Castalia 997 Restaurant & Lounge is an upscale Italian restaurant. This restaurant is a hidden gem of its neighborhood. The interior is beautifully decorated and all of the plates are put together with an artistic eye that matches the decor, elegant and stylish.
The Castalia 997 menu is full of pizza, pasta and grilled entrées. Specialties of the house include spaghetti carbonara with romano cheese, onions, peas and pancetta, as well as orecchiette Castalia, which has sausage, broccoli rabe, cannellini beans, garlic cloves and topped with extra virgin olive oil. The bar has its own menu with small bites like wings and ravioli alongside elevated finger food such as burgers, sandwiches and New York fried shrimp.
Reservations are a necessity on a Fri or Sat evening. We were immediately seated. Appetizers looked very tempting but we know the portions are good size so, to our loss, we skipped the appetizers. The Mediterranean salad was a pleasant surprise with canned pears, cranberries, and mandarin orange slices. I had a veal dish with artichoke hearts in a light tomato sauce. There could have been more sliced artichoke hearts. It came with a few small red potatoes and nicely cooked asparagus spears. I would have preferred a little pasta to the potatoes. My wife had a shrimp and linguini topped with some arugula. The three shrimp were large and the macaroni properly cooked. We were full but went for the tartuffo anyway. Creamy ice cream and lots of chocolate sauce topped off a near perfect meal. I had a Ruffino Chianti that was delicious. The waitress was most pleasant. But, we did not come there for the food. The duo Alan and Eve were performing. We have been following them for about 6 years. They sing karaoke style, and know hundreds of songs. They take requests. We think they sound like some of the people that sang the songs originally. Eve sang "Believe" by Cher and sounded like Cher. Alan sang a few Sinatra songs and sounded like Frankie. They have a faithful following. At least 17 diners (out of about 30, the restaurant seats only about 50) were there to hear them and dance to their music. And some of these dancers could be performing on "Dancing With the Stars". They were that good! And they are friendly, meaning you can start a conversation with these total strangers and be treated like old friends. All in all, go dine at Castalia for a delicious meal. If you go when Alan and Eve are performing it is a special bonus and expect to be three times entertained, once by the meal, twice by Alan And Eve and third by the other dancers.
Prices are average and expect to pay about $125. per couple including drinks, meal, salad, a shared dessert, coffee, tax and tip.
UFirst visit all was good; service, food quality and portions very good. 2nd visit was like a different restaurant; service slow, had to ask for water. Food was poor quality, ordered a veal dish recommended by the waiter. Veal Laura supposed to be in white wine and mushrooms. It was actually veal in mushroom soup, very salty and not edible. Also orchietta castalia another horrible tasting dish. Pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe, very little sausage. The best dish of the night was the fennel salad.
Will not be going back.
New Owners so the restaurant was empty New owners have been in the business for years so they know what they are doing They all were very pleasant Quiet little Italian restaurant. John is the owner and he was really helpful. We would definitely go back. Prices are fair.
Used to go to this restaurant frequently for good Italian food. It changed hands recently. The food is still very good, maybe better and the service was good as well. However the prices have gone up significantly and it is no longer a good value.
We had a great time. Food was good and the environment very warm and inviting.
Second time at the restaurant and we were not disappointed. The food is great and the service impeccable. Our serve is very attentive and very professional.
New owner seems that prices have come down and food was pretty good.Saturday night 1 waiter 1 food runner and 1 busboy a little overwhelmed.Time will tell will We Will be back and will recommend to others
7 friends went to Castalia on a Thursday night because of their ad - Thursday Night - buy 1 get 1 dinner free. The restaurant was empty, one couple was finishing and leaving when we arrived.. After sitting for 15 minutes, it took someone getting up and asking for menus and water before another 10 minutes went by and we got both. We informed the waiter that we were there for the buy 1 get 1 free special, and he told us he would not honor this for a party of 7. (it does not say that in the paper) We told him we would split up and sit at a table for 4 and 3 and he said he still would not honor the advertised special. He told us the best he could do was give us 20%. After thinking about it when he left for us to review the menu, we decided that was not really a fair exchange for the advertised special. When questioned, he told us that he now knew what he was dealing with and ok he will honor the buy 1 get 1 but we have to have enough coupons to get the 3 free dinners. (which it did not say in the paper to bring because it was not really a coupon). His attitude was not great from the start but quickly went down hill when we questioned his 20% offer. So much so that we actually thought about walking out. We decided to stay since it was a cold night, and 20 minutes later 2 small baskets of bread came to us, after asking if we could get some bread for the table. The meal finally came and the waiter was not really interested in serving us with courteous service and it was not an enjoyable meal. We could sense his annoyance with us. Although the food was good, we would not go back there nor would we recommend it to the 700 people that live in our development. It's a shame because it's close, convenient and the old owners made the place a real pleasant local restaurant. I can bring my money and business to restaurants that want to service their customers politely and graciously and honor their ads in the paper.
Food was good but they cater to an older crowd, looks like most of the people who live in the 55 and older community. Most of the patrions knew each other and had ties with the entertainment people.
Castalia is not what it used to be since changing hands. A sad disappointment.
This restaurant recently changed hands and I was worried. Happy to be so wrong. The new owner has kept everything I liked and added a few new things which I really like. Service is very good. I love the fact that they remembered me on my second visit. This is a great neighborhood spot. Yes it is in a strip mall, but once inside you will find the restaurant very inviting.
This was our second visit since the ownership changed. The quality of the food is stiil excellent.
We were happy to see one of our favorite entertainers, Alan & Eve, performing on this particular Saturday evening.
As always, as long as the food, service and atmosphere remain the same, I will continue to be a patron. I highly recommend Castalia 997 to anyone.
Last time there was at least 7 years ago. New ownership and renovations. 50's music at 8pm. Food was good and I would go back for more.
My dinner was incredible. I had a stuffed artichoke that was chockfull of flavor and chicken cacciatori that would rival anyone's Italian grandmother's recipe. Our waiter was fabulous.
Great food that is monitored by owners to ensure that you have a great time!
This is a regular visit whenever dad is visiting from Florida as the food is fabulous, the service is always exemplary, and the Captain & Laura make us feel like part of the family. Everything is prepared to order and the deserts are all homemade by Laura. I highly recommend it for any occasion, or just for a wonderful night out.
The owners work very hard very friendly and the food is always good the entertainment is always enjoyable great evening !
Consistently good dishes and great cocktails. Friendly warm atmosphere. And lots of great specials and menus choices!
Best restaurant in the area & our favorite. Outstanding food, great ambiance, attentive servers. Owners are always there, friendly and welcoming. Great dining experience all around.
We enjoyed the entire night. For apps we loved the warm stuffed figs wrapped in prosciutto and the salad special was so refreshing. The pasta special with lobster served in a delicious lemoncello cream sauce was out of this world and my husbands steak was served exactly as he asked for it. Everything was so good my mouth is still watering several days later just thinking about it. Cant wait to go back. ALSO- prices were very reasonable and portions were larger than expected.
Having been here many times, I guess I've become a regular, if not a fan. We mostly come for the friendly atmosphere and great food choices. They also accommodate us with a smile whenever we make a special request to the chef. From stuffed artichokes to cappellini with baby shrimp and broccoli topped with a light tomato sauce (A special request), we have never been disappointed. We hope Castalia 997 continues to provide a venue that includes live entertainment (love Alan & Eve) and dancing. The restaurant is often filled with many "regulars" and we are happy to be counted with them.
This trip was so bad I cannot put into words how my experience went. Whoever was the manager the night I went needs to be fired. He ruined a night of fun and He harassed my friends and I.
We were there for almost three hours in total and only two other couples came in to eat. The place was empty and sad.
What a fun place. The food keeps getting better each time we go and the entertainment is an added plus. The owners couldn't be nicer and they aim to please everyone. You will love it!
I was delighted with my meal on my first visit and this, my second visit, did not disappoint. There were varied choices both from the regular and special menus. The server was most helpful in recommending dishes.
I also enjoy the full bar service. The bartender customized a cocktail for my friend.
I'll return to this restaurant in the future knowing that the food and the service are excellent. I'll also recommend this restaurant unreservedly and enthusiastically.
The owners, Captain and his wife Laura, paid attention to details. They made sure our dining experience was nothing short of our expectations. My wife had scallops, and I feasted on the house special stuffed veal chop. Excellent food, quiet and nice atmosphere, fair pricing, What more could you ask for? We will return!
It was my turn to pick the restaurant so the pressure was on. Thank goodness I chose Castalia. My family ( table of 12) couldn't say enough good things about our dinning experience. There was a lot to choose from even though it was a special menu, everything was delicious, reasonably priced, we were not rushed and the service was great. We plan on returning for Mothers Day!
This is a great place for dinner or just drinks. The owners, Cap and Laura are very cordial and make it a point to visit the tables to ensure their guests are being taken care of properly. The food is always prepared well and the choices are excellent. The weekend entertainment never fails to get everyone on the dance floor or at least, tapping their feet to the sounds of pop or oldies tunes. My girlfriend and I are becoming regulars and we see many friends there also, I highly recommend Castalia 997 for a fun time or for a romantic occasion.
These days, there are less and less venues that provide both affordable, high-quality food and service as well as excellent entertainment. I hope Castalia 997 continues on this successful path.
We went for the entertainment but will definitely be back for the food. It was obviously a very busy night and they handled the crowd like professionals. Every seat was taken, standing room only at the bar and from where I sat I could see many people without reservations were very disappointed. However, our table of 6 ordered appetizers and main courses all with special instructions and everything came out perfect. Kudos to the chef.
This is an average restaurant with very reasonable wine prices.
I brought my extended family for their first time for the Wednesday night half priced pasta night. We all ordered different pasta dishes. Super happy, huge portions and terrific service. Desserts were awesome. Definitely will be back, soon.
This restaurant was in a strip mall. It looked like a dive from the outside but what a find! We entered through an office building and found a lovely restaurant that we will definitely return to. The owners & their staff were so genuinely nice and the food was really good. Portions were a nice size and there were a lot of specials not on the menu. It seemed to be a neighborhood gem with a lot of returning patrons. We did not know that there was music and dancing when we made the reservation but that added to such a lovely evening. The friendly atmosphere and warm ambience was most appreciated. They did not rush us and let us stay as long as we wanted to enjoy the entertainment.
We were seated at a small table in a large dining room. All the tables were on top of each other with all this open space and the hostess asked me to move my seat back closer to the wall...very odd! Then we found out they had entertainment which was nice and to reserve room for dancing the need to cram everyone into a corner was evident. Waiters were bumping into diners trying to service tables and it was very uncomfortable. I ordered a drink before dinner which was served in a very very small glass...perhaps 4 or 5 oz. The glass was overflowing with ice and I took 2 sips from a cocktail straw and it was gone and so was the $10.00 for it. After questioning the waiter about the drink they did bring another one out; BRAVO! My veal dish was good and my wifes fish dish was exceptional, however, going to dinner is the experience and ambience which neither was found at Castiligia 997.
Definitely our favorite restaurant by far. We try to mix it up and go to others restaurants but every time we return to Castalia we wonder why we would ever go anyplace else.
Totally enjoyed our evening. Out for a birthday celebration and we definitely picked the right spot. We all loved our choices, some from the special menu and some from the regular one. You really cant go wrong. Great Martini menu, music was good for listening and dancing. Prices are very reasonable and portions were plenty. Everyone left full and happy.
This place was great. I had requested a reservation over Open Table, which was extremely easy. When we arrived, the staff was helpful, and quick to find us our table. A mustached man came over and let my girlfriend into her seat on a booth by pulling out the table, and shook my hand. Just a really nice was to be greeted.
The staff was helpful and friendly. And my goodness, the food was great. We had it in our heads to get desert, but didn't anticipate eating everything on our plates! And even then, we opted to go with their carrot cake. Super great choice.
A guitarist came in a short ways into our meal and was right next to us. But honestly, the volume was totally fine. My girlfriend and I were able to continue a conversation without any trouble. The whole place was reasonably priced, and it really made our evening special.
We were there the night before Valentines day so it was not full. The service was very good. Staff was frendly and attentive. Definitely worth returning again.
Went to Castalia 997 for my husband's birthday dinner. We were seated immediately. It wasn't very busy when we arrived, but people continued to come in the whole time we were eating. The noise level was fine, and we didn't feel crowded. We weren't rushed at all, and we were asked how everything was, by Captain and a woman, who I assume is his wife. One of the waiters, who was not ours to begin with, but asked us about dessert, overheard me telling my husband to pick since it was his birthday. Well, he came out with our dessert with a candle in it. It's those little touches that makes you come back to a restaurant. If there was anything negative to speak of, they are minor: the first is that the waiter neglected to tell us the specials and didn't ask if we wanted more to drink. As it turns out, I overheard the specials, and wouldn't have wanted anything from it anyway) And I had a voucher and there were no issues with that as well. All in all, a very delightful dining experience.
We have been going to Castalia 997 for about 6 years, From day one the Captain and Laura welcomed us as if we had been regulars for years. Their food is always exceptional and their specials, especially their fish, steak, and chops more than rival the more expensive name restaurants in northern New Jersey. Their Saturday night music and dancing as always a lot of fun and adds to Castalia's excellence!
Everything was out of this world, from the beautifully presented Mozzarella, eggplant and roasted pepper stack with a basil dressing as an appetizer, to the black pasta with cockles and HUGE sized shrimp in a light garlic and oil sauce and the chicken with bacon, roasted red pepper in a white sauce that I couldn't get enough of, finished with a slice of homemade carrot cake and lemon meringue pie. A memorable Sunday dinner. They were very busy yet the service was attentive and accommodating.
My husband and I have been going to Castalia for a couple years. We haven't had a bad meal yet. The food is fresh and delicious, the desserts homemade and scrumptious . The owners are very personable and care about their customers. Very cozy atmosphere!