Neapolitan Cuisine at Casa Neri

The new Italian restaurant on Fifth Avenue South serves up unique flavor combinations in the Napoli tradition

Casa Neri serves up unique flavor combinations in the Napoli tradition. Photo courtesy Casa Neri
Casa Neri serves up unique flavor combinations in the Napoli tradition. Photos courtesy Casa Neri

Ask Francesca Neri about her new Italian restaurant and she beams. In mid-December, Neri and her brother, Andrea, opened the doors to Casa Neri, located on Fifth Avenue South, and the race for foodies to secure a table commenced. The Neris also own Molto Trattoria and co-own La Pescheria, both also located on Fifth Avenue South. However, as Neri points out, Casa Neri “is like nothing else here,” she says. “It’s a boutique restaurant.”

Casa Neri’s chef Marco Nitride. Photo courtesy Casa Neri
Chef Marco Nitride.

Interesting enough, the sibling duo drew their inspiration for Casa Neri when dining in Naples, Italy. They were mesmerized by the cuisine of master chef Marco Nitride. The Neris could not get enough of his gourmet food and flavor combinations, like mango and tuna, and wanted to share them with diners. So, they boldly brought him to Naples, Florida, to open a restaurant with a new concept. Read more about Casa Neri and chef Nitride below.

The Casa Neri space was originally intended to be an Italian deli. Plans changed when they met Nitride, however.

If you are looking for more traditional Italian cuisine, Neri says Molto’s menu is for you. Casa Neri, she explains, is for more adventurous diners—for those who travel and like to experience new things. Thus far, that appears to be a lot of people; reservations can be hard to come by. Casa Neri is truly boutique dining, with only 25 seats and a small bar. That bar extends from a glass case stocked with cured meats, seafood, and cheeses, a nod to the original plans. 

Photo courtesy Casa Neri 1

The contents of the case are artfully sliced and arranged on boards for appetizers. Some boards contain thin slices of tuna and salmon rather than the more typical prosciutto. Accoutrements include fruit jellies among other offerings. 

Salmon carpaccio is not marinated in a traditional lemon and olive oil mix. Instead, beets are used, and the root vegetables offer a touch of sweetness to the fish.

“The chef likes to use a contrast of flavors in many of the dishes,” Neri explains. 

The predominant methods of cooking include sous vide and baking. Lamb is slow cooked for 14 hours, resulting in meat that is tender and full-flavored. As for the pastas? Like Casa Neri’s sauces, they are made in house, including culurgiones, a thick, ornate pasta originating from Sardinia. Making these is a labor of love. 

Photo courtesy Casa Neri

“Everything is made here,” Neri says. “[Nitride] keeps the Napoli tradition of using a lot of escarole, eggplant, tomatoes, and cod.” 

While there’s much to savor at this new dining destination, save room for the sweet, too. Diners rave about the strawberry cheesecake covered in puffs of cotton candy. 

The unique, well-executed dishes are magnets for food lovers. But, it’s not the food alone that attracts and delights; there’s an emotional connection, too. “It’s like dining in our home,” Neri says.

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