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Casanova's Stone Hearth Pizza, Oakton - Closed


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SWMBO and I visited Casanova's for the first time today for lunch. It's in a space where Jerry's Pizza and Subs was in Hunter Mill Plaza near the corner of Hunter Mill and Maple Ave in Oakton. The sign in the window says "stone hearth pizza", but I couldn't see the oven. The grill's right behind the cash register and there's not much of a kitchen I could see. There are about twelve two- to four-top tables and one TV. Their mission statement states they're "specializing in Italian comfort foods using only the highest quality, fresh, wholesome ingredients & have a strong focus on environmentally friendly recycling practices." I would agree the ingredients seem to be higher quality than some sub joints, although (at least today) the unripe Roma tomatoes could've been left off the sub. I didn't see any hint of recycling practices out front and our meals came on plastic plates. Maybe they pick through the trash and pull out recycling...right. :)

I had the Chicken Cheesesteak sub. The chicken was chopped breast and was grilled with nice spices plus onions. I chose not to have the green peppers, but the sub normally comes with that vile vegetable included. The bread was warmed and made crusty in the oven before the chicken and onions were applied. The bread was really nice...a good crunchy, tasty Italian sub roll. It is extremely similar to the bread that Luciano's (a few doors down) serves. I needed to add some salt and I would've loved some oil and red wine vinegar, but overall the sub was pretty good.

My wife had a slice of cheese pizza. The crust was nicely charred on the bottom and very, very thin. It wasn't very crusty, however, and certainly wasn't like a cracker. The crust had good flavor and was fairly chewy. I guess this is personal taste, but I would've preferred a more crusty bottom with some chewiness, but overall I'd rate the crust a 3.5/5. The sauce was tangy and tomato-y and the pizza was not over-sauced. The cheese was fine...nothing exciting. Some of the white pizzas that were on the counter looked very good. The spinach was abundant and looked to be high quality.

We're certainly going to go back. They're still figuring out what needs to be done, I think. The executive chef was our cashier and some young guns and he were discussing details of the restaurant while we were there. The young guns spoke Italian and the chef looks like he's Italian, too. My wife suggested oil/vinegar carafes and they agreed that would be good to have. They said they had to get red wine vinegar, though. (Shouldn't that be a staple in an Italian restaurant?) I'm curious how a whole pizza comes out of the oven, so that's in our future. I like the sub rolls, too, so I'll figure out what it takes to make the sub even better than it was. I'd bet the calzones will be good because the crust was tasty on the pizza. We'll have to give one a try sometime, too.

Overall, I think Casanova's deserves to be on the list of Oakton cheap eats. (BTW, our sub/slice/2 fountain drink order was $15)

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I chose not to have the green peppers, but the sub normally comes with that vile vegetable included.

Why are we hating on green peppers? When picked at the right time and cooked properly, they give a dish a nice bittersweet herbiness, not to mention a hit of veggie healthiness....plus, they grow up to be red peppers, which are delicious.

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Why are we hating on green peppers? When picked at the right time and cooked properly, they give a dish a nice bittersweet herbiness, not to mention a hit of veggie healthiness....plus, they grow up to be red peppers, which are delicious.

Ugh. "Nice bittersweet herbiness" = nasty, pungent, always-detectable flavor that I detest. Sorry, it's just my palate. I'll agree that they grow up to be something I quite enjoy eating...let's just not rush the process and eat them before their time.

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The red or orange color is the sign of ripeness of a pepper. Eating green bell peppers {as opposed to green chiles} is like drinking Verjus instead of a properly ripe Ribolla Gialla {preferably fermented in a clay amphora burried in the ground without the use of sulphur!) :)

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Drove by today. It's closed and it looks like it has been for some time now. I have to say, after I went a second time, I decided I wouldn't go back. I had the most ridiculous "panini" that I've ever been served and asked to pay money for. Sorry to see it gone just because it had local, Italian owners, but it's the way of the business, I guess.

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