Tag Archives: Italian food

Beef ‘n boar bolognese — the Triple B of pasta, bro!!!

So, we’re hanging out at Jump, this funky joint in the Financial District. This place was playing all kinds of 80’s music, but I didn’t hear any Van Halen…Jamie may or may not be crying right now. Last time I went here was for Winterlicious, but when I saw the beef ‘n boar bolognese, I knew I had to come check it out — it’s a Triple B pasta on Triple B, bro!!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got thick, homemade bucatini noodles, topped with the double-meat sauce, a little rapini, and some Pecorino Romano, to kick it up a notch. The dish has a bit of heat, but not too spicy, and there’s probably enough food for one person here — I still had room for dessert, but nothing on the menu jumped out at me…

Real-deal ricotta gnocchi @ The Eaton Centre, bro!!!!

So, the other day I’m at the Eaton Centre, stocking up on warm socks for winter, when I walked past the Samsung Experience Store and saw a sign for the Samsung Chef Experience. Turns out that Chef Craig Harding from La Palma, home of the 100-layer lasagna, was whipping up some ricotta gnocchi with sausage and chilies…so you KNOW I had to come check it out!!!

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These tasty cheese nuggets in Flavourtown were hand-rolled and cut, brought to a boil and then finished in a pan with some dandelion greens — shut the back door!!!

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OK, now let’s break it down…

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Dude, this gnocchi was gn-yummy in my gn-tummy! You had the perfect spongy texture of the cheesy dumplings, with a bit of bitterness from the greens, nice crispy bites of sausage and a whole lotta fresh parma on top… You KNOW I went back for seconds, son!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy veal & spinach ravioli!!!

So, we’re posting up at Il Posto, this funky joint in Yorkville that’s been dishing out Italian classics since the early 80’s. Man, this place has got all the pastas: spaghetti, tagliatelle, penne, gnocchi and tagliolini, but when I saw the ravioli de carne e spinaci, I knew I had to try it:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got these homemade noodles, stuffed with veal and spinach, and smothered in a tomato and basil sauce. Plus, they give you a whole bowl of Parmesan for the table — I would put that on a flip-flop! This dish was quite tasty, but I could probably eat twice as many…dude, this is body by ravioli!!!!

I’ll be chopping my troubles away with this veal chop!!!

Who needs a SlapChop when you can have a veal chop, bro? We’re hanging out at Blu Ristorante, this funky Italian joint on Yorkville, within stumbling distance of Bloor-Yonge Station. Now, this place is serving up linguine, martinis and bikinis, but when I saw the 14 ounce veal chop, I knew I was riding it right down to downtown Flavourtown!!!

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Man, this veal was funktastic, cooked a perfect medium rare with a red beetroot risotto. Not the biggest steak I’ve ever eaten, but maybe the biggest piece of baby cow. I also paid extra for truffled roasted mushrooms, cuz dude, this is body by truffled roasted mushrooms!!!

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Now, even after slaughtering that small animal, you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro! And when I heard they were baking chocolate cake to order, I wasn’t gonna NOT order it…

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OK, so this isn’t really a cake — it’s more like a five-bite brownie in Flavourtown. But you’ve still got that warm, gooey, chocolately centre, and it comes with a scoop of vanilla gelato — cuz you gotta have cake ‘n ice cream, bro! It’s not quite the hot chocolate cake at Morton’s, but I still believe in miracles!!!

Italian-style eggs benny @ Bar Buca

Yo, so last Sunday we’re hanging out in Yorkville at Buca Osteria & Bar, for some real-deal Italian brunch. And we ain’t just talking ’bout pasta and pizza in the morning — although you KNOW there has to be pizza involved. They’ve also got this crazy Italian take on eggs benny…they call it bombolone:

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OK, now let’s break it down. What you’ve got is an Italian doughnut, topped with porchetta, non-fried green tomato, salsa verde, a perfectly poached egg, and then a whole lotta marscapone on top. It sure beats the hell outta back bacon on an English muffin at Tim Horton’s, son!!!!

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Of course, Italian brunch means you’re not just eating one thing. We’re also throwing down some far-out farinata! This Genovese chickpea crepe is topped with stracciatella, hen’s eggs and a buncha black truffles, all the way from Lazio… Mamma mia!

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And like I said, it wouldn’t be Italian brunch without pizza. This funghi pie is topped with mushrooms, gorgonzola, more marscapone — dude, this is body by marscapone! — and then some marjoram leaves, for that one serving of green stuff. Man, this fun guy is crispy, chewy and soooo not leaving for L.A. anytime soon, bro!!!!

Shrimp pizza on the patio @ Viaggio, bro!

We’re hanging out at Viaggio, this funky little Italian joint that’s pretty far west on Dundas West, with a patio that’s almost as big as the whole restaurant. This place has got all kinds of funky starters like caponata, burrata and grilled asparagus – you cuss, I cuss, we all cuss for asparagus, bro!!!

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But you know if I’m at a real-deal Italian joint, it’s pretty hard for me not to order pizza. This here’s The Commodore, with Cape Breton shrimp(!) and anchovy brown butter:

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Now, I dunno what they put in this crust, but it’s got a really nice chew. It’s a little thicker, and a little doughier than your Neapolitan pies, with maybe a hint of sourdough. Anyways, I guess the shrimp in Cape Breton aren’t all that big, or they musta shrunk in the wash or something. And I couldda used maybe some chili oil to give this a little extra kick. Still one of the best seafood pizzas I’ve had this month, though…

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Of course, even with the moon hitting my eye, I polished off this pizza pie and still had room for dessert, bro! These tiramisu pancakes are nice and thick, topped with marscapone cream and espresso syrup… All that’s missing are some ladyfingers!!!

Too much meat on this pizza, bro?

So, we’re hanging out at Valens Restaurant, this funky little joint in Baldwin Village, where they’re serving up Italian food and other comfort classics. This place has got a lucky 13 different kinda of pizza on the menu, but when I saw the Carnivoro, I knew it was a match made in Flavourtown Heaven:

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Do NOT adjust your screen settings, cuz we’ve got not one, not two, not three, but four different kinds of meat on that slice, son! First off, there’s chicken, and then you’ve got the holy trinity of pork — pepperoni, sausage AND bacon!!?? Shut the front, back and side doors!!!

Plus there’s a bit of kick from the onions, a little red pepper, and some super-stringy mozza cheese. At $17.95, it’s a little pricier than their other pies, but they definitely don’t shortchange ya on the toppings!