A while back, members of the Toronto’s Italian community participated in a poll to pick some of the best Italian food and dining go-to places in town. Among the list of awards and winners, the name ‘ Locale Aurora ‘ unexpectedly stood out in a number of major categories. These included:
- Best Italian Chef: #1 Andrea Censorio ( Locale Aurora ) with Rob Gentile of Buca coming in at #2
- Best Pasta Dish: #1 with #2 and #3 belonging to Terroni and Nodo
- Best Pizza: #3 behind #1 and #2 Libretto and Terroni
- Best Italian wine list: #2 behind Wine Spectator Grand award holder, #1 Via Allegro
- Best Italian Restaurant: #4, behind Buca, Terroni and Nodo
With the above captioned, impressive and enticing credential as bait. Curiosity took over and our party of 4 decided to take a highway drive north from Richmond Hill to pay this ‘outside our culinary radar‘ establishment a visit..
I am glad to report that based on the delightful food and experience we had, it was well worth the drive!
The restaurant is house in a huge space with ultra-high ceiling and decorated with tasteful furniture and modern art. A gorgeous outdoor patio area offers a great alternative dining space on a warm Summer day.
We ordered a diversified selection of typical traditional Italian fare to share and try. Apart from the slightly under-seasoned chicken dish ( excellent crispy and crunchy batter coating though! ). Every single dish we selected were beautifully prepared to near flawlessness. Al-dente pasta and nicely cooked key ingredients were dressed with delicious dressing and sauces. Bursting with flavor and complex taste profile, they lighted up every single serving of food as well as our smiling faces. A few stand outs included the crispy, double-fried home made skin-on fries with truffle infused mayo and sweet house made Ketchup appetizer. An absolutely delectable Bolognese ragu pasta ( reminded me of the memorable Batali rendition at his NYC's Michelin 1* Babbo ). The well executed, crispy and nicely charred Neapolitan pizza ( can rub shoulder with and IMO better tasting than Libretto ). The generous portioned, tender and smokey grilled calamari. And finally, those addictive, piping hot, freshly made Italian, apple filled, mini-doughnuts nuggets.
All in all, it was a most enjoyable dining experience of well executed, tasty and down-to-earth Italian fare served by a most friendly and professional lady server.
BTW, one of our party has already made reservation on Opentable for a repeat visit next week!
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