Restaurants & Bars

Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Like being part of the family

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Restaurants & Bars

Like being part of the family

eatingzen | May 12, 2011 09:29 PM

Yonge St. south of St.Clair has seen a fair turnover of restaurants. It has been difficult to catch on in this fussy neighborhood. One small exception has been Nove Trattoria. Nove means "nine" and represents the nine brothers and sisters of the owners. Walking into this cozy place is like walking into an Italian bistro in a small Italian town where everybody is part of the family. There are nine pizzas on the menu, each named for one of the siblings. Riccardo, the eldest and front of the house has tomato sauce, sausage, porcini mushrooms and smoked scarmoza cheese. Mama's melanzane parmigiana, baked eggplant parmesan cheese and tomato sauce, is absolutely the best in the city. It is so good that I have pondered ordering two portions as a main. The magic is the sugo or tomato sauce, Mama's recipe again. Made daily, the light freshness is astounding. The calamari is grilled to perfect tenderness as are the sauteed shrimps. All the pasta dishes are very good with freshness the signature ingredient. The Pappardelle del pecoraio, egg noodle with lamb shank ragu is quite unique and a favorite. The risottos are named for Papa Michele (mixed mushrooms, paprika and sausage) an aunt Egidia (seafood) and another relative Maria (mixed vegetables). The standby main is the braised short ribs Costole di manzo. Get there early on a weekend and order them because they often will run out. My favorite desserts are the lemon drop delizia but the panna cotta is astonishing for its lightness and delicate flavour. Riccardo makes everybody feel like part of the family whose photos from home adorn the walls. Marcello is the pizza specialist and Vito is the chef. The specials each day are worth trying because whatever is fresh makes its way to the list and Vito's imagination is worth the visit. Did I mention the melanzane?

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