The workers were all concentrating on their jobs, so the atmosphere was quiet except for the sound of food cooking.  Juan Carlos told me about a garden the owners have and explained that’s where they get a lot of their fresh produce like vegetables and herbs. They even use a green house after the first freeze .The reason they go through all the trouble of gardening is because they are big on the farm to table concept and the quality of their food.    This is what sets them apart from other Italian restaurants, and you can taste the difference.

Casa Nuova is locally owned since 1998 by Maria and Carlos Fundora.  The restaurant is classy and a little fancy.  There are chandeliers that give dim lighting, and they have nice cloth napkins – dark red which I thought was a great way to hide pasta stains.  The owners are very involved in our community so, when you go, you’re supporting a great business and treating yourself to a delicious meal.  All three of their kids have worked there.  Pepe, their oldest son, is in training, and their daughter works on the social media.  Their son Alex is very good with people and will tempt you with a tray of the desserts.

As you can see, Casa Nuova is a special Italian restaurant because of the nice people and the freshness of the food.  Hope to see you there!

By Ava Clavijo