I’m writing this post while soaring on an airplane towards Italy. I’m turning 30 this weekend and wanted to celebrate three centuries of life surrounded by friends and the Italian countryside. Although I grew up in the US, my family is very Italian, and so my birthdays were always accompanied with big family dinners and a spaghetti and meatball feast, typically followed by Italian pastries (supplied by my Grampy), gifts, and many well wishes. I know good Italian food. I have so many wonderful Italian chefs in my family, and I have also ventured over to Italy on many occasions to take in the scenery, the culture, and above all, the cuisine! When in Amsterdam, it’s hard to come by a decent Italian meal. There are many restaurants offering Pizza (and don’t get me wrong, some of these joints are fantastic!) but there are very few locals that are comparable to the real Italy. Casa di David is on my list as a ‘definitely yes!’ when it comes to Italian dining in Amsterdam. A few weeks ago, the boy and I were lucky enough to snag a front-of-the-house table on a dark and dreary summer evening. And so we stayed dry inside, sipping wine and twirling fresh pasta around our forks in the candlelight.The ambiance in Casa di David is cozy and welcoming. Wood beams flank the ceiling, bottles of red wine line the walls, and long strands of garlic droop from the ceiling, transporting diners from a cute corner in Amsterdam to an authentic Italian eatery.
The first thing we noticed about the restaurant, other than the welcoming Italian interior, was the size of the menus!With dishes listed on an endless marble scroll, we were at a loss on what to order. Casa di David has all of the Italian classics, from handmade wood-fired oven pizzas to breaded seafood served atop tall piles of pasta. In the end, we asked the wait staff to surprise us – if they speak Italian, you know you’re asking the right people!We started out with my favorite, a glass of crisp white wine.Our waiter recommended the Vermentino to accompany our starter, and so we sipped dry wine and nibbled on fresh forchetta while guessing what might come next!
Shortly after, our antipasti arrived, bragging of Italy’s finest colors. We were delighted to fork into fresh buffalo mozzarella and burrata, piled on a bed of Sicilian tomatoes and basil.
And right when we thought the evening couldn’t get any more magical, it started to rain outside. We were seated in the front of the house (if you make as reservation, ask if you can snag a table upstairs in the front window!) and so we watched the cycle traffic slowly cease and mist rise from the canals as it sprinkled into dusk.When our mains arrived, we were again pleasantly surprised. While I’m much more of a chicken parmigiana kind of girl, the kitchen prepared us a rich rigatoni and beef tenderloin, stewed in a sauce of onion and chianti. Both Kai and I agreed it was a meal we would not typically order, but our taste buds were in love!
Our pasta was dusted with embarrassingly large quantities of parmesan (I am not one to say stop too soon!) and we dug in.We rounded off the meal with a secondi that paired deliciously well with our pasta – a Chianti braised beef served on a bed of mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables. We were happy to introduce vegetables into our meal once more, and with this in mind, we devilishly ordered a desert :)
While the menu had many Italian classics – tiramisu, strawberries and mascarpone, and lemon curd pastries, we opted for a molten delight in the form of a hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.We fought over the middle bites and washed down the rich chocolate with a glass of Valpolicella Classico – a full-bodied red with a round, juicy flavor. Overall the meal was a delight – a true Italian gem that is hard to come by in Amsterdam!
If you’re interested in checking out Casa di David, you can find them on the Singel at 426 in Amsterdam. If you’re headed over on a weekend night, I’d strongly recommend a reservation. The food, ambiance, and location are equally awesome and so it’s sometimes hard to snag a table as a walk-in.