La Casa Nostra Ristorante Returns
Story and photos by Sidney Ulakovic
“Everyone who comes in says ‘We’re so glad you’re open again. We get to come back to our favourite restaurant,’” manager Miranda Hill says of beloved Thunder Bay eatery La Casa Nostra Ristorante reopening its doors earlier this year. Owner Nick DeAgazio is back to serving up a taste of Italy following a three-year COVID-related closure, and he’s looking forward to seeing new and familiar faces alike.
DeAgazio was born in Calabria and lived there until he was 11 years old. La Casa Nostra, which translates to “our house,” serves authentic Calebrese cuisine as an homage to DeAgazio’s childhood in Italy. He starts each day preparing homemade dishes to be served that evening, from creamy seafood lasagna to sweet stuffed peppers, and a tangy house vinaigrette so good you could drink it.
Diners can expect the same hospitality from La Casa Nostra as before. The dining room itself is a feast for the eyes and ears. Diners are welcomed with live piano played throughout the evening. Once seated, there is plenty to look at, as DeAgazio has crafted his own art gallery, with each wall featuring its own proud display of his family and heritage. If you’re hoping to take advantage of the summer weather, ask to be seated on the patio, where you’ll feel as if you’re on your own Calabrian terrace surrounded by lush greenery. “People feel like they’re at home here,” Hill says, with DeAgazio quick to add “at home with service.”
It’s DeAgazio’s service that truly sets the restaurant apart. He can be found making his rounds from table to table throughout the evening, introducing himself to first-time guests or catching up with regulars. “He cares about his customers,” Hill says. “So he visits them throughout the night to make sure they’re comfortable.”
Look out for dinner specials on the restaurant’s Instagram @lacasanostrathunderbay, and be sure to ask about their unlisted wine selection.