STORY & PHOTOS BY KATHY KERBY
Casanova Bros. Pizza & Pasta opened in 2008 in Patterson Landing on the northeast corner of Val Vista Drive and Guadalupe Road in Gilbert. Mike and Tony Casanova have been so successful that in February they moved across the parking lot into a huge new space. These proud New Yorkers (please read that with the appropriate accent) advertise “a taste of New York in every bite.”
As we walked in the door, we were greeted by Tony who loves to learn the names of all his guests. My husband and I were impressed by the upscale interior of the new location. The large dining area with faux Italian marble pillars, dark wood booths and tables and chairs with leather seats are accented by gold-colored chandeliers and hanging pendant lights. The tiled floors, white brick columns on the walls and natural light flowing in from the east windows add to the ambiance. The walls are adorned with black and white scenes of New York City and pictures of many movie stars both past and present. In addition to the spacious primary dining area, there is a large bar with dining as well as two private dining rooms on either side of the nicely decorated entryway.
The four-page menu boasts Neopolitan and White pizza which are round and thin; also Sicilian or White Sicilian pizza which are square and thick. There are also eight specialty pizzas and all the pies come in three sizes with a choice of 22 toppings. Appetizers, salads, hot subs, calzones, Italian entrees, pasta favorites and four desserts round out the menu. A nice selection of beer and wine is also available.
It took us a bit of time to read the menu, but we decided to keep it simple and ordered Meat Ravioli, the New York Special Pizza and a slice of white pizza. The garlic knot appetizer ($2.99) included a dozen hot, fresh bundles of baked dough with tomato sauce for dipping. The bread, pizza dough and sauces are made fresh daily. The salad that came with the ravioli was a nice combination of mixed greens, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions and the house dressing was perfect. The Meat Ravioli ($11.99) was prepared expertly, with perfect pillows of ravioli stuffed with meat, then simmered and served in a tasty, not-too-spicy, red sauce.
The slice of White Sicilian ($2.95) was covered with ricotta, mozzarella and garlic butter. If you have never sampled White pizza, you are definitely missing a culinary delight. The New York Special Pizza ($19.99) was loaded with ham, pepperoni, meatballs and sausage; a pizza that screams “New York.” We devoured the pizza and were delighted with the crispy crust, meaty toppings and generous cheese.
With New York Cheesecake, Cannolis, Chocolate Mousse Cake and Zeppolis as dessert choices, we settled on the Cannolis ($3.99.) The crispy Cannolis with creamy, rich, cinnamon goodness on the inside were drizzled with chocolate syrup and sprinkled with powdered sugar; the perfect finale to our meal.
Casanova Bros. Pizza & Pasta
959 N. Val Vista Drive, Gilbert.