Over in Belmont, il Casale is an Italian place that didn’t get a ton of attention when it opened; perhaps, MC Slim JB suggests, because it had an “endless incubation” with a “coming soon” sign on the windows for an extended period. The chef is Dante de Magistris, well-known around town for his other restaurant, Dante.

But it’s been open for some months now and, after receiving a glowing review in the Globe a couple of weeks ago, il Casale’s under-the-radar flight is now officially over. Many dishes made the hounds moo in delight; the best of a very good lot includes:

• Carne, which is meatballs made using an old family recipe of the chef’s: “So tender and delicate that they dissolved as soon as I ate them,” says foodymom.
• Squash ravioli in brown butter sauce, a dish common to many Italian menus, but “this preparation made the others seem like poor imitations,” says foodymom, with pasta that was “silky and ethereal.”
• Fresh trout stuffed with slices of orange and lemon and grilled in a wood oven.
• Feather-light gnocchi with porcini cream and fava beans.
• Grilled calamari stuffed with breadcrumbs, raisins, and pine nuts.
• Panna cotta: “Lovely and light with excellent strawberries,” says teezeetoo.

il Casale [Belmont]
50 Leonard Street, Belmont

Board Link: il Casale in Belmont Center - why no buzz?

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