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Archive for January, 2010

Oh Italia!

There’s nothing like fresh pasta.   

Never before have I uttered this statement. Italian food and I were merely strangers. Now, acquaintances. And suddenly, I want to become its best friend.   

photo cred: Sifu Renka

Tagliatelle, papardelle, fettuccine, gnudi…want to try it all. And I’ve been to Italy. Cue Rome, Milan & Florence. Mind is not conjuring up out-of-this-world pasta (what did we EAT?!)…memories are of gelato and beautiful Italian men. Shame. Well, just means I need to go back.   

Instead of regaling you with inadequate descriptions of how ridiculously good hand-cut pasta can be…will urge you to visit two restaurants that have personally sealed it for me. Thanks John B.   

Tutti Matti (Adelaide W. & Charlotte) – http://www.tuttimatti.com/     

Buca (King W. & Portland) – http://www.buca.ca/    

What are your favourites?  Send & share pls.   

    

(sidenote: best carpaccio di manzo in the city)   

photo cred: Jen Chan

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foxley

One of my favourite restaurants in this city.

photo cred: foxleybistro

photo cred: dine.to

Friends, family, strangers etc. may question why I constantly rave about this place, why I fixate on it more than others, why I sit back in semi-disbelief when they don’t love it as much as I do… but, there’s a reason.  Actually, make that two.

#1 arctic char ceviche, #2 black cod with asian greens & truffle oil.

I’d like to marry a chef, I think. Especially, if he cooks like Tom Thai… whom by the way, is a creative genius with flavours. Yuzu juice, chilies, ginger, ngo gai aka saw-leaf (most favourite herb) with sweet green apple, finely sliced, atop raw arctic char. Oh MY, intensely good. And then, we have fresh black cod complemented by the best broth ever tasted, liberally doused with truffle oil and divine. Long after we finish, have been known to ask for more steamed rice to prolong experience & sneak spoonfuls of…ok. stop me.

Back to it. Beyond these two dishes + a few others, must set realistic expectations. This tiny Ossington resto isn’t all that & more. Shocking, I know. Certain dishes are missing…something. Wish I could articulate. But you understand. And as a result, are not outstanding & will inevitably disappoint. Yes, also aware that not everyone will rhapsodize over my two loves. Preferences, palettes, tastebuds… sigh, c’est la vie.

Regardless, you must try. And let me know what you think.

Stand-out dishes:

Oven steamed black cod with asian greens & truffle oil 

Arctic char ceviche
(with yuzu, sesame oil, green apple, ginger, chilies, saw-leaf coriander…ask the chef)

photo cred: Daniel Shipp

Honourable mentions:

Sea bream ceviche w. yuzu & shiso leaf
Blue crab & avocado salad (if you enjoy spice, it’s got a nice kick)
Lamb & duck prosciutto dumplings (why? dipping sauce)
Side ribs w. caramelized shallot glaze (fall-off-the-bone, though glaze is on the heavy side)

For the adventurous:

Grilled beef hearts w. thai chili lime salsa

It pains, but easily forgettable:

Oysters w. chilli lime sauce (small portion woes)
Spicy crispy shrimps w. jalapeno & garlic
Braised beef cheek in red curry
Slow-braised pork belly in muscatel reduction

fyi: tapas-style, be prepared to share. also, no reservations.
if a table isn’t available, leave your cell #, go for a drink across the street, and they’ll ring when ready.

http://www.foxleybistro.com/
207 Ossington Ave.
416.534.8520

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