Tag Archives: arancini

HEATED PATIO EATS: Rooftop pizza @ Gusto 501

A couple years back, we hit up Gusto 101 for a real-deal steak dinner on their rooftop patio. So when I heard that they opened up a new joint in the east end called Gusto 501, I was hoping it would be five times better, bro! This place also has a rooftop patio, although it’s a lot smaller, with heated panels on the walls behind every table. I wasn’t quite as warm as last week at George, but at least I was able to unzip my jacket, so that’s not too bad…

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We’re starting off with arancini, two not-so-big balls of deep-fried rice goodness, sitting atop a whole pile of pepper and cheese. You only get a couple of bites here, but I would put these balls in my mouth any day, bro!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. We’ve got pizza carbonara, with flor di latte, guanciale, pecorino, black pepper and an egg yolk on a nice, crispy crust. Now, I was expecting there to be an egg in the middle of the pizza, but instead it’s sorta smeared all over the place, which takes away half the fun. Anyways, the crust and cheese was on point, but I couldda used some more guanciale, which is basically Italian for bacon.

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Now, I know the name of this blog is NOT Burgers, Bacon and Pinot Grigio, but the only beer they’ve got here is Peroni, which is Italian for “meh.” On the other hand, they’re serving up house wine on tap for just a dollar an ounce, so I told ’em to fill ‘er up to the top, bro!!!

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And yes, we still had room for dessert, son! Now, this tiramisu looks more like tirami-soup, but the flavours were still pretty on point. And hey, at least it’s not served in a mason jar!!!

Meatballs vs. risotto balls @ Pizzeria Libretto

Now, everybody knows that if you want real-deal Italian pizza in downtown Toronto, you gotta go to Pizzeria Libretto. Man, they’ve got all the meats–spicy salami, pepperoni, prosciutto di parma, nduja sausage…even their duck confit pie is too legit to quit!!!

But today, I’m not here for pizza–I’m about to chow down on some balls, bro! And at this funky joint, they’ve got both kinds…meatballs AND risotto balls, aka arancini. Dude, this is body by arancini!

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They actually bring out the rice balls first, which come three to an order, stuffed with stracciatella and smoked scamorza. Try saying that three times fast! But man, the cheese is what makes it, though. It’s ooey, gooey, about to go kablooey all over my face, bro!!!!

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Now, it’s time for some meaty magic. These Round Mounds of Flavourtown are served on a bed of tomato sauce and whipped ricotta, with some peccorino romano oozing out from the inside. That’s right, both kinds of balls are stuffed with cheese. It’s like you’ve got yer Balls Two the Wall, man!!!

WINTERLICIOUS 2017: Welcome to the Hotel Grilled-Cheese Lobster!

So, we’re hanging out at King St. Social, this funky modern joint in the basement of the Hyatt Regency on King Street. This place isn’t usually open for lunch, but during Winterlicious, they’re serving up one of the most ridiculous sammies I’ve seen in a while. Say hello to my little friend Lobster Grilled Cheese Clubhouse:

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Now, they’ve basically took one good thing, and piled it on top of another good thing. You’ve got huge chunks of meaty lobster, some emmental cheese, apple slices…and then the bottom half has thick, chewy bacon, and then more cheese. Shut the back door, bro! And they give you a pretty big pile of sweet potato fries that were on point—not too mushy—and a buncha arugula for some reason. This is a pretty decent-sized meal, but because it was Winterlicious, you also got an appetizer and some dessert, and all for just 23 bucks!

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These mini arancinis were served up pretty crispy, and if there was cheese and beef inside, they didn’t put very much. I maybe shouldda had the soup instead?

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No complaints about the cheesecake though, bro! They give you a pretty big piece, too!