Il Castello is an Italian restaurant in Poblado that’s been on my radar since August of last year.
At the time, it was ranked one of the top restaurants in the city on TripAdvisor (currently #7), but when I stopped by for a meal one day, I found a handwritten message taped to the door, indicating it was temporarily closed.
Earlier this year, when Mark, a reader, wanted to pick my brain about Medellin, I suggested we grab Italian for lunch.
Il Castello is located adjacent one of my all time favorite restaurants, El Cielo. But does proximity to greatness mean anything? We were about to find out.
Stepping inside, the first thing I noticed was a large wood-burning pizza oven on the left side.
Quite a few tables were already taken. We proceeded to sit at one in the middle of the dining room. Mark had also invited a friend, so it was the three of us.
The menu features typical Italian cuisine. As tempting as the pizzas looked, I wanted to go for pasta.
And specifically, a pasta dish I knew well so I could size it up well.
I was happy to see one of my favorite dishes, Penne alla Vodka (22,500 pesos, $12) on the menu.
This is a dish I’ve made countless times before, using the recipe from The Sopranos Cookbook.
How did Il Castello’s version stack up to the Sopranos version? Pretty well, it turns out. The serving size was large, the Parmesan cheese was fresh.
My only complaint was the vodka cream sauce was a little too thin. I prefer my sauces thick and creamy, although I don’t always get that consistency myself at home.
By the time I was finished, I was too full for dessert, which is a shame because tiramisu, that classic Italian dessert, is also a favorite of mine.
All in all, my first meal at Il Castello was good. The ambiance was nice, and the service friendly and prompt.
But, is it one of the best Italian restaurants in the city?
I’m not ready to make that call until I can eat there again.
Editor’s Note: The photos in this post reflect the old restaurant space as of February. Il Castello has since moved to the building next door, which directly faces Calle 10A, making it much easier to see.