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CasAntica: refined Italian in a special setting

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  • | 2:50 a.m. June 7, 2013
  • Arts + Entertainment
  • Eat + Drink
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What do you get when you pair a charming historic home with the warm welcome of a long-standing Italian restaurateur? You get a magical setting for dining, conversation and enjoyment. Such is the case with CasAntica, a new Sarasota restaurant (opened in November 2012) from master chef and host Pietro Migliaccio.

Built in 1926, the Mediterranean-style home is the perfect setting for an “Old World” Italian restaurant. Oozing charm and style, CasAntica offers a number of cozy, intimate dining rooms, a large covered outdoor patio and my favorite spot, the rooftop, for seating options. Since the structure was originally a house, the dining spaces are small and quiet, creating an intimate, almost private setting.

The menu at CasAntica is large but not overwhelming. Offering a variety of appetizers, salads, pastas, meat, chicken and seafood, there is definitely something for everyone. For our meals we chose the following:

  • Insalata CasAntica:  Potatoes, olives, celery, peppers, onions, tomato and spices in an olive oil dressing.  $10.95 This was a very fresh, colorful and interesting salad, full of flavor and textures. The potatoes were an unusual and nice addition to the salad.
  • Insalata Di Campo:  Mixed greens with carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and olives with aged balsamic and olive oil.  $9.95 A very fresh salad with great colors and textures. Crunchy with a little bit of tang in the dressing; very good.
  • Pappardelle Boscaiola:  Wide ribbons of pasta with fresh porcini mushrooms in a light, earthy brown sauce.  $21.95 Full disclosure: I am a sucker for porcini mushrooms. This was a very warm and earthy dish, filling but not too rich. The pappardelle was cooked al dente and held the sauce very well.
  • Gamberoni Terramia:  Local Gulf jumbo shrimp sautéed in olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and a touch of brandy served over a bed of spinach.  $25.95 Sweet, fresh shrimp with a little pop in each bite and great color from the tomatoes. A light, delicious, healthy meal.
  • Gnocchi Papa Luigi:  Homemade gnocchi. Ask your server for the evening's style of preparation.  $19.95 We had fresh marinara sauce, fresh basil and crumbled mozzarella. An excellent presentation of light, fluffy gnocchi with a sweet, fresh tomato sauce.
  • Nonna’s Pollo Sorrentino:  Thin-cut chicken breast sautéed in a light Sicilian wine with garlic, oil and wild mushrooms with melted fresh mozzarella cheese ... Sorrentino style.  $23.95 A great combination of ingredients and flavors. As previously mentioned, I have a soft spot for mushrooms, which added a rich, earthy flavor to this dish. A great accompaniment to the chicken.
  • Filetto Di Sogliola Casantica:  On the lighter side ... pan-sautéed filet of sole in a light egg batter with Pietro’s special citronette reduction and light spices.  $26.95 A generous-sized portion, light, flaky and full of subtle flavors. Delicious.
  • Tiramisu:  $8.95 Light and creamy, cool and refreshing, not too sweet---need I say more?

CasAntica offers an adequate selection of beer, wine and soft drinks to accompany your meal. The waitstaff is very friendly, attentive and efficient. In fact, we found the entire staff, host and hostess to be very warm, professional and welcoming. Even though we did not specify our preference for rooftop seating when making the reservation, we were quickly accommodated upon our arrival.

With a multitude of fine Italian restaurants in Sarasota, selecting a place to dine may be difficult. Although the Migliaccio family does not make this decision any easier in adding CasAntica to the mix, it does offer you something out of the ordinary. It is an authentic Italian restaurant that feels just like a home.CasAntica

1213 N. Palm Avenue

Sarasota, FL 34236