A Taste of Italy

2/1/2019 - Taylor Thomas

Kenosha's rich Italian heritage is obvious in the culinary scene.
Kenosha's rich Italian heritage is obvious in the culinary scene.
Kenosha's rich Italian heritage is obvious in the culinary scene.

Kenosha is filled with beautiful Italian family names like: Torcaso, Bonaretti, Cappozzo, Marano, Fioravanti, Tenuta, Lorenzo, LaMacchia and Zarletti.  I don’t happen to have an Italian name, but I can certainly appreciate much of the Italian culture right here in Kenosha, WI! Especially the food! According to the 2000 Census, about 11.5% of Kenosha residents identified as being of Italian descent, which is the highest concentration of any Wisconsin city!  Che fico! (That’s cool!)  One of those families is the Stella family and they run a popular establishment on the North side of town called Casa Capri.  While it is well-known to local Kenosha residents as it has been around for 55 years, I shockingly (even after almost 15 years of living here in Kenosha) had never eaten at Casa Capri!  You might be saying, “Mi scusi?” (Excuse me?) Yes…and so I said, “Mangiamo!” (Let’s eat!), with my trusty Italian translator in hand!

This charming restaurant opens in the late afternoon for la cena (dinner).  It was a Saturday night, and we did not make reservations, hoping the wait would be short. We walked into a warm ambiance – a cozy lit fireplace on a wintry night, and Frank Sinatra (or was it Dean Martin?) playing in the background; all at once making me feel nostalgic in a place I’d never been.  Luckily, we were seated almost immediately in a corner booth.  The place quickly filled up with couples, families, large groups and even some single diners.  Although we were all seated in a cozier environment, I didn’t feel anyone was intruding on my experience, or conversation.  It was comfortable, it was caratteristico (quaint).  I could run my fingers over the stone textured walls next to me – which I imagine kids do frequently, too.

On the table there was a map of Italy to start planning our next adventure, but I was grateful to presently be getting my own ‘Italian tour’ through some delicious homemade dishes. We started with un antipasto (an appetizer) - the Breaded Calamari.  It came with hot marinara dipping sauce & a lemon and it was delizioso (delicious)! Next up, I chose the French onion soup with glazed cheese; it warmed me to my core. There was a basket of soft bread to compliment the soup and a light house salad accompanied our entrees.  It may have been French onion, but this Italian family sure prepared it perfectly!

Le consiglio questo (I recommend this): ordering one of the entrees from the ‘Old Time Favorites,’ like the Pasta Combo.  I felt I got a buona selezione (good selection) for a taste of Italy with 2 Raviolis, 2 Stuffed Shells, Lasagna & Gnocchi!  The Chicken Parmigiano dish was also a buona selezione! To top off the evening, for the pezzo di resistenza (piece de resistance), the dolce (dessert): cheesecake with warm caramel & pecans and a whipped topping!  I melted. I literally melted. It was così buono (so goooood)! (Picture me with a solid kiss to my fingers and tossing the gesture in the air.) 

As there are a variety of Italian food options in Kenosha, I am so happy to have such a fine ristorante (restaurant) with the Stella’s Casa Capri on the Northside.  Now, go on your own “Taste of Italy” and Buon appetito (enjoy your meal)!  Be sure to check out Casa Capri and these other popular Italian spots during Kenosha Restaurant Week

Saluti! (Cheers!)

Community Blog Team 2018

Taylor Thomas

Community Blogger

Kenosha transplant. Semi-OCD, free spirit with fluctuating energy levels. Experienced traveler & tour guide. Enjoys being a tourist in her own town. Lover of Lake Michigan and historical character!