My friends, Pete and Mie, urged me to try this restaurant. “It’s really good food, nice wine list, great people and a warm, homey atmosphere.” All true.
It’s located in Richmondtown on Staten Island in an unprepossessing strip mall on Richmond Road. Open the door and make a choice. To your left you’ll find a smiling woman who greets you enthusiastically behind the counter for pizza orders. Although I did not try the pizza, my friends tell me it’s great and deserves its reputation as outstanding. Go to the right and enter the dining room a lovely space. Tables are spaced well apart and set in a classically refined manner. The gorgeous ceiling dominates the scene.
We went there twice, once on a Thursday night and once on a Friday evening. I thoroughly enjoyed both. Adam, the manager, greeted us warmly as did several of the servers and the bartender. My friends are fans of Casa Verde and the staff there are fans of my friends. Apparently, that’s true for lots of others. There were plenty of friendly interactions between guests and the restaurant’s crew.
An olive tapenade and caponata, warm and spicy, accompanied Italian and sesame flat breads. My friends suggested an appetizer that lived up to their hype: perfectly grilled slices of calamari over an arugula salad dressed with a tasty, herbal vinaigrette.
Equally delicious, a shrimp special.
The main courses
We tried different mains. Everyone loved theirs.
Lobster ravioli with shrimp in a light tomato/cream sauce
Filet of sole in white wine sauce with pasta
Grilled pork chop with balsamic rosemary sauce
The generous portions made all but one of us decline and settle for our favorite liqueurs. Pete ordered an ice-cream soda that has an amusing back story. One evening he asked them to make one and they thought he meant an egg cream. NO, NO, he said, having attended university in the Midwest where egg creams are an exotic mystery and ice-cream sodas reign. So he taught them how to make an ice cream soda,