La Casa Nostra
Time Out says
A handsome Italian restaurant where Sicilian food and premium wines can be enjoyed at reasonable prices
Sathorn Soi 1, despite being an enclave for old houses and low-rise apartments, has long been known for a host of dodgy dive bars and the ramshackle Malaysia Hotel. But the quiet residential area is seeing an uplift to its reputation with the refurbishment of an elegant yet cozy villa into La Casa Nostra, a fancy eatery and wine bar that’s being touted as the current hot spot for sensational Italian grub.
Sturdy wooden furniture, design-driven tableware, stylish architecture, glass windows and light, earth-toned walls all combine to give the restaurant an elegant yet homey atmosphere—it actually feels like a visit to the home of a hip and hospitable, not to mention rich, Italian couple. The entrance holds a standalone wine cellar that contains plenty of good bottles, all of which are included in the eye-popping wine list. A few steps away is an outdoor terrace that’s given a quirky edge by a petanque court.
The guys in charge of the menu have honed their skills at top international kitchens. Co-owner chef Alessandro Frau makes sure that dining here lives up to the cutting-edge Italian fine-dining experience offered at his other restaurant, Acqua, in Phuket. Head chef, Nino Scognamillo (whose CV includes years of experience working in Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in London), meanwhile, tones down Frau’s frills and churns out produce-driven Mediterranean dishes inspired by his hometown of Sicily.
Start off your meal with the antipasto (B490), in which sous-vide squid is roasted and spiced with Spanish paprika, and served with creamy potato velouté. The yellowfin tuna tartare (B390) is given a Sicilian kick with a sprinkling of caper berries, raisins, aubergine and extra virgin olive oil. Follow up the starters with a pasta dish. Try the lobster spaghetti (B690), cooked with a flavor-packed sauce made from cherry tomatoes that still allows the lobster’s meaty freshness to shine through.
La Casa Nostra has teamed up with Global Vineyards (Thailand’s leading wine distributor) to import their own wines, mainly from Italy and France. The list includes some of the Old World’s best wines, all sold at unbeatable prices (from around B1,000-10,000). Plus, thanks to a device called Coravin, which allows wine to be poured without pulling off the cork, premium wines like Château Cos d’Estournel 2008 (a rich Bordeaux blend) can be enjoyed by the glass.