A beloved Williamsburg restaurant is reopening Friday, September 10!
Casa Ora (148 Meserole St.), the refined, farm-to-table Venezuelan-American restaurant underwent an extensive renovation this summer and is ready to introduce its new space and seasonal menu.
Opened in 2019, Casa Ora is owned and operated by Isbelis Diaz, her son Ivo Diaz, and his wife Rachel Diaz Pirard. Lovingly named after the couple’s young daughter, Ora, the eatery’s recipes and values are inspired by family.
Casa Ora’s elegant comfort food is crafted to showcase the beauty of Venezuela, which has been overshadowed by dictatorship and humanitarian crisis for years. The team at Casa Ora is dedicated to continuously donating a portion of revenue to Fe y Alegria, a nonprofit that supports Venezuelan families forced to seek refuge due to a lack of basic human resources.
Chef Ivo Diaz (previously of The Nomad Hotel, Eleven Madison Park, One Hotel Brooklyn Bridge) and Chef Isbelis Diaz are dedicated to offering the highest quality ingredients. They source from sustainable partners whenever possible, as they marry the cuisine of their homeland with techniques they picked up during their years in the New York hospitality scene. Casa Ora has been recognized as the only Venezuelan restaurant to ever receive a Michelin Plate, showcasing the quality of their innovative cooking and the diversity of Venezuelan cuisine.
This past summer, the team temporarily closed the restaurant to renovate, creating the more spacious concept they had always dreamed of. Ivo himself led the expansion, employing the skills he honed many years ago as a young immigrant working seven days a week, both in construction and hospitality as a dishwasher, line cook, and bartender.
Casa Ora’s updated layout includes 96 indoor seats and a substantial outdoor dining area. It features a more expansive and airy dining room and private event space, each decorated with furnishings evocative of a Latina abuela’s 1980s home. The restaurant has also partnered with Emmy Award-nominated photographer, Carlos Beltran, to showcase his photographs of Venezuela thoughtfully throughout the restaurant.
Casa Ora offers seasonal brunch and dinner menus with a focus on sourcing from organic and sustainable partners whenever possible. Breads are ordered from Bread Alone, a Catskills-based carbon neutral and organic bakery, while seafood is sourced from Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., and fresh cheeses are procured from Antojitos de Tu Pais, a small Venezuelan-owned dairy farm in Virginia.
Standout dinner offerings include Baby Shark (monkfish wrapped in ripe plantain, guayanés cheese, caramelized coconut milk, ají dulce paste & jasmine rice) inspired by the Venezuelan shark dish “cazon,” Asado Negro (braised short rib with burnt papelón sauce, yucca, pickled papaya & peanut praline), Pollo (chicken breast seared with crispy arroz dulce, corn, sofrito & mushroom sauce), and Arepitas which include four small arepas served with a variety of fillings like Reina Pepiada (avocado-chicken salad with queso blanco) and Carne Mechada (shredded beef with cheddar.)