Tag Archives: Italian food

Goin’ all Guy Fieri on fish and pasta @ Fieramosca!!!

Dude, you KNOW this is body by Italian food, bro! So when I heard about Fieramosca Trattoria, this funky little joint on a side street just a meatball’s throw away from St. George, I definitely had to check it out! This place has been dishing out Italian classics since 1980, so you know it’s gotta be good. And while there’s no shortage of pizza, pasta and meat dishes on the menu — they’ve even got not one, not two, but three different versions of veal scaloppini –we decided to go with the Grigliata Mista di Pesce, aka grilled seafood platter:

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You won’t miss Meat Mountain when you’ve got this smorgasbord of seafood, son! There’s three different kinds of fish here — salmon, halibut AND sea bream — plus calamari and tiger shrimp, along with a whole lotta potatoes, peppers, green beans and two baby carrots. Dude, this is enough food to feed at least two people…and since I actually shared this dish, I still had room for pasta:

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I am sooooo trippin’ balls over this mushroom tagliatelle, bro! You’ve got three kinds of shrooms — oyster, porcini AND shitake — on top of thick, chewy noodles in a white wine cream sauce. Shut the front, back and side doors!!!!!!!!

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! This leaning tower of tiramisu tastes just like Nonna makes it — except maybe for that chocolate sauce swirl around the outside. But that didn’t stop me from scarfing it all down, son!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chowing down on Wynona’s big brown branzino, bro!

Man, I remember back in the day when all you had to eat around Gerrard Square was McDonald’s. But since then, a buncha funky joints opened up in a neighbourhood sometimes known as Gerrones, and just a couple blocks away, across from a new condo under construction, you’ve got Wynona, this cozy little place serving up seafood and Italian comfort food. I mean, it’s not every day you get gabagool on the menu, bro!!!!

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This Italian cured pork product (known as Capocollo to people who’s never watched The Sopranos) is drizzled with honey and topped with a shredded cow’s milk cheddar, along with a couple banana peppers for that added bada bing. But you KNOW this is just an appetizer in Flavourtown…

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While the menu here changes weekly, there’s a good chance they’ve got branzino, a grilled European sea bass served with brown butter, olives and capers. Take me to the river, bro!!!!

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And what better beer to wash this down than Marco Polo, an Italian-style pilsner from Indie Alehouse? These guys run the bottle shop at Eataly, so you know they know Italian — and the crispness of this one is definitely on point.

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Of course, we’ve still got room for dessert, and you’ve got two choices here, creme caramel or chocolate cake. That’s basically a no-brainer in Flavourtown, bro! They kick this cake up a notch with chocolate pastry cream, sour cherries and a dollop of whipped cream — you KNOW they whip it good, De-bro!!!!

The biggest osso buco I’ve ever eaten @ Eataly

Now, we’re no strangers to osso buco here on Triple B — whether they’ve serving it up on a patio in Yorkville or way west on King West. But when I heard that Trattoria Milano, this funky little joint inside of Eataly, had an osso buco so big, it was enough food for four people… you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!!!!

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But first, we’re chowing down on some deep-fried meatballs. These mondeghili are a Milanese specialty, and I gotta say, these were some of the most tender balls I’ve ever put in my mouth. Stay away from that candied fruit though — that yellow stuff was surprisingly, ridiculously spicy!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event…

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I gotta say, I was expecting this meat to be super, fall-apart tender like a lamb shank — or some of the other osso buco I’ve had before. It was a little tougher, and I definitely needed a fork and knife here, but it was still pretty tasty. Oh, and while this dish was supposed to be for four, it only took three members of the Triple B Krew to polish if off, son!!!!!!

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And you KNOW we still had room for dessert…

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Now, their tiramisu was pretty small, and they put in a mason jar like some friggin’ trendy hipsters. But it was still very, very good — rich ‘n creamy with just enough of a coffee kick. And hey, since Eataly is a grocery store, you can also buy a full-sized one to take home…as long as you finish eating before they close. (My bad, bro!)

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And since this blog ain’t Burgers, Bacon & Burgundy, we’re drinking the closest thing to wine…that’s still a beer. Vine Song 1 is an Italian grape ale saison from Indie Alehouse that they sell downstairs, and it’s definitely got that sour tartness of white wine, while being a little more hangover friendly at 8% alcohol. Dude, Imma hafta bring a couple of these next time I go to a wine and cheese soiree!!!

Wild boar pizza + sea urchin spaghetti @ Dova

Now, we’ve eaten a whole lotta Italian food here on Triple B — but every once in a while, I still come across something I’ve never seen before. So we’re hanging out at DOVA, this funky little joint in Cabbagetown, where they’re putting sea urchin on spaghetti, wild boar and black truffle on pizza, and orange mascarpone in their tiramisu. Shut the front, back and side doors, son!!!!!

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They call this dish Ricci, and it’s got a helmet like former San Jose goon Mike Ricci. Underneath is some fresh Newfoundland sea urchin, on top of spaghetti, all covered in garlic and parsley. Now, I don’t think I’ve ever had sea urchin before — especially not from Newfoundland — but it added a nice creamy touch to the spaghetti.

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But now they’re about to kick things up another notch with their Fughese pizza — and you don’t even hafta be straight edge to eat it, Bro-an MacKaye! Dude, this pizza’s packing wild boar sausage, black truffles, oyster mushrooms and arugula, plus it’s extra cheesy with fior di latte AND stracciatella! Dude, this has gotta be the best pizza I’ve had all year, and let’s just say I eat a lotta pizza…

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And since we’re not straight edge here on Triple B, we’re washing this all down with a funkalicious brewski. This here’s a Raspberry Lavender Gelato Sour from Fine Balance Brewing straight outta Kingston. Now, i dunno what lavender tastes like, but you definitely get a lotta raspberry in here — it’s like a tropical fruit punch in Flavourtown!!!

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Of course we’ve still got room for dessert — and it’s probably safe to say at a place like this, they don’t do tiramisu just like Nonna makes it. Instead, you’ve got orange mascarpone, Cointreau liqueur, candied oranges and pistachios. It wasn’t bad, but I mostly just tasted the orange, bro…

Chowing down 8 courses at the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy…

Now, we don’t usually do tasting menus on Triple B — my motto’s always been why go for a buncha small plates when you can get an XL pizza, bro??? — but when we heard that Don Alfonso 1890, this funky joint inside of Casa Loma, was officially named the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy, you KNOW we had to check it out! And when you eat here, there are only two options: a three-course a la carte menu for 120 dollars, or an eight-course tasting menu for $180. I may not be good at math, but I think that getting more than twice as many things for 50% more money seems like the better way to go, bro!!!!

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After a bread plate and some canapes, they kick things up right away with this playful, mysterious little dish called L‘Anguilla. Believe it or not, but that’s eel gelato, topped with sturgeon caviar, with a side of wild-rose tagliatelle on a dollop of fresh herbs. Now, when it comes to gelato, my go-to is gianduja, but this fishy variety makes for a very interesting appetizer…

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Speaking of seafaring creatures, this rolled-up Muscovy duck breast is served with mashed apples and baby spinach, with a balsamic vinegar and demi-glace. Dude, this duck definitely doesn’t suck!!!!!!

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Of course, you can’t be the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy without making a mean pasta, and this vermicelli dish definitely fits the bill. Noodles are cooked perfectly, with a couple pieces of mackerel on the side and topped with Sicilian pine nuts, which give it a nice crunch. Man, I couldda slammed three times as much pasta — but I had to save room for snapper:

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This roasted red snapper has a nice, citrusy seasoning, on a bed of organic asparagus — the best kind of asparagus, bro! — red radishes, and a cauliflower puree. While I don’t normally go for fish, this dish was delish!!!!

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But they’re saving the best for last with Il Bisonte! You’ve got Manitoba bison tenderloin wrapped in a Swiss chard and Buffalo mozzarella crust, with salsa verde and red chili sauce for dipping. The meat was perfectly cooked, super-tender… dude, you could put that cheese crust on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!

And it turns out the bison was the same size portion as the one on the a la carte menu. It’s just that the a la carte version comes with veggies, so it looks like I made the right choice…

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Now, when you’re dining at the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy, you don’t just get one dessert to choose from, son! Served on top of dry ice, we’ve got little baby cannoli, raspberry mousse on a raspberry wafer topped with a raspberry… and the star of the show, Pistachio Semifreddo (which sounds like a bad guy on The Sopranos, bro!) But that’s not all, folks…

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Say hello to ma lil’ friend Trionfo Alla Nocciola! They’re packing a whole lotta hazelnut in here, with hazelnut parfait, hazelnut sponge cake, hazelnut crumble and a hazelnut mousse wrapped in chocolate on top. Dude, that’s hazel-nuts!!!!!

Now, while I didn’t go for the wine pairing, my personal beer pairing (Blood Brothers Inner Eye IPA) along with the tasting menu, tax and tip set me back nearly three bills. So I might hafta stick with frozen pizza for the rest of the week — not that there’s anything wrong with that… ๐Ÿ˜›

Oodles of octopus @Joso’s

Restaurants are now back to full capacity in Toronto, so we’re hanging out at Joso’s, this legendary local Italian seafood joint at Av & Dav dating back to 1967, son! This place is one of Drake’s favourite restaurants, so you know it’s gotta be good — he’s even got his own special chair upstairs — but we had actually never been here before despite living in Toronto for quite a while. Time to check this one off the bucket list, John Bro-tucci!!!!

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Now, Joso’s doesn’t actually have an appetizer section on its menu, but that doesn’t mean you can’t order some mains as starters — at main course prices, mind you. These Grilled Gamberoni come four to an order, some decent-sized prawns cut in half and served in the shell with lemon, garlic and a bit of butter. Can’t go wrong with any of that, son!

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But one of the main draws at this place, aside from the market-priced whole fish, is this dish — Octopus Schiavona. Schia-what-now? I have eaten octopus more than a few times before, but never served like this, steamed and thinly sliced with olive oil, capers and olives. It’s almost more like octopus poke, but with a prettier presentation. And I can’t really complain about the portion size…

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Now, if I’m eating at an Italian joint, you KNOW I’m gonna be judging them on their tiramisu — and this one totally passed the test! It was super moist, almost creamy even, with a nice dusting of cocoa poweder. Only questionable thing was the whipped cream on the side… I didn’t have to eat it, but I couldn’t just leave it sitting there, y’know?

I’ll be porking my troubles away with this pork chop…

Right now, the Raptors are only allowing 500 fans inside Scotiabank Arena, making it the toughest ticket in town. But it’s much easier to get a seat at Aria Ristorante, this funky Italian joint that’s so close to the arena, you can watch the game on the giant screen in Jurassic Park, son!!!

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The price of admission starts at 25 dollars for Il Frito, a tasty plate of fried calamari and shrimp, served with a smoked tartar sauce. I’m not used to eating shrimp with their heads on, but like John Daly says, just grip it and rip it, bro!!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. We’re talking 12 ounces of Berkshire pork chop tomahawk, with swiss chard, smoky bacon and sour cherries. Dude, this pork is cooked to perfection, and when you get a little bite of bacon in there, too, that’s the ticket — although it still won’t get you into the game, bro. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Just as the Raptors are putting a hurtin’ on the Atlanta Hawks, we’re putting the finishing touches on this meal with a real-deal tiramisu, topped with chunks of chocolate, and three fully intact ladyfingers out back. For dessert, it was either this or cannoli — I think I made the right choice. ๐Ÿ˜›

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Portuguese meets Italian @ Adega

Now, with restaurants reopening on Monday, we couldn’t wait to start eating out again, bro! I figured I’d take a shortcut by tackling two different cuisines at once — we’re talking Portuguese AND Italian at Adega, this funky little joint on Elm Street. Cuz you KNOW we’re the Dream Warriors, bro!!!!

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Now, they might not light it up at the table like some other Portuguese places, but this chourico sausage is fire, bro! Grilled to perfection with a nice little char — I could eat like three pounds of these bad boys!!!

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But then I wouldn’t have room for some braised short rib ravioli! This dish combines two of my favourite things, with tender short rib inside a chewy pasta shell, topped with mushrooms, onions and peppers, plus a couple green things, for colour… Dude, this ravioli puts Chef Boyardee up against the wall and shoots him!!!!!

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Now, when it comes to beer, the choices here are mostly domestic…but they do have Super Bock, one of the two biggest Portuguese beers. It’s nothing fancy, but I’m just happy to be out drinking in public again, son!!!!!!!!!!!!

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert — and I’m awfully glad I do! Dude, this Lindt Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake is a like a leaning tower of Flavourtown, filled with rich chocolatey goodness… This has gotta be the best dessert I’ve had all year — it’s also the only dessert so far. ๐Ÿ˜›

Off the hook-o osso buco @ Caffino, bro!!!

You know me, this is body by Italian food! So when I heard about Caffino, this funky little joint that’s been dishing out real-deal Italian classics on King St since 1996, I was all over that like tomato sauce on pasta, son!!!

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Speaking of tomato sauce, this first course is really swimming in it. We’re talking homemade polenta stuffed with Gorgonzola, topped with sausage and baked in tomato sauce — these are a few of my favourite things, bro!!!!

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But now it’s time for the main event. This veal osso buco is super-tender, braised in red, red wine and served on top of a creamy risotto with peas and Parmesan. They even give you the bone marrow, bro!!!

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert — and it’s no surprise that the first thing on their dessert menu is tiramisu. This classic Italian dolce is nice ‘n creamy, sprinkled with cocoa for that extra kick. Mamma mia!!!

PATIO LIT EATS: Smoked salmon on a pizza? Don’t mind if I do…

Well, the big heatwave we were having is over, and it looks like patio season will be winding down pretty soon — so it’s time to make the most of it while we still can. We’re hanging out on the rooftop patio at Terroni on Price (not to be confused with the one downtown), which is definitely one of the nicest patios in the area north of Rosedale, but not quite Midtown.

Now, when you’re here, you’re probably getting pizza — they’ve got over 20 pies to choose from. Last time we were here, we chowed down on a coupla real-deal pizzas in the dark, and it may be a bit brighter outside this time, but we’re about to funk it up a notch with this pizza al salmone:

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Now, I like smoked salmon, and I like pizza, so when you put ’em together, it’s gotta be good, right? This pie came flying outta the kitchen in like five minutes — I hadn’t even finished my bread — but it still wasn’t super warm… which is OK, considering that smoked salmon is usually served cold. But the crust was still crispy and the cheese was still melted, which made for a nice vessel for the salmon, onions, capers and tomatoes.

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Menabrea Bionda, we meet-a again-a. I’ve had this Italian beer with pizza before, and while it’s nothing too fancy or hoppy, it gets the job done.

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Now, speaking of deja vu all over again, I have ordered the flourless chocolate cake — torta calda al cioccolato — at least three times at two different Terronis, so it’s definitely my go-to dessert. I mean, warm chocolate cake with an oozy, chocolately centre… you can’t go wrong with that at all!!!!

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