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Casa Villa, East Stamford (Former Myrna's space)

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Went for the first time on Friday night. Overall, I'd say excellent, especially when you consider the general state of sit-down Mexican dining in the area. But not just because of that..overall very, very good.

Took my daughter (11), and a friend of her's.

Drinks: I had a nice margarita, Don Julio plata (no Centennario, unfortunately) , Cointreu, and fresh lime juice (all their margie's are fresh lime (++). Asked for up, no salt...the drink had quite a bit of ice still in it, so could have been strained better, but delicous, nonetheless. Girls had virgin coladas, and enjoyed.

Chips/Dips: good, fresh chips, salsa was very good, quite spicy (too much for the girls, but good for me). also had a nice guac platter. Good flavor, smoothly pureed (I'd prefer a bit courser, but no real complaint here.

Girls ordered 2 shrimp tacos each on flour tortillas (gringas...). Initially came out with two sauces on top, one on each taco, one red, one green. As soon as the waitress (different from the guy who took out order) saw the girls, she mentioned that the salsas would likely be too spicy for them, and asked if we'd like a redo. Girls said yest, and they re-did, no complaints, with a milder salsa. Shrimp was very tasty and tender, not overcooked. And cheap...$3 per taco, I think.

I had a platter, 3 tacos, in proper, doubled corn tortillas, rice, refried beans. Had one carnitas, one al pastor, one adobado. . That's the rank order....carnitas were good, but not as flavorful as the other two, while the adobado was delicious, best of the 3. Toppings the appropriate cilantro and onions, plus lime wedges. Rice and beans were fine as well.

They wanted to serve us dessert, but we had to run.

Ambiance: Clean, nicely styled room, not overdone faux-mex. Nice mid-level dining area, not overly fancy, no where near dive-y. Nice mix of families and singles, primarily gringos at the time. Staff was very nice, attentive, and happy to see us. I hope they keep it up, and don't wind up gringo-fying the menu, either...we definitely don't need another "cheesy beans and hot sauce" type place. .. keep it real.

All in all, a great place. Definitely on the go-to list, and my top choice for a sit down Mexican lunch or dinner in the area.

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Casa Villa Restaurant
182 W Main St, Stamford, CT 06902

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