Bucks County Herald

Susan S. Yeske: On the Food Circuit

Domenica’s Sicilian home-style cooking

Sal DiMaggio was out to dinner eating his favorite dish, vodka penne, when he came to a realization.

“I thought, my family’s vodka penne is so much better than this,” he said.

That was the spark that motivated his family to open Casale DiMaggio (casale translated is farmhouse), a restaurant featuring his mother’s traditional Sicilian cooking. His parents, John and Domenica, already had expertise in the restaurant business, having owned a pizzeria in Brooklyn before their move to Perkasie.

The family knew that customers would love Domenica’s homestyle cooking. “Every time I had people over at the house they would go crazy for our food,” she said.

Casale DiMaggio also serves wood-fired pizzas; you can smell the wood smoke when you park outside the restaurant. Pizzas include a traditional margherita with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and the popular sausage with broccoli rabe. The also popular Quattro Gusti features artichokes, ham, mozzarella and hot dogs, a popular topping that Sal DiMaggio first discovered in Italy.

“Hot dogs are on pizzas everywhere in Italy,” he said, although it’s unusual to find them on pizzas here.

While the pizzas are popular among customers, it’s Domenica DiMaggio’s homestyle cooking that is the star of the menu.

The restaurant offers traditional Italian favorites such as penne with vodka sauce, chicken alfredo, lemon chicken, ravioli and a choice of veal, chicken or shrimp parmigiana. Specials include dishes such as lobster ravioli and zucchini with shrimp in a white sauce.

But those who love the distinctive flavors of the island of Sicily choose her casale special pasta with diced eggplant, mini meatballs, sautéed ham and carrots, or her casale special entrée of stuffed eggplant with a side of meatballs.

The casale special appetizer of panelli (chickpea fritters), potato croquette, fried ricotta ball and mini rice balls also comes from her Sicilian heritage. The family also makes their own garlic bread, which the customers love, they said.

“We use only the best ingredients,” said Domenica DiMaggio, but making a good dish is also about the passion for good food,” she said.

The family renovated the restaurant, which was home to Dam Good Café until it moved to nearby Dublin, giving it a Mediterranean feel. “We wanted it to be comfortable,” said Domenica DiMaggio. “We want people to feel at home when they are here.”

They also set out to craft a menu that was different from anything else in the area. “These are the dishes that we grew up with,” said Sal DiMaggio, who works at the restaurant with his parents and brother and sister Joe and Angelina.

In the works is a family-style Sunday dinner where families can sit down together and order a meal of salad, Sunday sauce with meats and pasta. It will feel like home, says Domenica DiMaggio.

CASALE DiMAGGIO
1167 Dublin Pike
(Route 313), Dublin
215-249-1404
casaledimaggion.com

Hours:
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.

Cost:
Appetizers $8-$13, entrees $9-$25, pizza $10-$11.75.

Customer favorites:
Vodka penne, casale pasta, pizza with sausage and broccoli rabe, rice balls.


susan.yeske@gmail.com




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