Il Casale - Lexington

Il Casale - Lexington

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.ilcasalelexington.com/
  • Phone: 7815385846x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dining Room 5-10pm
    Bar until 12pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Meter parking is available directly behind the restaurant in the public lot.
A word from Il Casale - Lexington
Located in the heart of Lexington Center, il Casale Cucina Campana + Bar is a restaurant from Chef Dante de Magistris and his brothers Damian de Magistris and Filippo de Magistris. il Casale Cucina Campana + Bar continues the story of il Casale Cucina Italiana that began in Belmont five years ago, but is a tour around the Campania region of Italy where the de Magistris family hails from.

il Casale Cucina Campana features an open kitchen clad with imported hand painted tiles from Vietri, classic Italian country furnishings made from reclaimed barn wood, and rustic metal ambient lighting pendants. A vintage map of the Campania region fills a floor to ceiling wall that is at the end of an 18 seat Carrara marble bar. il Casale Cucina Campana + Bar celebrates the ties to family and the roots from which they come, and Chef Dante and his brothers Filippo and Damian welcome each and every guest as an extension of the de Magistris family.
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Il Casale - Lexington reviews from OpenTable diners
162 reviews since April 22, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.9
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
77% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (85)fit for foodies (71)great for outdoor dining (43)special occasion (38)good for groups (33)vibrant bar scene (26)notable wine list (25)kid-friendly (22)hot spot (18)romantic (18)late-night find (8)great for lunch (8)scenic view (3)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Good enough
    Shirl
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Il Casale is a pleasant place for a meal and the ambiance is also pleasant. The food is not much to write home about, but it's not terrible either. The food does not have that Italian sparkle, where you know every ingredient has been evaluated and honed to perfection. It's just stuff thrown together, but it's good enough.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Second visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Loved it the first time. Disappointed in one of our three meals the second time. A little pricey for what you get. However, the manager took the price of the lasagna off of our bill.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sister restaurant in Belmont wins.
    BostonFoodie7VIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Great service. Solid food. Pricey. The menu execution is not as tasty in this new restaurant as their sister restaurant in Belmont. Huge improvements made since they opened, however.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not bad
    BritLoves2eat
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    I went here for my mother-in-law's birthday. We had a range of appetizers and mix of pasta/entrees then dessert. I ate calamari to begin which was battered and fried - pretty standard but not rubbery. A nice touch was some battered fried lemon slices too. Lasagna for entree was good as most I've eaten in the Sicilian style? (ricotta on top, no bechemal). I wasn't too hungry for dessert but had a bite of a chocolate cake which didn't appear too Italian and tasted like alcohol - which wasn't great given the plan to split it with a 3-year old. Panna cotta was better. The wine menu looked reasonable but unfortunately didn't look (to me) to mention the wine variety - instead focussing on region. Not much use to a novice in Italian wines...
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Be careful where you sit.
    nothanksVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Even though the restaurant was about half full throughout the time we were there, we were seated by the hostess adjacent to a door that led opened to the outdoor table area of the restaurant. Every time wait staff went in or out, we were blasted with an exaggerated gust of wind first due to air pressure change from the AC, then due to the temperature differential with the outdoors. If they understood the conditions, I can't imagine why they would put a table there. Service was slow, dragging out the whole experience. Food was quite good once it came, but the conditions were so unpleasant we skipped coffee and dessert. The Belmont operation with the same name is far more pleasant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • gluten-free friendly
    BobL
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Loved the gluten-free menu, and the many wonderful choices. The only thing missing is a gluten-free beer.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Golfnut
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Food was excellent and our waiter, Caleb, was most helpful and friendly. Looking forward to next visit.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Better than expected
    bugin
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    After the Globe panned Il Casale, we almost changed our reservations. Actually the food was very good; we chose both dishes the Globe liked like lasagna classico, and some they panned like the spinach lasagna with cheese, and experimented with the seafood stew. The eggplant was great. The flavorings were all excellent, the portion sizes reasonable and attractive. The service was attentive bordering on intrusive, maybe trying too hard after the review. I would go back again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Kitchen was really slow
    RedBarnDiner
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    The restaurant was half full and still it took about 45 minutes for us to get our entrees. The bruschetta was soggy but at least that and the bread gave us something to munch on while waiting. The staff was friendly but they didn't seem to have it together. The setting was pleasant and stylish.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good but overpriced
    SueSVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    The service was very good, our waitress was attentive and very helpful with menu choices. The food was good, not great, and overpriced for what you get, very small portions, no side dishes. I liked the atmosphere. At these prices we would only come back for special occasions, and there are other places we'd rather go if spending that much.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great addition to Lex scene
    lslexington
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Great food and wines; attentive service. Wonderful to have this addition to Lexington's restaurant list for a great dining option.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Il Casale Lexington was OK
    kjohnsonVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    This restaurant was OK. Service was slow, although waiters were very nice/helpful. The bar did not have a large selection of scotch or vodka. The food was OK. My pasta dish was burned around the edges. I know they want to differentiate Lexington from their Belmont restaurant, but I'd put on the menu some of the popular dishes from Belmont that people love (ie. their french fries and some of their pasta dishes!). The Lexington restaurant is still finding its way. As a big fan of Il Casale Belmont, I have one thought - why does Lexington need to have a different concept/menu than Belmont? Why not have them the same? It might be more successful!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding!
    Lucy
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    I have always loved the Belmont location and I was excited when they expanded into Lexington. They continued to deliver the delicate balance of family favorites (polpette de nonna) and interesting takes on Italian dishes. Love it and will be a regular now!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wait Staff
    more2luv
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Our waiter was very friendly, helpful. With the food explanations, along with suggesting a wine for my wife, (which she enjoyed) We plan to visit as often as we can. Thank you. Keep up the great work!!!!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Italian fair
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The food was delicious and the overall restaurant was nice, but overpriced for what it was. It kind of ruined the dining experience. Paying $15 for a half portion of gnocchi was ridiculous. The price of the food should be less since unless you include the sides. All sides for main dishes are ala cart. You can't be fancy if your ambience is casual.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tried a new restaurant
    localdiner
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    We think that it was overpriced for the quality of the food. The food was good but it wasn't great. Also, our group felt that the menu was somewhat limited in choices. However, the drinks (albeit expensive) and desserts were stupendous as was the side dish of cauliflower with truffle that we got.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Il Casale Lexington- First Try
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Good food, however, the 2 hosts could use some customer service training and skills. We had a reservation which got messed up and we ended up waiting for over 1/2 hour due to the hosts confusion and error. We finally got seated but with no apology or any acknowledgement of it being their confusion. Complimentary drinks or desserts not offered which would have been the classy thing to do and which seasoned hosts/restaurant managers would have done. Put a damper on the dining experience.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ukombozi
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Food was very flavorful and well-prepared and presented, but the menu is (intentionally) focused on dishes native to the Campania region, so the menu choices seem pretty limited. Don't know if slow service is a wider issue, but in our case, the main courses were very slow to arrive.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great experience
    richard
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Great pasta and drinks, bartender Sean was welcoming and knowledgeable
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • trencherman
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Although newly opened, Il Casale of Lexington has already smoothed its operation. It is immensely popular, and seems to attract a younger crowd. Its traditional Italian menu has more courses than we wanted, yet everything we ordered was delicious and interesting. Service, by a team, is friendly and considerate. One con is that each course must be ordered separately, and prices are high. But we enjoyed our dining experience, and no doubt will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    Foodie87VIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Loved the Belmont menu, decor and level of service so was looking forward to trying Lexington restaurant. Waited half hour for server though water filled twice. Finally stopped a server and she immediately apologized, took order though not her table and had bread sent. She was great but while food and drink arrived, no one ever checked on us if needed anything or satisfied with entree. Food was ok but not quality of apps or entrees I expected based on Belmont.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food is Terrific!
    TCandSEM
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    This restaurant is a great find in Lexington. I've had dinner at their Belmont location and the noise level was unbearable and I've never been back. This location is different - a bit loud but very tolerable. The service was impeccable as we were well taken care of throughout the evening. The food is outstanding! Highly recommended gem in Lexington.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience!
    bmiller
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    We had just seen the movie Chef, and we were starving (it was 9 pm). The restaurant was lively but not packed, and our server was wonderfully attentive. We ended up sharing bruschetta and breaded, fried mozzarella and we each had the classical lasagna (especially yum). It was all well prepared and tasty, and the portions were the right size (at least for us). I was especially happy with the bruschetta because often the portion size of this treat is huge. We each had two pieces for the modest price of $5. The prices were generally not low but not as high as other reviews had led me to believe. We will return. It's especially nice to have it near Lexington's wonderful movie theater.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice,
    TMsbh
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Had a nice dinner. Was great to sit outside. Food was good. Service a bit slow.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great experience
    ambiencecumgoodfood
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Restaurant offered exceptionally good food. Overall, a great experience...we will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Thoroughly enjoyable experience
    localfoodieVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We dined there recently and it was wonderful! We were promptly seated upon arrival. The restaurant was nearly full. The wait staff was very attentive and incredibly knowledgeable. Caleb was our primary server and Caiti on occasion. We were provided with great descriptive detail on the menu along with several recommendations--which we are glad we went with. The food was prepared to perfection and incredibly flavorful. Our group sampled a number of appetizers ( bruschetta, peperoni, ricotta fresca,calamari, cod fritters and octopus). All were cooked to perfection and delicious. For our meals we had a lasagna dish a collection of seafood with julienne zucchini prepared very tastefully with herbs and seasoning. Thank you for ALL!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    A welcome addition to Lexington's dining options. Food is excellent and not the ordinary Italian fare. I plan to work my way through the entire menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Il Casale is a keeper
    Celticsfan08
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    I needed a recommendation on where to meet a friend after work in the Lexington area and a colleague recommended Il Casale. We sat at the bar and shared a couple of appetizers including a mussels, marsala, cured lemon, pancetta, cured tomatoes that you scooped onto slice of bread that was out of this world followed by steamed striped bass, potatoes and pepper dish that was equally as good. If you like Italian wines, they seemed to have a nice selection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still working out the kinks
    FoodiePlusVIP
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    I expect this restaurant like Dante's others to eventually be worth the visit, however, they are still working out the kinks related to a newly opened restaurant. Service was spotty at best. Either we had everyone checking on us or no one. My pasta with clams was so hot (spicy) I had to send it back and learned I wasn't the only one. When the replacement came out, the pasta wasn't cooked and inedible. My friend's pasta with veal was perfectly cooked but a bit bland. That said, our appetizer, melon, cheese and prosciutto was excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dante
    Gramadge
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    After several great meals at Il Casale in Belmont we decided to try Dante's new venture in Lexington. It is great! The setting cozy but not crowded, country and comfortable w lots of wood and an open kitchen but without the noise of dishes and pans crashing and clanging. The service was efficient and friendly without feeling rushed or worse, ignored. Dante stopped by our table to ask if we were enjoying everything. We found he knew my son-in-law and were treated to two wonderful side dishes, sautéed chicory w pine nuts and raisins and the funghi. We loved the acqua pazza w bass, scallops, calamari, shrimp, clams, pomodori, capers and zucchini in a bread sopping (broth?). A definite keeper. We will be returning soon w friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but not great
    Twice
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    We are familiar with the Belmont restaurant of the same name where the food is really special. Here they opened a very handsome place featuring good Italian food at moderate prices. The wine list features several interesting and fairly priced reds. The Nero d'Avola is a standout at $40. One would not call the portions generous but the house made pasta with clams was very nice. The chicken liver pate appetizer hit the spot as did the warm olives. Service was casual but attentive. There just weren't enough "special" items to encourage one to return.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great and consistent
    CaitZ
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    Large party with gluten and nut allergies - kitchen and entire staff were accommodating and attentive. Excellent service, food and overall experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Price vs Portion Size
    bayleafcommVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    I thought the prices were high for the portion size
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Late Night
    KimDVIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    We went after a movie. The bar staff was exceptional, totally service oriented. The food was superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely dinner!
    latinmom
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    We had not been there before, so we got the "fiat" chef's choice menu. The selection was excellent and the amount of food was huge! A bit pricey, but otherwise great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Doesn't disappoint
    Tmini
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    We love Dante in Cambridge and Il Casale in Belmont so had to try the newest Il Casale. We went for my husbands birthday with our 2 teenagers and all thoroughly enjoyed the food and environment. We sat at an awkward table with a view into the kitchen and prep areas and could clearly see our prosciutto being sliced to order. Not great for my vegetarian daughter to watch...that's my only complaint. We liked the atmosphere ...lively and loud but a nice open space compared to when the place was a not Your Average Joes and very dark and crowded. The foods amazing...Neapolitan street food style so order lots of small dishes and share amongst your table mates. We didn't have one dish that wasn't delicious!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • notgoodVIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    The service was extremely slow, we got there when the doors opened and still within an hour did not even have our glass of wine! The menu is too limited (i.e. only one salad). A baked gnocchi appetizer is $18. We thought the prices were too high. My sons pasta and meatballs was $39. We were very disappointed and will not rush back. Maybe for a drink at the bar without kids but even then the menu wasn't great just to get a drink and pick on an appetizer. Even before we ordered we thought we wished we were someplace else based on the offerings.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Evening
    JeffVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We had a great evening at Il Casale. First of all, our waitress Katie, was terrific. She explained the menu very well and you could tell she had a passion for the food. The menu and the offerings are unique and definitely not standard Italian fare. We tried several of the appetizers and entrees and we were not disappointed in any of them. The only part that didn't meet our expectations were the desserts (we would skip the next time). But we will definitely return and will always ask for Katie.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Review
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    The food is average with small portions and very expensive. It is an interesting wine list but 3 times retail. The waiter was good; he poured wine into a dirty glass and was able to take $9 off the bill.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great addition to LEX!
    MarKevVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Absolutely enjoyed ourselves! We were greeted by the most friendly duo of hostesses. In the beginning there was some confusion on the servers. We initially had Damien, then Marcy took over. Both were delightful! My husband & I started by sharing a plate of delicious fried calamari w/ crispy lemon. I loved the concept of fried lemon slices. Yum! Then for entrees, we both had pasta. He had cuttlefish w/ black ink pasta, and I had clams w/ thick spaghetti. Both dishes were excellently made w/ homemade pastas! We finished our meal w/ a slice of really good tiramisu. The bottle of Montepulchiano was a great choice. We also enjoyed meeting Dante, chef/owner. That was a nice touch for him to visit our table. We look forward to dining here again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.