So, we were jonesin’ for some no frills Latino last week and Kristien asked where to go. So, there’s Ole Mole, Sierra Grille, Mi Ranchito, Mi Terruno, and more, but we felt like something new. Just so happens that we got one of those annoying coupon books in the mail, pimping out a brand spankin’ new Casa Villa. We’ve ordered from their other location, but this new spot is where Myrna’s used to be right on East Main Street in Stamford. Hush hush, it’s okay…Myrna’s just moved to 980 Post Road in Darien and changed names to Cafe D’Azur.
As we walked in, we saw the differences pretty instantly. A back room was opened up where we were seated. Bright orange walls lit up the room and really made the atmosphere festive and lively. We sat down at a nice and comfy table and were quickly brought a warm basket of tortilla chips (hell yes to warm tortillas) with some salsa. The salsa here is pretty standard, but good. Not watery, a bit chunky. Fresh, too, with the nice and summery taste of cilantro poking through and just a hint of lime.
So, what would a nice Mexican meal be without some margaritas? You’re right…it’d be lame. Carlos mixed us a Patron silver margarita with freshly squeezed lime juice. ”You can’t just use a mix with good, quality tequila,” said Carlos. A wise man and quite a good barkeep. As our margaritas arrived, so did our guacamole. The kick of lime shot through the guac and brought a bright, fresh taste to it. We still love Riviera Maya’s guac best, but this was good.
Up next? Ceviche. The fish was very fresh and was mixed in with peppers, red onion, and cilantro. This was more of a Hondoruan style ceviche with a ketchup based sauce, rather than a citrus based. We can’t say the dish was bad at all, but it’s just not the kind of ceviche that we’re used to. We typically have the more citrus, Peruvian style. I did enjoy it, but Kristien will definitely stick with only citrus based ceviche from now on.
Finally, we were onto the main course: I had the mole and Kristien had the chile rellenos. The chicken was spiced nicely, sprinkled with cheese, and was smothered in a light, chocolately mole sauce. The great thing about this mole? For once, I was able to get the chocolate taste from the sauce, but it wasn’t overpowering, nor too sweet. Both Kristien and I agreed that this was, by far, the best mole we’ve ever tasted. Served with rice and beans, I didn’t want this dish to end and made sure to limit Kristien’s pilfering of my dish.
She had her hands full, though, with her chile rellenos. This was the perfect size, had the perfect amount of breading, and just the right amount of cheese to stuffing ratio inside that pepper bad boy. Many places overdo it on both these fronts. The chicken inside was moist and full of flavor, while the sour cream’s freshness played off the incredible flavors from the stuffed pepper. Kristien confidently said this was the best chile rellenos she’s had in CT.
With an abundance of choices for Mexican and Latino in the Stamford area, you’ve got to be great to survive. Casa Villa worked its way up from a small, tiny little take-out and delivery shop, to an additional, new, bright spot. We’re not saying Ole Mole and Riviera Maya aren’t good, we’re just saying that Casa Villa is really freaking good, and cheaper too! So good that we went back on Thursday. We ordered some tacos this time. We loved the chorizo and al pastor tacos helluva’ lot. With delivery as an option too, we’ll probably try more of the menu pretty soon. ;) Also, check out Food + Beer‘s review.
Cost: $$$ (Pay Day Treat)
Address: 866 East Main Street
Stamford, CT 06902
Phone (Dine-in): (203) 348-0622
Phone (For take-out and delivery): (203) 323-1721