For a long time, when a birthday or anniversary rolled around at our house, a phone call to Casa would be placed, requesting 8pm dinner reservations. We loved the intimate ambiance, the mouth-watering food, the patio in the summer, and the fabulous service. Recently, we went in for dinner to find that our favourite special-occasion restaurant had gotten a facelift. The decor has gotten decidedly younger and more trendy. The menu has grown larger; the prices have been reduced significantly; a few major players have been removed from the wine list, and the dining room has grown more casual (was that a TV in the corner?).
Now, if I'm shopping for groceries or a new outfit, I love a good price-drop! However, I have to admit that we were a bit thrown off - what happened to our favourite special-occasion restaurant? Had Casa turned into a meet-friends-on-Thursday-night-for-dinner kind of place? Was su Casa still mi Casa?
Luckily, the ingredients were still fresh and the food still tasted divine (Linguine vongole for me). The service was still top-notch. The vibe was slightly more laid back, the music more loungey, and the service, while attentive, was more casual. We'll be back to Casa again and again - but it's lost a bit of it's extra-special vibe. Looks like I've got a fabulous new place to meet up with girlfriends for drinks and apps that won't cost a fortune.
And I guess we'll have to start booking trips to NYC for that exta-special-birthday feeling.
I'm not complaining!