31, JingCheng 3rd St, West District
By reservation only--
dinner starts at 6:30 pm
No service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.
Smoking space on patio.
To call Casa Nostra a restaurant would be incorrect. It is really a handful of people coming over to Italian native Stefano Bono and his wife Kelly's house for dinner, no kidding. To join him for dinner, reservations must be made the day before, or earlier, so that they can do the food shopping for the exact number of dinner guests coming that evening. There is limited seating, generally accepting no more than 16 people unless by special arrangement (even then, no more than around 20 total) and on many nights they have a full house. Dinner starts at 6:30 and finishes, well, whenever--but expect to spend at least 90 minutes to two hours there. And what's on the menu? There is no menu; dinner is what they feel like cooking for that day (though they may offer separate vegetarian options by request). As Stefano explains, dinners are what they normally eat in the southern region of Italy where he hails from, and include three appetizers, a pasta dish, two main courses with salad, dessert and a shot of lemon cello to finish off the meal. All that costs only NT$490 (drinks are separate). Also included is Stefano's gregarious charm, his love of sharing his culture and the family dog. --By Courtney Donovan Smith, translated by Angel Pu
A. Stefano Bono with his wife Kelly welcome guests to their Casa Nostra.
B. One of the main courses on this day was the Carne Al Sugo, traditionally a 'Sunday dish' in southern Italy because it takes hours to cook in the tomato-based sauce. This version had chunks of beef, beef with celery, garlic and black pepper stuffing, and small meatballs.
C. The other main course was Pollo Ripieno, breaded-chicken stuffed with ham and mozzarella cheese and covered in an amazing mustard and mushroom cream sauce.