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Restaurants & Bars

Good new Italian in Toronto

John Allemang | Feb 13, 2003 08:17 AM

For all its Italianness, Toronto doesn't offer many restaurants that specialize in Italian regional cuisine -- Romagna Mia is the only good one I can think of, and it runs a little too hot and cold depending on the night and the service. So it was a pleasure to find Tutti Matti on Adelaide east of Spadina on what was for them a far too quiet night. The menu is Tuscan (the Canadian-born chef worked in Montalcino, she told us) and seems pretty respectful of tradition without being slavish. We had a delicate, varied antipasto plate (including artichokes with mint, caramelized purple figs with prosciutto, great taleggio with truffle oil, spicy Calabrese salame, bean puree, sweet chicken liver crostini), a nicely dry (i.e. non-goopy) tagliatelle with smoked duck and fava beans and an outstanding plate of pappardelle with brisket (!!). Servings aren't huge, prices are pretty reasonable ($12-16.50 for pastas, $15.50 to 23.50 for main courses). Wine list is short and mostly Tuscan (Moscato d'Asti and Ironstone Merlot both honourable exceptions). The decor is minimal, and a bit stark, but the room might have been more congenial if there were more people there. The music seemed designed more to please the staff than the customers, but then they were in the majority. I haven't tried it for lunch, when the menu simplifies a bit.

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