Casa Dominica-Kingston, ON
On this cold winter night, the wind was howling around the corners and up the streets, as it can only do in Kingston in January. Brrrr.
Our reservations were for 7 pm and we were on time. Every one in our party of four is a stickler for punctuality and we expect it from others as well. This time we were not to be disappointed. Our table was ready, right beside the crackling fireplace. What better way to spend a cold windy night? Menus were presented and water was poured. So far everything was just the way it should be.
The owners of Casa Dominica have spent some time and taken some good advice in putting together their wine list. They have a good selection of Italian wines in all price ranges to compliment their Italian menu. At the same time they have included a varied cross section of wines from other parts of the world. There is something for most diners pleasure. We picked an inexpensive Pinot Grigio to start the evening. It was very crisp with just a touch of citrus on the palette. It was so good that we added a second bottle to accompany our first course.
This was the only stutter in an otherwise pleasurable dining experience. The waiter at this point seemed to be flustered and trying to do too much at once. The room seemed to us, to be understaffed, so we did not hold him at fault. We had to wait a considerable time for the second bottle of wine; our party does not like to wait for the next glass. Our beverage is very important to us. Hence the demerit points.
The first course menu has something for everyone, from salads to pastas. We all had something different and my ravioli was superb.
For the main course, we chose a bottle of Tunnelo Merlot. This wine from Fruili is full bodied and laden with fruit. Great nose, with a hint of flint and earthy tones. The owners buy it direct from the producer, as it is not a regular LCBO product. Great choice. It went perfectly with my rib eye steak in a truffle sauce, which was presented very beautifully, accompanied with crisp green beans and small roast potatoes. I had ordered a pasta substitute for the potatoes, but I think the chef didnt want to ruin his presentation so served the potatoes anyway and added the pasta on a side dish. A minor detail in the scope of things. My three companions all were pleased with their choices, gnocchi, chicken and lamb. My only real complaint is that the chef is a little lazy when it comes to his sauces. He gets the flavours right, but doesnt take the extra time to reduce them to the proper viscosity. They come to the plate too thin and runny.
Although their dessert menu is adequate, we declined and finished with nicely done decaf cappuccinos.
Casa Dominica will offend no one. It is always consistent in its menu selections and its service. It is a lovely room, perhaps a little too noisy at times but otherwise it rates a solid 8 out of 10.