Ardo243 King St. E., 647-347-8930
Chef Roberto Marotta’s Sicilian-inspired dishes provide a level of sophistication that sets this new St. Lawrence area above many of the city’s trattorias. Acciughe—punchy white anchovies and roasted red peppers on crunchy herb butter–soaked crostini—are an ideal two-bite snack (or spuntini, as the Sicilians would have it), and sourdough starter makes an exceedingly bouffant pizza crust. It’s a welcome change from the Neapolitan tyranny.
Best italian restaurant Toronto
F’Amelia12 Amelia St., 416 323 0666
The kitchen of this Cabaggetown favourite continues to wow with its creativity, while maintaining the Italian soul of simplicity. Appetiser are amazing: lightly battered and grilled calamari comes brushed with garlicky pesto, and an delicious fig salad is livened up by smoky grilled radicchio. Chef Riley Skelton provides an original take on carbonara—possibly the most holy dish in the Italian canon— adding sautéed red onion crisped prosciutto and spinach, and using handcrafted tagliatelle in place of spaghetti. Creamy eggplant is the star of a hot lamb sausage pizza. In warmer weather, the size of the eatery doubles and is the ideal place to drink a glass of wine and take in the neighbourhood sights.
With its mid century Scandinavian furniture, intricately patterned ceramic plates and whitewashed brick, this lovely 45- seater in the Junction is easily one of many prettiest areas in town. The polished-but- aesthetic that is unfussy applies to the cooking as well, with nuovo rustico dishes in the Piedmont area emphasizing both fashionable demonstration and flavours that are substantial. The antipasto board departs in the typical meat-and-cheese spread to add chickpea fritters, blue cheese–filled superb lonza dates and prosciutto-wrapped bread sticks. Lemon rind balances creamy raw Arctic char, and large, fluffy gnocchi add a rich braised rabbit support that is starchy. Wine rotates every two weeks, and the trios of two-ounce pours are an effective strategy to try the many all-natural, little-company choices being offered.
La Cascina1552 Avenue Rd., 416 590 7819
Abruzzan chef Luca Del Rosso’s menu changes daily, but his principal tools are always salt, olive oil and time —each dish is cooked slow, long and soft. The antipasti course brings a number of mini-masterpieces, including creamy pan-fried potatoes paired with salty capers and sour tomatoes; slow-cooked lentils and carrots; and a downy scramble of eggplant, eggs and ricotta.
Toca181 Wellington St. W., 416-572-8008
The Ritz-Carlton’s handsome restaurant has finally found its basis. Some of burrata on soft curds of just cooked scampi perch held in place by the natural bowl of an artichoke heart. Bitter, bright red radicchio leaves are tamed by mellow sautéed mushrooms in a heating autumn salad. Arrayed and sliced throughout the bone, the sup remely tender, somewhat awesome steak Fiorentina is one of the city’s great cuts of meat. Airy and smooth Roman gnocchi, made with semolina rather than potato, make a great accompaniment, as does a bowl of glistening braised escarole studded with raisins and hazelnuts.
Campo244 Jane St., 647-346-2267
Only at that Baby Point trattoria, it’s done right, although a lot of Italian kitchens in this city seem to consider that any spaghetti with meat sauce can be passed off as bolognese. Ground beef and pork are cooked for 48 hours with tomatoes, milk and also a veggie mirepoix to create a strong-flavoured sauce that goes over pasta that is excellent. The kitchen also scores points for its handmade gnocchi, smaller than usual but the perfect combination of dense and airy, coated in a tasty ’ and tomato nduja sauce. The wine list is small but features choices from some less-heralded regions of the boot, and also the digestif collection contains some amari that is uncommon.
Zucca2150 Yonge St., 416-488-5774
For two decades, this upscale Midtown haunt has been the benchmark for exceptional food that is Italian. Chef Andrew Milne- Allan was doing local, seasonal cuisine long before it was trendy, and the eatery’s waiters that are professional could instruct Parkdale’s cool children a thing or two. Made in-house every morning, the ever changing pastas are an evident strength, like the hand-cut red wine tagliatelle in a duck-and-bunny ragout—a wonderfully pastoral dish. Elaborate plates, like the seared muscovy duck breast with roasted figs, treviso that is bitter and a lemon risotto, showcase the kitchen’s deftness at balancing flavours. A respectable wine list is broken down by area of Italy, and classic desserts like affogato panna cotta and biscotti are perfect endnotes to some romantic meal.
Enoteca Sociale1288 Dundas St. W., 416-534-1200
Its chefs may change, but at its heart, the restaurant will not. Between the faux-wood panelling, the genuine warmth toward returning bashes by professional staff as well as the pub revealed ’s extraordinary variety of unique, Italian wines that are quaffable, this comfy place remains Toronto’s of dining by the Tiber, most authentic reproduction. Chef James Santon captures the soul of the boot in his gnocchi, a pillowy basis for tart tomato, chilies along with a languorous puddle of smoked ricotta that reads achingly simple, but is soul-food substantial. Dialog restarts after every last bite was scraped from the plate and licked off the spoon, and pauses for chocolate terrine, a trinity of spritely olive oil, candied hazelnuts and dense chocolate mousse.
Bar Buca75 Portland St., 416 599 2822
Several steps chef Rob Gentile’s King West osteria, from Buca suitable, is his comfortable and informal Pub Buca. Split the gran fritto misto, a two-tiered bite tray stacked with lightly battered and deep fried baby artichokes, rock shrimp, tiny smelt and twists of pigskin. Each bite is flecked with fennel and absolutely crispy -flavoured salt or chili. For dessert, there’s old fashioned Italian pastries: ricotta-stuffed cannoli, lace-patterned pizzelle and sugar -dusted apple butter bombolone.
Buca Yorkville53 Scollard St., 416-962-2822
At Rob Gentile’s Yorkville restaurant that is new, the focus is on top notch fish and seafood. The “ salami,” made with scallop, octopus, swordfish or tuna blood combined with pork fat, are like wonderful headcheese, though nowhere near as popular as deep fried exotica like Atlantic cod tongue or dumplings that are puffed dyed a deep black. The day’s catch, cooked in a carapace of salt, is cracked tableside and presented like a devotional offering. Everything is perfect, such as the zeppola—an Italian doughnut— dusted with confectioner’s sugar and stuffed with a rich pistachio -mascarpone cream.