Available Monday - Thursday from 5 to 7pm, it offers a more accessible price point than the evening set menu with each assaggio weighing in around the £4-5 mark.
As we browsed the menu we were given complimentary dinky glasses of Lettera penisola sorrentina, a beautifully fruity yet dry sparkling Campanian red wine. We ordered a couple more larger glasses for a bargainous offer price of £3.50 each.
Ragu’di manzo (£5) was a deep flavoured stew of red wine and tomato studded with yielding pieces of slow cooked beef and topped with a golden sheet of fried polenta.
Ceci (£3.50) was Mrs G’s dish of the night. Tender chickpeas and soft butternut squash compote were cleverly fragranced with roast lemon puree.
A first rate piece of earthy, chilli-spiked black pudding (£3.50) was joined by sweet and tangy red onion chutney, fiery chilli sauce and pieces of roast apple that could have been a touch softer.
A pretty head of golden roast cauliflower (£4) was seasoned with salty capers and lemon fragranced brown butter. It was lovely combined with the black pudding and the beef stew.
Meaty, dill-fragranced house cured salmon (£5) came with a couple of blobs of creamy avocado puree and refreshing pickled cucumber. It would have been even better if the advertised horseradish in the puree was detectable.
A goats cheese and beetroot salad (£6) was a great example of this classic combination - the tender cubes of beet were coated in a warming horseradish dressing whilst the tangy goats cheese was drizzled with fragrant truffle honey.
Seriously savoury pieces of 36 month aged parmesan (£5) were balanced by spreadably sweet quince jelly.
A freebie salad combined well-dressed shavings of fennel with refreshing orange segments and crisp pecans.
Finally, top drawer Tuscan salami (£4) was heady with the aroma of fennel.
Soft and crusty white bread was a lovely mop for all the delicious sauces and dressings.
Desserts were both epic.
A gorgeously wobbly coconut pannacotta (£6) was served with blowtorched pineapple, oat crumble and sweet lime curd.
A super rich and smooth chocolate torte (£6) was joined by salty caramel sauce and balancing creme fraiche.
Casanova is one of Cardiff City Centre’s few excellent independent restaurants. If you’re looking for an excuse for a first visit or a revisit, their new Assaggi menu is it.
Address - Casanova, 13 Quay Street, Cardiff, CF10 1EA
Telephone - 02920344044