Casa Di Noa: Italian Food in Yeonnam-dong
Set down an unassuming alley just steps away from the ever trendy Gyeongui Line Forest Park in Yeonnam-dong is Casa di Noa.
From top to bottom and inside and out, the restaurant has been exquisitely planned and decorated to evoke a cozy comfortable Italian style eatery. The black exterior draws the eye to the cafe as it seems like it should be anywhere but here. The windows steamed up because of the warmth of handmade pasta goodness beckon wanderers to peer inside… and so we did. For our fourth anniversary, we got away for a mid-afternoon meal and Casa di Noa served us well.The owners of the establishment, chef Davide di Meo and his wife, run the whole shabang. With the chef in the open front kitchen putting together the pasta dishes, his wife is meeting the customers and taking orders. A nice pair that are eager to please they seem, though they were out of two dishes that we tried to order and we were there at 1 o’clock in the afternoon so that was a bit of a letdown. Chef Davide serves dishes as if they were straight out of Northern Italy and the quality is outstanding… when they do have the food you request.
While the dishes were high in quality and taste, they were very small in portion. Having lived in Korea for so long, I may have gotten a little too used to the large portions that are meant to be shared… then again, we are in Korea so perhaps Casa di Noa will need to adapt a little too. For the prices they’re requesting, the amount just wasn’t all there but our taste buds were thrilled with the bites that we did have.
We started the meal with a caponata di melanzane for our antipasti. Served with shrimp, tomato, green onions, celery, green olives and eggplant mixed in a light wine and vinegar sauce, it was down the hatch before I could even think of taking a photograph but it was a good way to start off the meal. It tickled the taste buds and made us keen to try.
While they didn’t have everything we ordered, I did appreciate that the dishes came out in rounds that were timed well.
Where many Korean restaurants have you either eating everything at once, or they bring out a main dish for one person and not the other assuming you’ll share apparently, Casa di Noa served everything as it should have with appetizers first followed by both main dishes served at the same time and so on.
Next our mains came out. The first was the gnocchi alle vongole e pesto verde. This dish had stunning tastes. Jeju potatoes are made in the gnocchi and are combined with white wine, shellfish, green beans and basil. I probably could have eaten three more plates of that it was so delicious.
The second was the lasagne al forno. My husband remarked on the lack of sauce and I pointed out that with good pasta, you don’t need too much sauce smothering everything. He is a bit more used to the Korean style of Italian food with lots of sauce, lots of pasta and pickles on the side. The lasagna wasn’t amazing in taste, but it was alright. Honestly, the reason I may have felt that way though was because the gnocchi was so zesty in taste that the lasagna lacked in comparison.
We paired our meal with the house white wine and overall I’d say we left pleased though still a bit hungry. For our fourth anniversary, it was a special meal to be sure. Would we go back? Yes, if we were looking to have a slightly romantic meal that we know we’ll spend some money on but not if we just want to split some grub and walk away full and happy as clams.
Casa di Noa
서울특별시 마포구 성미산로26길 43
257-8 Yeonnam dong, Seoul
Days: Tuesday ~ Sunday
Hours: 12:oopm ~ 3:00pm & 6:00pm ~ 9:30pm