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Posts Tagged ‘italian’

A certain someone will laugh if they see this post…  far too long, it’s (almost) inexcusable.

Let’s not state the obvious, hmm? Let us focus on what matters. Re-familiarized myself with the menu. Delectable dishes are still present. Which means, still relevant. And still delicious.

First impression of Enoteca was one of utter delight. An intimately warm, yet vibrant space. A space perfect for a catch up with dear friends, a first date, a special anniversary, a birthday celebration, a Sunday family dinner… lit by candlelight, it lures you in and invites you (and your guests) to order a glass of vino and peruse a menu inspired by local seasonal ingredients. A menu filled with mouth-watering antipasti, secondi, house made pastas… and of course, the cheese cave. 

The cheese cave alone demands you peek in the cellar, to ask for recommendations – sample a little moliterno from Sicily, pasteurized sheep’s milk from Calabria, chèvre noir from Quebec – and then plan for next visit. We missed the vento d’estate our first time… “pasteurized cow’s milk, veneto, aged in grass from the farm it is produced, buttery with a hint of lavender”  Sounds positively lovely, doesn’t it?

What I can attest to: Enoteca = best grilled octopus in the city. Absolutely rave-worthy. And those who have tried will resolutely back me up. Fresh pappardelle with hearty rabbit ragu was satisfying, but out-of-this-world-pasta continues to lie with Tutti Matti. Regardless, keen to re-experience and by finally posting, brings this lovely Italian restaurant to mind again. Who wants to join?

ontario buffalo mozzarella in carrozza, anchovies, pickled shallots, parsley

grilled octopus, fava beans, new potato & chili pepper (seriously phenomenal)

house made pappardelle w. ontario rabbit ragu

cheese cave! parmigiano reggiano dop, brillo pecorino divino etc. (aka i cannot remember).

 http://www.sociale.ca/
1288 Dundas St. West
416.534.1200

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Tutti Matti

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition at O – birthday lunches at Tutti Matti.    

And we were back, celebrating our lovely M last Friday.     

Getting nine people out the door, at the same time, on time, for a reservation – a feat in itself. Best part, the restaurant is next door (literally). And, bless them – we’re forgiven each time. So, shortly after 12:30pm, we walk in.      

And our eyes widened.     

Packed. Every table, every seat. Conversations swirling. Cutlery clinking. Lips silently smacking. The restaurant was humming. Ahh, Winterlicious. Alida Solomon’s cooking.   

Some of us opted in, some opted out…pourquoi?     

Loyalty.     

You know what I’m referring to. When a dish is that good, it inspires loyalty. So, why deny yourself the pleasure? I would never judge. And if I did, throw “arctic char. black cod. Foxley” back in my face.   

That’ll teach me.     

On the other hand, we thought we knew every pasta on the menu. Oh, were we mistaken!  6 days later, still thinking about them. That’s right, plural.     

     

Stand-out dishes:     

Pappardelle con stracotto
(changed my life. well, for 90min. And for a few others as well.)    

hand cut pappardelle with pulled brisket, tomatoes, garlic, fresh herbs

 

Tortelli di asparagi
(complete surprise. “WOW.” one bite, that’s all it takes. sweet deliciousness in each tortelli)    

tortelli: ricotta and mascarpone cheese, pumpkin, mint with butter & sage

 

Tagliatelle con cinghiale
(inspires loyalty in many,  you’ll be next – i guarantee it.)     

hand cut pasta, wild boar stew, porcini mushrooms

 

     

Honourable mentions:    

Fettucine aglione
– hand cut pasta with organic tomatoes, garlic and extra virgin olive oil –
(one of my personal favs. simplicity wins.)    

Carpaccio di manzo 
– beef carpaccio served with fresh arugula, shaved parmigiano reggiano –
(earlier claim still stands. best carpaccio in the city)    

Zuppa di Funghi e Ceci
– chickpea and mushroom soup –
(plentiful & delicious, served in the greatest soup bowl)    

Open-faced panini: Dado   

bufala mozzarella, oven roasted tomatoes, basil

 

    

It pains, but easily forgettable:    

Fettuccine di piero
– hand cut pasta with meat sauce –
(simply pales in comparison to the others)   

Gnudi di Spinaci e Ricotta
– spinach and ricotta “naked” ravioli in butter & sage –
(disappointingly naked. that’s all.)   

    

fyi: you’ll never look at pasta the same way again.  Alida makes sure of it.   

http://www.tuttimatti.com
364 Adelaide Street W.
416.597.8839

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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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Until I find a better way to organize… here’s the list.

{And it’s by no means finished. hardly. we’ve just gotten started}

To satisfy all tastebuds:
Amuse (Queen E. & Waverley Rd) – http://www.amusetoronto.com/
Café La Gaffe (Baldwin & Henry St) – http://www.cafelagaffe.com/  
Harlem (Church & Richmond St. E) – http://www.harlemrestaurant.com/
Mildred’s (King W & Hanna Ave) – http://www.templekitchen.com/
Madeline’s (King W. & Portland) – http://www.susur.com/madelines/ 
Sidecar (College & Bathurst) – http://www.sidecarrestaurant.ca/   
Wine Bar (Church & Front E) – http://www.jamiekennedy.ca/ 
Politica (King & Strachan) – http://www.dine.to/politica/
The Drake (Queen W & Dovercourt) – http://www.thedrakehotel.ca/
 
Tapas-Style:
LEE (King W. & Portland) – http://www.susur.com/lee/   
Foxley (Ossington & Dundas) – http://www.foxleybistro.com/
Cava (Yonge & St. Clair) – http://www.cavarestaurant.ca/
Supermarket (College & Augusta) – www.supermarkettoronto.com/ 
Kultura (King E & Jarvis) – http://www.kulturarestaurant.com/ 
Tomi-Kro (Queen E & Leslie) – www.blogto.com/restaurants/tomikro
Guu (Church & Gerrard) – http://www.guu-izakaya.com/toronto.html
Mezzetta (St. Clair & Christie)
Torito (College & Augusta)
Swirl (Queen E & Yonge)

Brunch:
Brassaii (King W & Spadina) – http://www.brassaii.com/ 
Conviction (King W & Portland) – http://www.convictionrestaurant.com/
The Drake (Queen W & Dovercourt) – http://www.thedrakehotel.ca/
Le Petit Déjeuner (King E & Jarvis) – http://www.petitdejeuner.ca
Bonjour Brioche (Queen E & Broadview)
Saving Grace (Dundas & Bellwoods)
 
Casual:
Supermarket (College & Augusta) – http://www.supermarkettoronto.com/ 
Terroni (Adelaide E or Queen W) – http://www.terroni.ca/
Foxley (Ossington & Dundas) – http://www.foxleybistro.com/
Pizzeria Libretto (Ossington & Dundas) – www.pizzerialibretto.com/
Rodney’s Oyster House (King W & Spadina) – http://rodneysoysterhouse.com/
Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar (Church & Front E) – http://www.jamiekennedy.ca/ 
Cava (Yonge & St. Clair) – http://www.cavarestaurant.ca/
Guu (Church & Gerrard) – http://www.guu-izakaya.com/toronto.html

Ossington Strip:
Union (Ossington & Queen) – http://www.union72.ca/
Foxley (Ossington & Dundas) – http://www.foxleybistro.com/
Pizza Libretto (Ossington & Dundas) – http://www.pizzerialibretto.com/
Rua Vang Golden Turtle (Ossington & Queen)
Delux (Ossington & Humbert)
 
Finer-Dining (Entrées: $23-35):
Nota Bene (Queen W & University) – http://notabenerestaurant.com/
Frank @ AGO (Dundas & University) – http://www.ago.net/frank/
Olivia’s at 53 (College & Clinton) – http://www.oliviasat53.com/
Amuse (Queen E. & Waverley Rd) – http://www.amusetoronto.com/
5th Elementt (Bay & Wellesley) – http://www.5thelementt.com/
Splendido (Harbord & Spadina) – http://www.splendido.ca/
Harbord Room (Harbord & Spadina)  – http://www.theharbordroom.com/
C5 (ROM) – http://www.c5restaurant.ca/ 
Conviction (King W. & Portland) – http://www.convictionrestaurant.com/
George (Queen E. & Jarvis) – http://www.georgeonqueen.com/ 
Brassaii (King W & Spadina) – http://www.brassaii.com/ 
Crush Wine Bar (King W & Spadina) – http://www.crushwinebar.com/
Trevor’s Kitchen & Bar (Wellington & Front) – www.trevorkitchenandbar.com/ 
Le Sélect Bistro (Wellington & Spadina) – http://www.leselect.com/
The Drake (Queen W & Dovercourt)- http://www.thedrakehotel.ca/
Rosebud (Queen & Bathurst) – http://www.therosebud.ca/
Loire (Harbord & Portland) – http://www.loirerestaurant.ca/
 
Finer, Finer Dining (Entreés: $35-100):
Auberge du Pommier (Yonge & York Mills) – www.oliverbonacini.com
Scaramouche (Avenue & St. Clair) – www.scaramoucherestaurant.com/
Chiado (College & Ossington) – http://www.chiadorestaurant.com/
Canoe (Bay & Wellington) – www.oliverbonacini.com/canoemovie.html
Harbour Sixty (Harbour & Bay) – http://www.harboursixty.com/
 
Experiences Dining:
O’Noir (Church & Bloor E.) – http://www.onoir.com/
C5 (ROM) – http://www.c5restaurant.ca/ 
Frank @ AGO (Dundas & University) – http://www.ago.net/frank/
 
Asian & A-Fusion:
Matahari Grill (Baldwin & McCaul)  – http://www.mataharigrill.com/
Benihana (Front & York) – www.benihana.ca/
Tomi-Kro (Queen E & Leslie) – www.blogto.com/restaurants/tomikro
Supermarket (College & Augusta) – www.supermarkettoronto.com/ 
BlowFish (King & Bathurst) – http://www.blowfishrestaurant.com/
Kultura (King E & Jarvis) – http://www.kulturarestaurant.com/ 
Mengrai (Queen E & Ontario) – http://www.mengraithai.com/
SukhoThai (Dundas & Parliament) – http://www.sukhothaifood.com/
Guu (Church & Gerrard) – http://www.guu-izakaya.com/toronto.html
Rua Vang Golden Turtle (Ossington & Queen)
Pho 88 (Dundas & Spadina)

Charcuterie:
Rosebud (Queen & Bathurst) – http://www.therosebud.ca/
Cava (Yonge & St Clair) – http://www.cavarestaurant.ca/
Harbord Room (Harbord & Spadina)  – http://www.theharbordroom.com/
Conviction (King W & Portland) – http://www.convictionrestaurant.com/
Loire (Harbord & Portland) – http://www.loirerestaurant.ca/
Black Hoof (Dundas W & Bellwoods)
 
French:
Le Sélect Bistro (Wellington & Spadina) – http://www.leselect.com/
Le Papillion (Front E. & Church) – http://www.lepapillonfront.com/en/
Auberge du Pommier (Yonge & York Mills) – www.oliverbonacini.com
Saint Tropez (King & John) – http://www.lesainttropez.com/
Le Petit Déjeuner (King E & Jarvis) – http://www.petitdejeuner.ca

Italian:      
Vittorio (Dupont & Avenue) – http://www.vittorios.ca
Pizzeria Libretto (Ossington & Dundas) – www.pizzerialibretto.com/
Il Gatto Nero (College & Bathurst) – http://www.ilgattonero.ca/
Terroni (Adelaide E or Queen W) – http://www.terroni.ca/
Osteria Ciceria e Tria (Yonge & Queen W) 
Tutti Matti (Adelaide & Charlotte)
Buca (King W. & Portland)
 
Seafood:
Rodney’s (King W & Spadina) – http://rodneysoysterhouse.com/
Madeline’s (King W & Portland) – http://www.susur.com/madelines/

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