Best Italian restaurants in Toronto
1552 Avenue Rd., 416 590 7819
Abruzzan chef Luca Del Rosso’s menu changes daily, but his principal tools are constantly time and salt, olive oil —each dish is cooked soft, slow and long. The antipasti class brings a series of mini-masterpieces, including creamy pan-fried potatoes paired with tart tomatoes and salty capers; slow-cooked lentils and carrots; and a fluffy scramble of eggplant eggs and ricotta.
364 Adelaide St. W., 416 597 8839
Don’t let the outdated decor and dinner jazz playlist as of this Entertainment District trattoria dissuade you— so long as you’re hungry, there’s no better place to be. Servers are concurrently efficient and laid back, a combination that implies an all too-uncommon sense of genuine hospitality. The menu attributes humble Tuscan staples—lots of loads and boar of beans— but the dishes arrive to the table expertly cooked and exquisitely conceived. A well-timed glug sage butter and chicken livers, tossed with gold house-made tagliatelle and briny capers, to some plane that was celestial. While the short ribs are popular, the rabbit entrée is superlative, its meat gently cooked sous vide before being dusted with flour, deep-fried and plated with lemony fingerlings and grilled greens. It’s a sly showstopper, memorable exactly for the brazen simplicity , masterfully executed. Which, come to think of it, additionally describes Tutti Matti to a T.
265 Davenport Rd., 416 515 0009
The good-looking, grey-on-gray room is scanned in the comfort of a plush booth. Chef Klaus Rourich sends out refined interpretations of classic northern Italian dishes. For seasoning a brilliant salad of orange slices, shaved fennel and uses ricotta and niçoise olives, and almonds for texture. Puttanesca that is earthy, with no suggestion of mush, offsets octopus. Textbook bolognese, just bound with milk, is deep with flavour.
75 Portland St., 416-599-2822
Several measures from Buca appropriate, chef Rob Gentile’s King West osteria, is casual Tavern Buca and his relaxed. Divide the gran fritto misto, a two-tiered snack tray piled with lightly battered and deep fried baby artichokes, rock shrimp, tiny smelt and twists of pigskin. Each bite is perfectly crispy and flecked with fennel -flavoured salt or chili. For dessert, there’s old fashioned Italian pastries: ricotta-stuffed cannoli, lace-patterned pizzelle and sugar -dusted apple butter bombolone.
244 Jane St., 647-346-2267
Only at that Baby Point trattoria, it, although a lot of Italian kitchens in this city appear to believe that any spaghetti with meat sauce might be passed off as bolognese. Ground beef and pork are cooked for 48 hours with a veggie mirepoix, milk and also tomatoes to create a deep-flavoured sauce that goes over superb pasta. The kitchen also scores points because of its handmade gnocchi, smaller than usual but the perfect combination of airy and dense, coated in a delicious ’ and tomato nduja sauce. The wine list is modest but features options from some less-heralded regions of the boot, and also the digestif selection contains some amari that is uncommon.
Bricco Kitchen and Wine Bar
3047 Dundas St. W., 647 464 9100
With its midcentury Scandinavian furniture, whitewashed brick and intricately patterned ceramic plates, this lovely 45- in the Junction is readily one of the prettiest places in the town. The polished-but- aesthetic that is unfussy applies to the cooking as well, with nuovo rustico dishes from your Piedmont region emphasizing both trendy presentation and flavours that are hearty. The antipasto board departs from the normal meat-and-cheese spread to add chickpea fritters, blue cheese–filled outstanding lonza, dates and prosciutto-wrapped bread sticks. Lemon rind balances creamy Arctic char that is uncooked, and starchy support is lent by large, fluffy gnocchi into a rich braised rabbit. Wine rotates every fourteen days, along with the trios of two-ounce pours are an effective strategy to try the many organic, small-producer options on offer.
88 Harbord St., 416-929-7788
When Victor Barry opened an informal pizza place where Splendido was, his fan base was aghast. Where before there were significant linens, candles and stately mirrors representing your quiet prosperity back at you, now there’s a jarring, Tim Burton meets Nancy Reagan ’80s vibe of graphical white bistro chairs against black floors, heavy floral wallpaper along with the wail of David Lee Roth alternating with Prince Paul. But the best part is the food. Soft and disorganized pizzas loaded with toppings like bubbling and dandelion scamorza, line-caught trout with its roe and thick, bone-in veal chops are merely a few of the standout items. The star, however, is the stripped down caesar salad: grilled sections of romaine and radicchio, crispy-greasy strips of roasted pork belly, chunks of buttery crouton, fresh white anchovy, a slickness of garlicky dressing plus a liberal dusting of parm. From morsel to bite, it’s sweet, smoky, salty and crunchy —more of a marvel that is than any molecular gastronomy trick.
1288 Dundas St. W., 416-534-1200
At its heart, the restaurant will not, although its chefs may change. Between the faux-wood panelling, the genuine warmth toward returning celebrations by the bar along with professional staff revealed ’s exceptional collection of unique, wines that are Italian that are quaffable, this comfy area stays Toronto’s most authentic replica of dining by the Tiber. Chef James Santon captures the soul of a pillowy basis for sour tomato, chilies, the boot in his gnocchi and also a languorous puddle of smoked ricotta that reads achingly simple, but is soul-food satisfying. Conversation restarts only after every last morsel was scraped in the plate and licked off the spoon, and pauses for chocolate terrine, a trinity of candied hazelnuts, compact chocolate mousse and spritely olive oil.