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Casa Domenico

I went to Casa Domenico in November 2008 and there were just too many problems that I decided not to write about it, despite the fact that it is considered highly recommended on Chowhound. For starters, the server heard my order wrong and ordered me the wrong meat dish, then when I tried to clarify it, she told me that the one that I wanted was sold out. Finally, she brought out my second choice meat dish and, here is the grossest part, there was SOUP SKIN ON THE DEMIGLACE. SOUP SKIN. I dragged my fork through the sauce and it wrinkled with the pressure. Shudder.

The only reason why I’ve given Casa a second chance is because J and I won $50 dollar certificate there from winning her work curling tournament. Yes. We won it. Surprising no?

It really is quite nice inside. And the service is attentive. I love exposed brick.
Casa Dominico, 35 Brock Street, KingstonWe started with the Zuppa di Vongola (Clams, sausage, root vegetable chowder, smoked paprika and chives) for $10. The clams had a few grains of sand. I am never 100% sure of how much sand is acceptable in a clam. It wasn’t a huge deal and didn’t detract from the dish. The clams were fresh, the stock was rich, and the the sausage and vegetables were quite hearty. This was a nice start to our meal.
Casa Dominico, 35 Brock Street, KingstonWe also had the Ravioli alla Silvio (goat cheese and artichoke ravioli with brown butter, honey mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach and balsamic vinegar) for $14. The noodle was a touch too al dente. I also found the goat cheese a bit strong. An aside. I just asked J what was the best way to cut down the strength of goat cheese. I asked if it needed more acid. She said “You use less goat cheese.” I didn’t love this dish.
Casa Dominico, 35 Brock Street, KingstonFor my main, I had Tonno Terzetto (essentially tuna three ways: a) black peppered tuna (rare) with caramelized fennel, tomato oil and citrus aioli, b) mustard seed crusted tuna (rare) with marinated red onions and potato chips, c) tuna carpaccio with extra virgin olive oil, capers and arugula salad) for $29. I really enjoyed this dish. I ate it in the wrong order. I should’ve started with the Tuna carpaccio as it was really light and fresh. The mustard seed crusted tuna was really delicious and zesty. The crust added a nice texture without weighting down the fish. The black peppered tuna was a bit too heavy and peppery for my liking. Overall, you get a lot of fish with this dish and it is a lot of fun to eat.
Casa Dominico, 35 Brock Street, KingstonJ had the Spigola (Pistachio crusted sea bass, sweet potatoes and caramelized apples, sautéed spinach with spicy lemon Calabrese sauce) for $33. I don’t love sea bass that much myself because I hate how fatty it tastes. But since watching Top Chef Season 5 and thinking of Fabio talk about Sea Bass, I have given it a second chance. I don’t love it still. But this was a good piece of sea bass according to Julia. The flavours were intense and married with the sea bass well. I detected an element of Chicken Wing hot sauce in the flavours. I may be mistaken but I certainly don’t think that Casa uses Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for their sea bass. A reasonable dish but expensive.

Overall, Casa has redeemed itself as a respectable restaurant. The food there isn’t cheap but you get a good meal. The tuna three ways was certainly the highlight of this meal. I’d probably go back just for that dish alone. How does it fare compared to the other “fine-dining” options in Kingston? I like Aqua Terra more. Also: their website is startlingly yellow.

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15 thoughts on “Casa Domenico

  • October 19, 2010 at 9:04 am
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    Tonno Terzetto is by far my favourite dish at Casa. I am surprised that your first experience was not up to snuff, as I have never had a disappointing meal there. Then again, I tend to go for salad instead of soup, so the possibility of replicating your dissatisfaction is not likely. The Ravioli alla Silvio looks like something I would really enjoy, although there's something about fine dining that makes me steer clear of pasta dishes in general. While I've had some great pasta dishes at the likes of le Chien Noir, Restaurante Luigina (RIP), and so forth, it pains me to spend top dollar on something I can very nearly replicate at home for a fraction of the cost. My skills in the kitchen are in no way close to getting Tonno Terzetto perfect, so I guess that's why I enjoy it so much. In any case, I would put Casa on the top of the heap when it comes to fine dining in Kingston.

  • October 19, 2010 at 9:18 am
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    All my life I hated fish and would never even consider trying it until we went to Casa and my mom absolutely insisted that I try a piece of her tuna. I've never looked back. It was incredible and, like Harvey, I would go back over and over just for that dish.

    (I'm also surprised you had a bad experience. I've never had a bad time there and many of my foodie friends agree that it's one of the best restaurants in town…sometimes a bad server can really ruin an evening.)

      • October 19, 2010 at 9:53 am
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        haha, sorry H, I had such a craving for pasta that day. I must say, the Penne alla Vodka was delish. I guess we'll just have to go again!

  • October 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm
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    Is this review recent? I am reasonably sure that when Casa renovated a few months back (or was it longer?), the 'Tonno Terzetto' dish was taken off the menu.

    Casa is by far my favourite restaurant in the city. It can be a touch pricey when having a starter and main with wine, but it's almost certainly going to be a memorable meal where you savour every bite. Beautiful place inside too, much more comfortable since the reno, which after they also dropped the prices a little.

    Manzo and Vitello Saltimbocca are my two favourite dishes.

    Aqua Terra is nice, but I find it to be inconsistent, and they have very unusual ways of plating food there sometimes – I once had a steak that was served in a bowl.

    • October 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm
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      The review may not reflect their current menu, but the last time I was there, a month or so ago from what I recall, we had the tuna trio. Not sure if it was actually called Tonno Terzetto, but it was there. Sure it's on the pricey side, but I would gladly pay top dollar on occasion if the meal was actually worth it.

      • October 19, 2010 at 5:58 pm
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        I'm likely mistaken then. I just remember hearing something about the skyrocketing prices/scarcity of tuna making it very difficult to keep it on the menu.

    • October 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm
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      Just checked: The Tonno Terzetto is off of their website menu. I must've written this prior to the renovation.

  • October 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm
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    I am also a huge fan of the tonno terzetto–probably one of my top five all-time favourite dishes. I love Casa simply because I wholeheartedly approve of any restaurant that offers Prosecco by the glass–what a concept! I was surprised to hear you'd had a bad experience at Casa, because every time I've been there the service has been top-notch. I'm glad you gave them another chance!

  • October 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm
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    We just ate there last night and it was perfection as usual. I'm addicted to the arancini (cripy friend risotto and cheese balls) and the spaghetti puttanesca (so salty and fabulous). As well, their wine list is great. Lots of choice by the glass as well.

  • October 20, 2010 at 4:00 pm
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    I've only ever been there for a lunchtime pasta… can't say it was in any way memorable. I guess I will just have to go back in the evening for the full menu.

  • November 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm
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    The tuna 3 ways has always been my favourite Casa dish. I am quite sure that although it was removed it one point, it has returned!

    • November 3, 2010 at 1:27 pm
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      I ate there on Saturday night and you are absolutely correct, it is back on the menu. Meal was excellent, as always.

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