a journal of finding good food and restaurants i love to eat in Taipei when I'm not in Los Angeles. looking forward to hearing from other food lovers about where your favorite places to eat are, so i can try them next!
Monday, October 15, 2007
italian: CASA DELLA PASTA
CASA DELLA PASTA
23, Lane 233, Tun Hwa S. Rd, Sec 1
website: capasta.com Chinese w/ English for menu
12 pm to 2 pm for lunch
6 pm to 9 pm for dinner
Kid friendliness: lots of crowded booths and boisterous atmosphere with lots of choices at affordable prices. did not see a lot of room for strollers or high chairs though. maybe call to check when you are making reservations.
Visit reviewed: 10/1/2007
It's not an understatement to say that Casa Della Pasta offers a LOT of different pasta dishes. But strangely enough, my favorite thing there was the chicken pita. With light pita bread (perhaps made with the same dough as the pizza), caesar style romaine and dressing and grilled chicken, the combination was a light, refreshing and satisfying entree, especially at NT$170. I think the crumbled bits of bacon really made it just right.
The pasta dishes are equally affordable from NT$95- NT$190 with hearty portions piled atop of the plate. You can choose from spaghetti or penne pasta and then choose the sauce- many variations of a basic cream or tomato sauce- along with a few pesto, olive oil and garlic or special sauces. I think we've been conditioned to pay about US$10 or so for a plate of pasta- which if you think about it is super super cheap to make. So with plates at Casa Della Pasta averaging US$3-6, it's a decent night out without having to eat at the food court and they don't skimp out on the portions because of the price.
From sampling the dishes around the table, the red sauces seemed to be a bit salty that night. I wasn't alone in my opinion of that the bolognese spaghetti and the pizza suffered from an extra pinch of salt that took away from the otherwise decent flavors. I didn't get to sample it- but the cream sauce with tuna seemed popular- maybe a Taipei Italian version of Tuna Helper?
There are eleven 7 inch pizzas available from NT$140-180, from the plain cheese to the more unique mushroom and anchovy or pineapple smoked chicken, as well as a calzone. The pizza was just okay- with the too salty sauce and too thin layer of cheese. I couldn't even really tell what the toppings were.
It's a popular place with locals- we squeezed in with our friends who had prior dinner reservations on this occassion on this packed night- so you can either call to make your reservation in advance or chance a wait. The atmosphere is casual yet more date-night friendly than the even more casual Bellini Pasta. The menu is in English and Chinese, with a handful of appetizers and salads, with the main focus on pasta and pizza and other mains like pitas and gnocchi available, as well as specials like lasagna and risotto available only on Saturdays.
It's not too hard to find- an alley away from Dun Hua Eslite and across from Ginjer Bakery. Just look for this sign if you are going at night.
PS Weirdly enough- there is another Casa Della Pasta with a strikingly similiar menu on Bei An Road and casataipei.com , but I'm not sure if the two are related or not, or maybe used to be and are not anymore? On the business card, it's not listed.
7-1, Lane 11, Zhongshan N Rd, Sec. 2
136, Zhongshan Rd, Sec 1
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Definitely looks worth a shot, but here's the million dollar question: Do they do al dente?
firmness wise i thought the pasta was pretty well done- al dente- not too soggy like many local places.
We tried this out tonight, and like you said, it's a decent considering the prices, but not great by any means. I ordered the mushroom and anchovy pizza too, and strangely, instead of being too salty, mine had no taste!
It seems maybe the white sauces are the way to go - the garlic cream sauce with chicken was not bad.
thumbs up on the layout/ambiance, though. i liked how the tables were nice and private.
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