A Home for the Holidays

See how the de Magistris Family celebrates the holidays in their Vermont home.

- Boston Globe Magazine, December 2011
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Included in the Best 50 Restaurants of 2011

"During a particularly rushed meal at a particularly crowded restaurant I tested for our 50 Best Restaurants package, a well-known chef — who, for the purposes of this blog post, will remain nameless — descended upon the dining room, surveying the servers as they unloaded food onto tables. "Hurry up — the food is dying!" the chef exclaimed rather loudly. It was at that point that I felt my evening begin to wither, too.

My experience at Il Casale, however, was precisely the opposite. Though I didn't happen to spot chef Dante de Magistris during my visit, the entire meal felt comfortable and relaxed — likely due to a combination of the rustic-upscale atmosphere (exposed brick, dimly lit chandeliers), the lineup of to-die-for pastas, and my kind waiter, who spoke softly but carried some excellent recommendations (e.g., the delicate branzino drizzled with truffle oil). I left the restaurant restored in both body and spirit.

There are many places in the area that serve superlative food. The challenge is finding the spots that make you feel good about eating there, too."

- Boston Magazine, November 2011
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View from the Bar

"A very friendly spot in a renovated firehouse, il Casale is owned by chef Dante de Magistris and his family. Your begin with dense, spongy, but crusty homemade bread and a bottle of olive oil - keep eating it and you may not want to order. Then you'd miss a white bean and tiny Maine shrimp salad, Italian burratta (this really creamy mozzarella), or tagliatelle wutg a six-meat bolognese (add mortadella and pancetta to the usual lineup). We had the deliciously sudsy, red Villa di Corlo Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro with the tagliatelle, and the 2008 Cantini Filippi Soave is a fine match with the shrimp and bean dish. Belmonters tuck in early, so you'll have the place to yourself after 9pm."

- Boston Globe Magazine, November 2011
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Best of Boston 2011 Award Winner for
Restaurant, General Excellence, West

"The rustic ambiance of chef Dante de Magistris's ode to homestyle Italian cooking belies the refined dining experience here. Service is warm and knowledgeable—and the food ethereal, from the tangy tomato bread pudding to the gnocchi with a basil-pistachio pesto that's as fresh as spring."
- Boston Magazine, July 2011
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Best New Restaurants

"Chef Dante de Magistris and clan opened il Casale in a former firehouse in their hometown of Belmont, and the restaurant feels like a family affair. Il Casale's menu showcases dishes that were passed down to de Magistris; the restaurant is big, loud and convivial. Meatballs, octopus salad, ravioli primavera, and the freshest grilled seafood are among the dining pleasures offered, and you can taste the love that goes into them."

- Boston Globe Magazine, June 2011
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Dining Out: Il Casale

"Simply put, dining at il Casale is very much like dining in Italy. The food is simple and abundant… You'll write your own list of favorites here in short order. And you'll wish – and wish hard – that il Casale were a short walk from your house, not just those of the lucky neighbors the chef grew up with."

- Boston Magazine, October 2009
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Dante's Paradiso

Mixing family and business has made de Magistris white hot.

- Boston Globe, August 2009
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Best of Boston 2009 Award Winner for
Best New Restaurant, West

"Stop us if you've heard this one before: City chef heads to the 'burbs, ditches fine dining for comfort fare, and watched culture-starved locals pour in. Original or not, we're smitten with il Casale, which opened this spring in Belmont's old fire station. Maybe it's because owners Dante de Magistris and brother Filippo and Damian grew up in the neighborhood. Or it could be the simple family recipes. Who cares? We just want some more of that gnocchi with porcini cream, burrata with pistachios, and fluffy tiramisu."

- Boston Magazine, July 2009

Just like Nonna used to make

Simple food, elegant flavors at Il Casale

- Boston Globe, July 2009
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Devra First Review

"I loved a lot of restaurants this year, wantonly and casually, and then I moved on. il Casale was one I loved seriously; it's a keeper. Chef Dante de Magistris and his family hit this one out of the park."
 3 & 1/2 stars

- Boston Globe

"il Casale – The Italian family table, only more delicious."

- Esquire, October 2009
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"It's refreshingly simple, surprisingly affordable and extremely delicious."

- Boston Herald

"We ate at il Casale, Dante de Magistris' new Belmont restaurant, where affinity and family-style cooking made for an unforgettable meal."

– Improper Bostonian

"It looks like we'll be spending a lot more time in Belmont."

– Boston Magazine