The original Il Casale still remains in Belmont, Ma. center, but the new location in Lexington, Ma. is a welcome treat for families, business meetings, and romantic dinners. Its rustic decor and open kitchen lends itself to to the true feeling that you are dining in Italy. The bar boasts a long, comfortable, roomy space with standing room available for spill over. The staff is spot on attentive. When our food arrived, everything came to us at once. we were a party of 4 and 4 waiters presented us our appetizers. Perfect! Our water glasses were filled without even noticing. Perfectly attentive staff without hovering. Food: Italian cuisine at it's best. The restaurant prides itself on smaller plates, but don't let this fool you. Each dish has its own ceramic crock, perfect for sharing too. I find that each order is ample, filling and fantastic. You will not get a full plate of food surrounded by sides that you don't want. You will get individual portions of good food, and you may choose your sides individually. I love when my food does not blend in the plate. The fried calamari is perfectly portioned, crispy with a few hot pepper rings on the side. Again, here the option of eating them together or not. They are served with a creamy sour cream sauce with very little garlic (thank-you). The mozzarella in a carriage is the authentic mozzarella sandwich dipped in egg and fried. This one has a twist of a slice of ham. The eggplant is crispy rounds of small eggplant layered in the most delicious sauce I have eaten in a restaurant in the US. Again, no heavy garlic, the tomatoes are sweet, no heavy oregano, or salt, or acidity. A perfect sauce so order the 3 meatball side. Here again, the perfect meatball. Light, no heaviness, no heavy breading. A better meatball than I can make and I am from Rome. The Lasagna comes in a rectangular baking dish and it is light and authentic. Look at the wine list. The only rose offered is a perfect balance of fruity, but not sweet undertones. I was so impressed on our second visit I asked to speak to the "Chef who makes the meatballs." Immediately 3 men showed up all brothers. The owners are not only Italian and charming, but use their mother's and grandmother's recipes. We chatted about the amazing meatballs, and we concurred that too much garlic kills the taste.Thats the success. Pure whole foods and sweet tomatoes, and good, fresh ingredients. If you enjoy real Italian food without heavy garlic, and unnecessary spices. This will become your favorite place.
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