Casanova Restaurant has long been one of my favorite restaurants in Carmel for its excellent Country French and Italian cuisine as well as its enchantingly romantic atmosphere, reminiscent of Old Italy. On this trip with eight-month old daughter and my husband, I decided to try it out for its baby-friendliness. To my pleasure, the restaurant withstood the test.
On this Wednesday night, the sophisticated crowd was cheerful and boisterous but in no way upsetting to my baby. The atmosphere was upbeat and lively, uplifting all our spirits. The happy Maitre'd', Vernon, was quite tolerant of my baby screaming during dinner, and, in fact, her noise blended in quite harmoniously with that of the surrounding crowd!
My husband and I each ordered the three-course dinner which consisted of a first course of regional Mediterranean olives, feta cheese, house tomato tapenade, grissini, and breads. The second course was a choice of Champignons Farcis (mushrooms with garlic), pate, smoked salmon, and steamed clams. I chose the smoked salmon with argula, goat cheese, and sweet red onion, and it was perfect. The main course included such selections as seared salmon, ravioli with lobster, pan roasted venison, charbroiled rack of lamb, duck leg confit, pan roasted Alaskan halibut, seared filet mignon, and linguini with lobster...to highlight a few. So many sumptuous offerings make it difficult to choose, but I selected the salmon. It was brought to me encrusted with sweet herbs along with basil and a yellow tomato fondue, and accompanied by eggplant and summer squash Provencale. My husband ordered the pan roasted venison chop which was nicely flamed with cognac, and topped with shallots and a Cabernet wine reduction and came with sautéed Portabellini mushrooms and potato au gratin. We were brought some delightful dessert wines after our meal. The cost of our dinner for two was $131.91 but this price includes more than just the delightful food.
The three-course meal was greatly enhanced by the French and Italian Countryside decor. Part of the restaurant, the section in which we ate, was in a heated garden setting. We were surrounded by hanging garlic and delicate china and tiles displayed on the walls.
Casanova Restaurant has a sixty-five page wine list, listing approximately 30,000 wines which are housed in their extensive wine cellar with some of the finest international wines including various French wines, Chateaux Parmeerx, Civeronx Cabernet, Georis (the restaurant owner's own wine), served in New York's Rainbow room. The restaurant has won the Wine Spectator Award for the last twenty years.
Special rooms within the restaurant include: the Harvest Room which can accommodate a ninety-person party. Jack Nicholson, Barbara Streisand, and other celebrities have been guests and whenever they arrive, are given a special room called the Celebrity Room.
My baby daughter was entertained by the lively Italian atmosphere, and when she did tire, as babies do, and began to cry, there was no hostility nor "please leave" looks directed toward us. We were seated in a corner with ample room for her stroller and some small toys. Although there is no child's menu per se, I would feel confident bringing a baby or youngster to this restaurant. Like us, I believe you will be made to feel welcomed with your youngster.