Lakeville’s Casa Nostra expands

Italian restaurant now has full-bar, larger dining area

by Aaron Vehling
Thisweek Newspapers

As it enters its third year serving Italian family recipes, Lakeville’s Casa Nostra has much to celebrate.

This month it took over vacant neighboring space, nearly doubling its dining room size and adding a full-service bar.

Nina and Mario Pelagalli. Photo by Aaron Vehling

Proprietors Mario and Nina Pelagalli said they had been contemplating an expansion for some time.

Previously, Nina said, “there was not enough room to seat all the customers. Some would leave because they had to wait.”

Occasionally, customers would note the absence of a full bar and decided on other options.

No longer.

Cornerstone Copy’s move from its space at Heritage Commons on County Road 50 to downtown Lakeville allowed the Pelagallis to fulfill their dream by expanding into Cornerstone’sadjacent space.

In addition to the expanded liquor choices and ample dining area, the Pelagallis also intend to offer entertainment. DJs, Frank Sinatra tributes and  more were some of the possibilities the Pelagallis envision. The couple said this combination gives them an improved ability to serve large groups and private parties.

In December, the Lakeville City Council approved a liquor license for Casa Nostra. Lakeville Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Todd Bornhauser praised the Pelagallis at the meeting.

“They’ve been a chamber member since they opened up,” he said. “It’s great to see a small, family-owned business able to expand.”

‘Our House’
Casa Nostra is Italian for “our house.” Its recipes and ambiance speak to this sentiment.

The Pelagallis serve recipes from each of their families – Nina’s father is from outside of Naples and Mario’s are from Rome.

This combination of culinary offerings provides diners with a vast array of menu items, everything from antipasti and salads to pastas, saltimboccas, paninis and pizza. Desert offerings include tiramisu, cannoli and spimoni.

The Pelagallis ensure their chefs tackle these dishes with the passion, accuracy and tenacity they themselves do. Nina’s mother also works at the restaurant, creating sauces from scratch.

Owning one’s own restaurant is an attractive venture, but it is also a lot of hard work. At least when it’s a family affair, it provides added rewards.

“It’s fun, but tough,” Mario said. His favorite part? “I enjoy the opportunities to meet people.”

The restaurant’s official grand opening celebrations kick off the first week of February, though the new space is open and fully functional.

Casa Nostra will be advertising specials on its website at

The restaurant is located in the Heritage Commons shopping center, near the Dodd Boulevard and County Road 50.

Aaron Vehling is at [email protected] or