Friday, May 1, 2009

Namesake Restaurant (Melissa)

After Joe and I found our house in Italy, we realized there was a sign for “Il Casale Ristorante” pointing to our street. Obviously we found this amusing; to get to our house, just follow the “Il Casale” sign. Eventually our curiosity got the best of us and we decided to venture out and find this restaurant that was located on our street (sounds pretty simple to find a restaurant on the street you live on, but you don’t live here so you’ll just have to TRUST ME when I tell you that it was an adventure to locate this place). We find the restaurant tucked away a mile up the road, but we are not dressed for dinner and the place is busy so we don’t go in.

Soon enough we start hearing from other people that Il Casale is their favorite restaurant in Naples. People gush about how much they love it there. We decide we must go. The neighbors tell me that I have to make the reservation (duh). I find the number and call…I immediately ask if they speak English because I’ve never actually made reservations speaking Italian and I don’t know how well that will go. No luck, they say they don’t speak English.

So here’s how it all goes down (feel free to read with an Italian accent since the rest of this story actually occurred in Italian). I do my best to tell them I want to make a reservation. They must understand because they ask me something that sounds like a request for a date or time or something. Great! I tell them what day, and then what time. They were clearly asking for how many people because they then ask me WHEN I want to come in. Oops. Luckily the time and number of people are the same word, so it all works out. I now have a reservation for 8 people at 8:00 on next Tuesday. Whew!

Then they ask me for my name… I say “Casale, Melissa Casale”. There is a pause, and then they say a bunch of Italian words…I think informing me that they know that I want a reservation at Il Casale, I just called Il Casale, so what is the name for the reservation? Again, I say “Casale. (speaking slowly with emphasis) MY NAME IS Melissa Casale”.

Bingo! They get it. They immediately sound joyful and excited. I get a bunch of thank you’s and they confirm my complete reservation and then I hear “Grazie, ciao Signora Casale. -kissing noises- Ciao, ciao! -more kissing noises-“. Hmm. I’ve never had kissing noises before. I hope we get a good table.

So we’ll bring the camera (and maybe the family tree) and follow up after dinner next week. Ciao! –kiss-- --kiss—

The follow-up:

Allora, as you have already reviewed in Joe's comments the Casale name had no tie to the restaurant name...but we did still get a major discount off the bill and the food was great. Overall, I would say it was a success.


  1. I don't think I can make it there on time...


  2. So, it turns out that having the last name of the resturant wasn't that big a deal. They gave us a great table, and the food was great, and the steaks were very, very good. At places that serve good steak here, they serve it almost rare on a 1" thick 750deg F iron skillet that they left in the pizza oven. Then, you basically cook your steak to taste right there at the table.... but I digress.

    So, toward the end of the meal, I ask the manager, about Casale. And, as it turns out, the family last name is Valintino. Casale = Castle in Italian. Allura. Va Bene.