8602 Third Avenue
I hate warming trays!
When I walk into a restaurant for the first time and I see warming tray, my first reaction is to walk out. Foods left sitting in warming trays loose all texture and remind me a very bad junior high school cafeteria.
Casa Calamari has warming trays as you come in and all I wanted to do was walk out! But, my friends persisted and my health insurance is still in effect so I said o.k.
The décor is simple and clean, sort of an office workers lunch place. The service was friendly and actually knowledgeable. There is some confusion in that there are at least three Casa Calamari's in Brooklyn. I do not know if they are related.
What surprised me was the food! If you are careful to order the daily specials, not on the warming trays, the food is actually good.
The Lasagna was fresh and plentiful. It needed a little more seasoning, maybe some oregano.
You can tell if Lasagna has been sitting, the edges dry up and the sauce de-emulsifies (there is a reddish water on the plate). My bet was that the sauce was made fresh and maybe even with real tomatoes (I found real tomatoes seeds in the sauce).
The calamari and linguini was also good although I like mine to have some more heat and again the portions were large and inexpensive.
Main courses are about $ 12; there is a three course dinner menu with a glass of wine for $25.
If you can find a parking space in Bay Ridge, Casa Calamari will do nicely.
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