343 Arsenal Street
Watertown, MA 02472
A couple buddies of mine and I were going to see a former workmate in his own one man show A Broth of a Boy at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown. The age old question was soon asked…”where can we go for dinner?” Soon after I got the definitive text, “A Venezuelan place La Casa De Pedro is close by and gets good reviews.” So we were off.
Remembering enough of my high school Spanish to translate “La Casa De Pedro” to “The House of Pedro,” I was wondering if the restaurant was going to be in a converted home. Having been to the area before, I wasn’t surprised to see the restaurant in the massive Watertown Arsenal. So hoping for a homey atmosphere, I was a little disappointed to think about another restaurant in a converted (ordinance depot) warehouse.
La Casa De Pedro couldn’t have been closer to the Arsenal Center for the Arts, so it rated high on the convenience factor. The outdoor patio was nearly full on this beautiful early fall day, so we ended up inside the restaurant.
Again, more surprises. I expected brick and exposed wooden beams. What strikes you entering the restaurant is the broad array of plant material. You feel like you are going to have dinner on a veranda with beautiful plants everywhere.
It turns out there is a “Pedro” and he was working the room throughout the evening. He was born in Caracas, Venezuela. His mother believed “all matters could be resolved over a great meal and a hearty talk at the dinner table, for there was no greater source of harmony.” (It’s amazing how this is nearly universal in all cultures.) You do feel a little like you are over at Pedro’s place.
The menu was expansive when presented in heavy bindings. We guessed between two and three pounds just for the large menu.
Our patient waitress gratefully guided us through the menu.
We started with arepas (Venezuela’s everyday bread, grilled corn cakes with a choice of filling.) Our fillings were “Carne mechada con queso” – shredded beef with cheese, and “Reina pepiada” – chicken and avocados. These tasty little sandwiches were accompanied by a light green hot sauce…a sauce we quickly learned was best enjoyed by the drop it was so hot.
We also had “Camarones al Ajillo” - Shrimp sautéed with garlic, cilantro, and olive oil. This was served in an open bowl and were very tasty in a subtle kind of way (so often the garlic overwhelms the seafood.)
For main courses, we went with:
“Three nights in Caracas” - A whole haddock fried then finished in the oven, topped with a spicy roasted pepper and onion vinaigrette. The menu description was faithful, as the haddock was delivered bones and all. While some bone extraction was necessary, the fish was prepared fabulously.
“Camarones Tropicales de Kristofer” - Jumbo shrimp sautéed with garlic and served in half a coconut shell with an orange and coconut sauce. This entrée reminded me of the Flintstones, being served on half a coconut. The said, it was good to the last drop.
“Bacalao a la Ozzy Guillen” - A cod fillet, sautéed in olive oil then finished in the oven topped with sautéed onions, peppers, sugar snap peas, garlic, white wine and spicy cured olives. Another great entrée.
Some cappuccino and double espressos later, we were ready for the show and walked to the theater. The show was very good, with Mr. Venezia playing an Irishman quite capably. His singing with a brogue was also a treat. We understand he is taking the show on the road around New England, so if you see it coming you’ll enjoy the show.
Afterwards, we headed back over to Pedro’s House for a recap of the show. It was around 9:45PM, and while the patio was winding down the inside was hopping. The bar had a solid crowd, and there was a live duet (fabulously) playing Latin music. Pedro was still there, and made a point of coming over to welcome us again.
Mon-Thu 11:30 AM - 9 PM
Fri-Sat 11:30 AM - 10 PM
Sun 11:30 AM - 8 PM
La Casa De Pedro gets a GREEN LIGHT…go and enjoy.
About the RAG scale:
Green Light – Go and enjoy
Amber Light – Use caution
Red Light – Save your time and money