If you go
Pasta and Puccini Opera Dinner Theatre
When: 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 1
Cost: $50 per person
Where: Casa Mia Italian Steakhouse, 155 First Ave., inside the Marco Island Lakeside Inn
Open every day from 4 p.m. to close during season, and closed on Wednesdays during summer.
For one night only, Marco Islanders will enjoy one of the year’s cultural highlights, as they dine on seven courses of fine Italian cuisine at Casa Mia Italian Steakhouse, in the Marco Island Lakeside Inn.
Starting at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 1, Casa Mia will host Opera Naples lyric soprano Rebecca Richards, baritone Stephen Andrew Mumbert, and Annie Leonardi, soprano, accompanied by Opera Naples pianist Robin Shuford Frank, as they sing their acclaimed renditions of recognizable classics by Puccini, Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, and others.
The evening’s exquisite seven course menu begins with Scallops Champagne, followed by Butternut Squash Bisque, Heirloom Tomato Salad and Focaccia Tartufo. After Intermezzo-Sorbet, Hawaiian Sea Bass or Stuffed Veal Chop and Semi Freddo complete the meal, with Opera Primo red, white and rose wines complementing each dish, and served throughout the evening.
Diners will choose from a variety of Italian delicacies for dessert.
Each vocalist will sing two or three arias from different Italian operas between courses.
“It was our daughter’s idea,” said Marie Brock, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Tony. “She is an opera singer, and restauranteur, in Chicago. Our son, Anthony, also lives in Chicago, where he coaches crew for Northwestern, sells real estate, and helps his sister in her restaurant, Zingarella, which means gypsy in Italian, when she begs.
“Bonnie asked for voice lessons one year for Christmas, when she was a child. Her first recital was in a church, where she sang “Ave Maria.” Honestly, the rafters shook. My husband and I looked at each other, and we both had tears in our eyes. We asked each other, ‘Where did this come from’?”
“If people like it, we’ll do it again, maybe doing Broadway, or Cabaret. If you were to go anywhere else for a menu like this, it would probably be a $50 dinner. This is a good deal, and it will be a lovely night out with friends, or a romantic evening for two.”
The Brocks’ children both helped them open their first restaurant, in New York. The family began vacationing on Marco Island in 1987, and moved here permanently, when the Brocks retired in 2006. “My life is full of stories,” said Brock, and smiled.
Every night is special at Casa Mia. Sunday night features an Italian buffet, $9.99, with chicken, pastas, sausage and peppers, salads, mussels and calamari. “I think it might be the best deal on the Island,” says Brock. “It’s a lot of food for that price, and it’s doing very well.”
Monday night, buy one entrée and get the other, free. Tuesday night, have a bottle of wine at no charge, when you order two entrees. Thursday night is Prime Rib Night, $16.99 for Queen, $19.99 for King. Friday night is all-you-can-eat spaghetti and meatballs, $14.99. Saturday night is Seafood Festival night, when several specials, not regularly on the menu, are available.
New York style pizza, $14.99, is Casa Mia’s newest menu addition. “It’s very good, has a crispy crust, with a bubbly edge, and it’s big enough to feed a family of four,” says Brock.
Beautiful and elegantly decorated, yet inviting and comfortable, Casa Mia overlooks Marco Lake, in the lovely Marco Island Lakeside Inn. “I think the décor tells what we’re all about,” says Brock. No intimidating white. It’s festive, fun and casual. People stay a long time, and become friends. It’s nice, and very comforting. I’ve found a home here.”
Seats are $50 per person. Reservations are a must. Please call 642-5253 to reserve yours.