My wife and I had dinner on Friday evening 7/9 and we found Enoteca Sociale very charming. Our waiter could have been more relaxed but I'm very rarely out for a meal for the service.
I chose the $35 set menu and found it excellent value. Despite including a starter, primo, secondo, and dessert, It wasn't gluttonous at all. The starter was overly crusty sweetbreads on arugula. Sweetbreads are delicate and need to be treated with care. The breading was more suited to squid rings at a sports bar. (I wish I had the sardines and mozzarella instead.) Luckily the bucatini all'amatriciana was brilliant and just the right amount. The oxtail over polenta was deeply delicious and something I expect more in cold weather. The dessert was the cherry ricotta cheesecake: very well made with marinated cherries. Yum.
The lows have to go to the wine. ES has a Enomatic wine dispenser which is supposed to preserve wine that is served by the glass. While I like the different measures that let you try many wines without having to order a full bottle, the wines I tasted were very ho-hum. The monica di sardegna "ammostus" 2008 was very mute and tired. The Plozza Grumello di Valtellina riserva 2005 was also disappointingly underwhelming. The Fiano di Avelino I ordered for my wife was appropriately zippy and minerally but still lacking freshness. A bright spot was the prosecco from Terre Gaie.
For those who find the noise level too high as mentioned in another post, eat outside or against the windows inside. By the way, while it's near Ossington, the crowd is decidedly more mature (at least on a Friday night) and the atmosphere more chilled out than the Libretto zoo.
I'd eat there again and try the $45 menu or a la carte next time but will be very circumspect about the wine list. So whoever selects the wine for Enoteca, please taste more and don't settle for mediocrity. Terroni has a better selection.
1288 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA