Well, I discovered a true Chowfind last week. But, it's in far-away Woodbridge. If you live in the northern half of town to begin with, I would make the drive if you have time.
Bocconcino is a very Italian restaurant. At lunch, it is peopled almlost exclusively with men eating whole roasted spigola, perfectly executed pastas, drinking wine, and generally enjoying a weekday the way people downtown just don't. These guys are serious about their food. You can tell.
We asked for antipasto; cook's choice, we insisted. It included roasted red pepper, parmigiano reggiano cheese, another type of cheese, marinated mushrooms, deep-fried calamari, shrimps in a wonderful white wine and garlic sauce, prosciutto, salami, and olives. It was very good, although perhaps not unique.
The bruschetta was heavenly. Yes, bruschetta can indeed be quite heavenly, if you're lucky enough to have it done right. I had forgotten what it tasted like, having been plied with the unripe-tomato-laden staleness that passes for it in Toronto. This was high-quality fresh Italian bread, grilled on fire, drizzled with fine herbs and extraordinarily good EV olive oil. Not cheap stuff. And, boy, what a difference.
Then I had the rigatoni with pancetta and purple onion. This pasta was delicious. So much better than typical restaurant pastas, which are often such a let-down. This was home made. And, a generous serving. It was perfect. Hot peppers were served soaking in a beautiful, nutty, green extra virgin olive oil. In its contrast, it reminded me of dining at the disastrous Ferraro on Eglinton where I was given cooking oil (in a fancy container) when I asked for some olive oil for my bread. Pride makes the difference.
The tira misu was great: lots of coffee flavour, the way it should be. The coffee flavour, which is the essence of a good T'su is so sadly lacking in many Toronto restaurants. Needless to say, the espresso was powerfully good.
Service was very welcoming and hospitable.