Casa di Pasta (710 Yonge, at Charles, 416-944-1030) Complete meals for $16 per person, including all taxes, tip and a Perrier. Open Monday to Friday 11 am to 10 pm, Saturday noon to 10 pm, Sunday 5 to 10 pm. Licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Casa di Pasta is almost a mirror image of its sister restaurant at Yonge and College, Pasta Perfection.
Almost. The menus are nearly identical, but the ambience is not. Perfection is semi-funked up. Casa is like walking into the lobby of a Miami hotel in the 80s: elevator music, too-yellow lighting, faux wrought iron ornamental wall vines, and stucco walls and ceiling in various shades of pink-peach that, unlike the Pepto-Bismol they resemble, do not settle your stomach.
Vento Rosa ($7.95) is a flavourful rosé sauce, and there's just enough of it to coat the noodles (you choose the pasta shape) with tons of button mushrooms, onions and wide pieces of bacon.
Shrimp ala Crème ($9.69) is delightfully creamy, with tender pieces of shrimp halved lengthwise. Spinach lasagna ($6.45) has too much squishy zucchini and chunky tomato sauce; this is no compact, baked-to-cheesy-perfection dish. The tiny bit of fromage on top can't hold the layers together.
Served on a kaiser, Chicken Pecante's ($6.95) tiny bits of chicken get lost among mushrooms and a non-pecante sauce. Its sides include ruffled potato chips, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing and a surprisingly fresh sans-mayo cabbage salad.
Avoid the overpriced Mediterranean "Pitza" ($6.95). Its tongue-in-cheek spelling is no excuse for a pita covered in pre-sliced canned olives, peppers, cheap sausage, cheddar and enough grease to lube up your body, inside and out, and slide all the way home.