In an island setting that resembles an Italian allure as much as Hydra does, Il Casta is just the perfect spot for a quiet and tasty night out (if you also love pasta).
Tucked away in a small corner right next to the square of Xeri Elia Douskos, the brainchild of Pietro Carola occupies one of the most tranquil and lovely patios of Hydra. Initially launched in 2020, Pietro’s restaurant is what remained from his short term visit to Hydra that made him stay on the island ever since.
We visited on a busy weekend after making several attempts to book a table. Regardless, the waiting list was a long one so we opted for checking in person and swinging by in the early hours of the evening. After a couple of attempts within the course of an hour or so, the ladies at the front showed us to a nice table. Meanwhile, the drinks at Amalour was just what we wanted to get us on the right track for the night.
Inspired by the Italian South, the menu was a long one but we sure were visiting for Pietro’s handmade pasta, so the choice was an obvious one. For starters we wanted to try their classic bruschetta which came in finely chopped tomatoes, basil leaves and a tad of garlic. Alongside it, we had a mixed green salad with gorgonzola cheese, pear and caramelised walnuts as well as a beef carpaccio – both very nice but not special enough.
The main courses though really topped the meal, both ravioli dishes each with a different take. The first one, a fine mix of ragu, pecorino and chopped guanciale, was the best dish of the night – creamy, tangy and with the right amount of guanciale to balance the richness of the sauce off. The latter was also a rich mix of burrata with sun-dried tomatoes and a hint of crushed nuts – again, the right kind of balance a rich texture needs.
In addition the choices we made, a couple of other more seafood oriented options caught our eye like the frutti di mare pasta but also a fine selection of steamed oysters for starters.
By the end of the main course, it was all too much to order a dessert even though we hear they make a killer tiramisu. We’ll surely be back here pretty pretty soon!