One of the best attributes of this Toronto establishment, located one block E of Lansdowne just S of St Clair (being mangled by the City's foolish tramway project) and just around the corner from the celebrated gelateria Paloma is the great and friendly enthusiasm of the owner and his wife who served us with vivid descriptions of the specials, knowledge of the wines on offer and pride both in their restaurant and the cakes she makes for dessert. The casual space was abuzz with family groups last night, much hugging and a loud noise volume - but all in a friendly, spirited manner (which in fact allowed serious conversation not to be overheard !)
After sharing some excellent grilled slices of bread roll, and an unusual Italian white wine whose name escapes me - perfect on a warm evening - we began with Pasta Al Forno for my friend and Lasagne for me. They looked identical, except that the former, a special, contained proscuitto and peas - a sort of kitchen sink, we were told - whereas mine was the classic dish. Both were toothsome, mild flavoured, plenty of cheese, perfect pasta, nice gravy and a pleasant bechamel.
For mains, I enjoyed - and brought home for lunch today - a huge pork chop, stuffed with ham and cheese and breaded, accompanied by roast taters and veggies. My friend had an Italian fish special in a tomato-vegetable sauce - which was pronounced delicious, every scrap finished and sauce mopped up, too !
Dessert brought the wife's chocolate Nutella cake, rich and moist, with a wonderful cappucino for me and a glass of Prosecco for my friend - all of which was topped off with a gift of Limoncello shots, a pleasant generous conclusion to a most agreeable evening. The damage for it all, including two half litres of wine, was $160 - not cheap, but good value for what we consumed.