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“Not the Greatest Italian”

Casanova Restaurant
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Ranked #41 of 152 Restaurants in Carmel
Price range: $1 - $75
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Reviewed February 28, 2013

This is a lovely location, quaint. The food is "ok" and the service is "ok" - but nothing special. With so many other wonderful restaurants in Carmel, we would not return. While we did not have a bad experience, the food and service were average at best. We would not return.

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1  Thank whocareswhoiam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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963 - 967 of 1,383 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2013

I cannot adequately express how fantastic this restaurant is. My family has been dining there for over 30 years beginning while I lived in California, and for the last 15 years I travel regularly from Costa Rica to California with Casanova at the top of my list as a "must do." The town of Carmel is abundantly charming to begin with, but the ambiance, food and staff at Casanova just turns it up a notch to amazing. I highly recommend going for lunch for first time visitors because sitting out on the sun-soaked patio is so delightful. The food can be rustic and simple but so refined and flavorful at the same time. It's simply some of the best food you'll ever eat. You will fall in love as soon as you dip your first breadstick into their sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade. Do not miss their light-as-air, melt-in-your-mouth spinach gnocchi. That is dish you and your palate will never forget! We also love the mussels, the stuffed mushrooms, the salmon, the seafood fettuccine and save room for the crème brûlée with the freshest sweetest berries from local growers. They have an incredible wine cellar with the largest selection you can imagine and an excellent range of options. Don't worry, the sommelier will be able to help find the perfect bottle. I would recommend going with friends or family or a special someone. A romantic table for two is perfect, but a family with children will feel just as welcome. This can be an expensive meal when adding in all the extras that you don't want to miss, but it is absolutely worth every penny. At the same time, if you have a tighter budget, enjoy the complimentary tapenade, share an appetizer and a dessert (both definitely enough for two) to go with your main course, and you will be overjoyed with the meal and the reasonable price. Whatever you do, please don't miss out on this opportunity to eat one of the best meals of your life if you are in Carmel or nearby, JUST GO!!!!!!

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1  Thank greatfoodandtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

My husband and I ate here because it was recommended as a dog-friendly establishment. We had no idea what to expect, and were amazed at how delightful this place was.

Because we were dining with our dog, we sat outside on a very quaint patio that made me feel like I'd been transported into the middle of a charming old European village. Although this is a top-class restaurant with impeccable service and attention to detail, they have a refreshing, laid-back attitude. They didn't mind that our 39-pound terrier wanted to sit on her own chair (yes, she's horribly spoiled and suffers from an identity crisis!)...which we realize isn't always appreciated or tolerated at some fine dining establishments!

Dog-friendliness aside, our experience at Casanova was 5 stars all the way. The service was attentive and friendly without being overbearing. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and offered great recommendations. I had the mushroom ravioli which was the best pasta I've had outside of Italy. If we had stayed in Carmel another night, I would have gone back and ordered it again. It was outstanding. So flavorful and earthy. My husband had the pork chop, which was extremely succulent and tender. For dessert we split the citron souffle which was delicious...very light and fluffy without being overly sweet. I wish I'd ordered my own portion, because we started arguing over who was eating more of it! We loved everything about this restaurant...I just wish we lived closer so we could go back again any time we wanted!!

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1  Thank planetclaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Recommended by friends and a local shop owner... best meal in Carmel! Wait staff...fantastic, food...perfection! Love the whole vib of this place and will be back next time we are in Carmel. The sommelier was so great and really interested in making just the right recommendations for wine to pair with our food selections.

Thank bgonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013 via mobile

I was really exited to eat here based on the other reviews . I was looking forward to the array of Gluten free options. Unfortunately the Gluten free bread that arrived was too heavy and very strong tasting. I ordered the gf onion soup and the blue crab and spinach with gf pasta. The soup was ok except that it had the same heavy bread. The pasta was not cooked right and the food was over salted. My husband took one bite of his salmon and said it was awful so he tried my meal and said it seemed that the crab was previously frozen cooked and then refrozen and then cooked again. His mussels appetizer was just ok. The kids seemed happy enough with their kids meals. A basic burger and fries on a store bought bun and penne pasta with butter hard to mess that up. And their desserts looked fantastic. The service was excellent. They were extremely kid friendly and brought Tin tin comics and drawing materials which were delved into for the entire meal. A+ for Service! Maybe I should have gone for the gf pizza, but I worried that it would be made with that same awful bread. Lunch was over $100 dollars for for which seemed like a lot to pay for a bad meal. Gordon Ramsey needs to come in and turn that kitchen around for the sake of the excellent serving staff.

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2  Thank Lovethecalcoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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