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Left of Center: There are specials, and then there are specials

by jmaloni
Sat, Oct 9th 2010 05:00 pm

by Joshua Maloni

Sentinel staffer Larry Austin likes to bust out his "EV" calculator every now and again to advise his co-workers on the expected value of attending events or purchasing goods. As such, we tend to look for a little extra bang for our buck.

In the spirit of such an effort, here's a number you may find interesting (we certainly do): For $20, you can purchase a pair of "value" meals at a fast food chain, get all greased up and hate yourself the rest of the night. Or, for that same $20, you can purchase an array of dinner specials at Casa Antica, each hand-made and filled with high-quality ingredients, and go home happy.

For the past few months, Casa Antica has offered Tuesday and Wednesday dinner-for-two specials. When Left visited this past Wednesday, the packed restaurant suggested this deal has grown popular with locals. And why shouldn't it? For one Andrew Jackson, diners can choose from heaping portions of linguine con verdure (seasonal greens in a light sauce); spaghetti with both meatballs and sausage; baked ravioli parm with meatballs or sausage; fettuccine Alfredo with grilled chicken and broccoli (a personal favorite); chicken parm with baked ziti in a light meat sauce with peas; rigatoni vodka with grilled chicken; or penne marinara with mushrooms and sausage.

If that wasn't enough, Casa Antica also offers $20 New York-style pizza for two (three toppings and a bonus salad), and half-priced antipasti (including the highly touted rice balls, banana peppers and eggplant rollatini).

Casa Antica has recently added a Monday and Thursday special that is, well, quite ridiculous, actually. Here, too, patrons can trade a measly $20 for an exorbitant amount of food - a three-course meal, in fact. Dinner includes a choice of soup or salad; a pasta, chicken or fish-based entrée; and a dessert.

Now that's "+EV."

Visit the Soldano-Bellanca family at Casa Antica, 490 Center St., Lewiston. For reservations, call 754-2581.

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