For all you Durham Region dwellers who have never dined at the little green house, you know the one that you pass by when driving west on Highway 2 in Pickering Village, in our opinions you aren't missing much. Today we decided to cross the letter "C" off on our list and dine at Casa Verde. This establishment was opened in 1991 and has been owned and operated by head chef Roberto Scagliotti and his wife Joanne ever since. Located within an area that is rich in history and bordered by a mature residential area, the house itself is a Pickering Village landmark. Once used as a rum-runners hide out, a carriage house and a birthing place.
Upon entering the empty restaurant at 12 pm, we were greeted by a lone server whose name come to think of it was never given to us. She quickly seated us in one of the intimate dining rooms that featured a large window, which not only let in great natural light but a very cold draft as well. (clearly low grade ER windows) In an attempt to warm up, Melissa decided to try the home made vegetable soup, a noble attempt to ward off some of the chill that the windows were letting in. I must admit the soup looked great- fresh and colourful, but when describing it Melissa used words like "bland" and lacking in flavor. By the time she had finished her soup, 2 more tables of patrons were seated in the restaurant (and by the time we left at 12:50 pm it looked like that was the extent of the lunch rush for the day).
The service here was friendly but slow. Considering we were the first seated of 3 tables, it took over a half an hour for us to get our entrees. While waiting we were entertained with their selection of music. We danced in our seats as 70's funk/disco tickled our ears. Before I tell you what we ate, please understand that we were just recovering from a very indulgent holiday and the last thing we wanted to inflict on our bodies was a heavy Italian pasta lunch. With that being said our lunch arrived, salads - yes I said salads, however we did add chicken. So perhaps it may not be fair to make this judgment based on our lack of adventure in the menu. The grilled chicken was dressed with herbs and lemon and quite tasty, we do give them that, but the salads as a whole were nothing to write home about, very plain and small. Sadly, as a result, while we do feel badly about our inability to give this restaurant a strong rating we have to be honest. Our rating is reflective of our salad lunch. I have heard people say that they make a great pasta which I am open to trying at some point. Being honest means letting our readers know that we did not particularly enjoy our luncheon experience at Casa Verde. The soup was not flavourful, the salads were just okay, the service was slow and lunch was expensive. To top it all off when I asked for a copy of the bill, I was given the handwritten chit from the kitchen that they wrote the order down on (not sure I can write this one off)?
We're not sure of other's experiences here, but it does say something when it has been opened for over 20 years. Clearly, we must missed something on that cold Friday afternoon. Perhaps someday we'll give it another try, (we will wait until the summer as the patio looked really nice) but for now we still have 23 more letters to get through. We will end this review by giving Casa Verde 2 tandem bikes.