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Toronto's Best Italian?!?

  • j

What are your favourite Italian Restaurants in the City of Toronto? As, an aside, please post your opinions on Frankie Tomatoes too!! Thanx!

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  1. I go to ViBo. It was formerly known as Villa Borghese. It was renovated and reopened as ViBo - consistent and reasonably priced for the service and decor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Alex

      My vote is for Marcello's on St. Clair for a reasonably priced restaurant.

      For something more upscale is Coppi on Yonge St. north of Lawrence.

    2. My vote is for Noce on Queen St. just west of Bathurst. A bit more upscale but excellent gnocchi.
      As a potential, went to Aquadisiac on Queens Quay for a wine tasting night last week. New chef--Italian (Roberto Granata) Food was out of this world fresh although it lacked major presentation if that's what you are after

      4 Replies
      1. re: otto
        peppermint pate

        I second the vote for Noce. The food and service are consistently exceptional. I also recently had a delicious dinner at Zucca. To use Zagat's terminology, these are both great "sleeper" spots.

          1. re: Maureen
            peppermint pate

            West side of Yonge Street, a block or two south of Eglinton (opposite the Art Shoppe). Enjoy.

      2. My vote is for Seven Numbers. Casual, tasty, and fun.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Jenna

          I second Seven Numbers.

          Also love Terroni and The Nose Restaurant (owned by the same people as Seven Numbers).

          1. re: velouria

            I went to Seven Numbers this weekend and it was terrible. The bread was stale, I got half a fig with my fig and prosciutto appetizer, and my shrimp linguine was aptly named...because I got only one shrimp in it. That and the server refused to give me cheese for it, because apparently it doesn't go with shrimp. I ate the single shrimp and then asked for cheese for my tomato sauce. And my wine (by the glass) tasted as if the bottle was open for about a week. I will never return.

            1. re: innercitykitty

              I too had a bad experience at 7 numbers just recently. Had the calamari, it came to our table oily, underseasoned and cold. Main course arrived the same way. Almost had the feeling that they had been assembled ahead, left sitting on the counter and brought out to our table.

              1. re: CDS

                I just had the best calamari I've had in this city at Fusilli on Queen at River. I eat the stuff every chance I get in practically every Mediterranean resto I go to. His was unlike any other.

                  1. re: Full tummy

                    It isn't a regular on the menu. It was a special that night. Given that it's been more than 7 months since I tasted it, I'll see what I can remember. If you're interested in trying it I suggest calling ahead.

                    The calamari was grilled and still bearing the marks and seasoning that can only be had by grilling. Then these tender tidbits were lightly graced by a homemade sauce of his own creation. I can't recall the elements, just that it was good. Next the warm squid was placed on a light salad bringing out the salad’s flavours and making the tomatoes ooze their juice into the sauce. Divine. Just a whisper of balsamic brought a gentle sweetness to the dish. Never have I had such a subtle and delicate rendition of calamari in this city. Typically I find it paired with something bitter, buried by a loud and fatty dip, or less than tender. This was elegant by virtue of it’s simplicity.

              2. re: innercitykitty

                I went to Seven Numbers during Winterlicious and it was terrible. Blah food and lacklustre service. I won't go back.

                Seven Numbers Restaurant
                343 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M5N1A1, CA

            2. re: Jenna

              I was at Seven Numbers on Danforth last night for Winterlicious and was very disappointed. I was totally impressed at first with the ipad menu/wine list. This changed once the food arrived. The portions were tiny and the food was mediocre at best. The fish of the day was sardines which are pretty limited in their appeal. One person in our party had them and said they were so-so and extremely bony. The steak was 4 ounces. 4 ounces - c'mon - don't even bother putting it on the menu if you can't at least manage 6 ounces. I had the beef cheeks which were surprisingly fatty, and tasted no different than any other beef that had been stewed to death. The fava beans that were cooked with the beef were undercooked and still hard. I ordered the salad as my side dish (out of a choice of salad, brussel sprouts or fennel). It was some kind of frilly lettuce which was so bitter that it was inedible. The best part was dessert - choice of either 2 miniscule but delicious lemon tarts, or a child size portion of tiramisu (also delicious). To top it all off, they don't even have cream available for coffee. It's milk or nothing. Many of us prefer cream and every other restaurant has both.
              The noise level was extremely high - I was with 2 other people at a small table and we had to scream to hear each other. Maybe this place is better the rest of the year, but I would not go back for anything 'licious.

              Seven Numbers
              516 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M5N, CA

              Seven Numbers Restaurant
              343 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M5N1A1, CA

            3. j
              James Simmons

              Giancarlo Trattoria - College and Clinton - awesome Carpaccio with truffles - excellent wines (pick them off the wall, not a list) and service all good - patio eating during the summer.

              1. I've been to La Bruschetta a number of times - it was something of a New Years' tradition for a while. Delicious fresh pasta and very friendly service.

                1. f
                  Frances in Toronto

                  i hear Romagnia Mia on Front St. is good, but more on the pricey side.

                  they have a website somewhere...

                  Coppi is ok... if you like risotto that's a bit on the hard side (which is supposed to be "authentic") and possibly a bit too salty because they toss it in the parmesan cheese wheel a bit too long.

                  1. Try Regina's on College (near Shaw).... they've got the best food on College street if you're looking for italian.

                    1. Try Regina's on College (near Shaw).... they've got the best food on College street if you're looking for italian.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Gerry

                        Regina's? Im sorry but hands down that was the worst meal Ive ever had, and Im serious. I seriously think they use sauce from a jar.

                        High end: Giancarlos
                        Mod. Price: Terroni

                        PS Ive eaten at all of Mario Batallis restaurants, so I know what Im talking about.

                        1. re: TdotFoodKing

                          Regina's isn't the absolute best but it is authentic and I highly doubt they use sauce from a jar. Their veal parm is gorgious.

                        2. Terroni is always solid. I've also had some really nice experiences at Big Ragu at Lansdowne and St. Clair -- super friendly service and tasty, casual Italian food.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: squeaks

                            Big Ragu...hmm Ive driven past a 1000 times and always wondered. I'll have to give it a try.

                            1. re: TdotFoodKing

                              i liked the food at big ragu but the waitress was rude and thought she deserved a big tip so tried 'forgetting' about my change and being rude when i mentioned i wanted some...

                          2. Another vote for Zucca, even though the chef is a New Zealander.

                            If you want to go beyond the 'city', Via Allegro on the Queensway is definitely doing some great things with food, and has one of the best wine lists in Ontario. No discount for location, though.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Snarf

                              I must say - I went to Via Allegro for lunch last year and though of course I was impressed by the luxury of the experience in total, I was underwhelmed by the food - particularly by the risotto. I had high expectations after all the awards I heard the restaurant had received for its risotto, though.
                              Tried Terroni for the first time last night - was a nice experience, but not 'special', per se.

                            2. Count mine as another vote for Zucca. This is one of my fav spots. My experience have demonstrated consistent quality of both food and service. I only I lived closer....

                              Another fav is Bar Mercurio for wonderful thin crust pizza and a good wine list.

                              I see some have suggested Via Allegro, but honestly, my experience with this place (3x) has been that it is over priced, over hyped, over decorated, and extremely overly LOUD. IMHO, not worth the drive to Etobicoke.

                              Firmly owning my "never again in a million years" category sits Sotto, Sotto. They win the award for the most snotty, arrogant, insulting service ever experienced anywhere on the planet. I am still nursing my anger 2 years after my unfortunate last dinner there and I take every opportunity to ensure no one ever makes the mistake of going there.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: dinin and dishin

                                I heartily 2nd your emotion on Snobbo Snobbo. Or should that be Snotto Snotto?

                                1. re: Googs

                                  googs, thank you for "snobbo snobbo" and "snotto snotto." I will use both when appropriate from now on!!!

                                  what really irks me is that the first time I went, I had some of the best pasta with fresh clams I've ever had. (next to Chez Panisse). One bad waiter really can ruin it forever.

                                  1. re: dinin and dishin

                                    The restaurant above Sotto Sotto is better and cheaper, Spuntini I beliieve.

                                2. re: dinin and dishin

                                  I think your comments are a bit too harsh. I have been to the restaurant several 5+ times. The service is spotty sometimes but the food is good.

                                  Very good and extensive wine list....that I unfortunately have to avoid to keep the meal reasonable priced.

                                  1. re: Sweetcakestoo

                                    Hi Sweetcakes2. Not sure which of my comments you think are too harsh. My dislike of Allegro is more personal taste because I just can't handle that much noise. I would like to try it when it is quiet someday and see if that makes a difference.

                                    However, if you think my comments on Snotto, snotto are too harsh, well then, you had to be there. I've never been so insulted in a restaurant or ANYWHERE in my life. It has now been 3 years since that incident, and my anger has not subsided. No matter how much I crave their linquine with fresh clams, I swear that I will never darken their door again.

                                3. How about Gio Rana's? Great food and atmosphere that's like a huge Italian family feast.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: oystergal

                                    Gio Rana's used to be great....sadly IMO is has gone down hill in the last year or so. It was one of my fav places to go but no more. The place has become dirty and atmosphere is not what it was. Portions are half of what they were, and the menu has not changed at all since day one. Even their specials are just items from the menu repeated. In fact, I think they have discontinued specials altogether. Too bad 'cuz we loved the place.

                                    1. re: millygirl

                                      Dirty! Yes - and waiters that look like they haven't had a bath or a change of clothes in a year.... ugggh! And the decor - abandoned tear down - which was a strange novelty at first - just got old and annoying. Given that they are closed 3 days a week you'd think they'd have time to clean and paint the place.

                                      1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                        I think your comment about the personal hygiene practices of the waitstaff is unfair, to say the least. Yes, the place has gone downhill of late, unfortunately, but I certainly have not made any observations about their servers being unbathed or obviously unclean. A bit dissheveled, perhaps, due to a combination of the hectic atmosphere of working in a restaurant and the prevailing fashion trends. However, to speculate on the servers' personal hygiene habits is a stretch.

                                      2. re: millygirl

                                        I'm with you on Granos. A long time ago, I loved their antipasta selection but when I've been there a few times over the past few years, I've been so disappointed. And I had one of the worst seafood pastas there I've ever experienced anywhere.

                                    2. Da Gianni e Maria Tratorria on St. Clair has been my favourite for about a year now. As close to an authentic Roman experience as you will get in Toronto. They take their time, but the ingredients are fresh, the food is fantastic and the atmosphere is friendly. No fusion or invention here - just straight ahead Italian cooking. Prices are a bit high, but I've never been disappointed. Also a fan of the Big Ragu for a more casual, affordable experience.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: romanruin

                                        I asked one of the chefs here: http://www.iictoronto.esteri.it/IIC_T... about which Italian restaurants they go for. He told me that he likes traditional Italian food. Where he goes often are:

                                        *BOCCACCIO: HTTP://WWW.TORONTOLIFE.COM/GUIDE/REST...
                                        *Da Gianni e Maria Trattoria:
                                        *Romagna Mia: http://www.romagna-mia.com/aboutus.php

                                      2. My absolute favourite is Mezza Notte Trattoria on Yonge just south of Finch. Great service, great price, best seafood linguine ever!

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: goodmom8

                                          Tutti Matti is hands down the best italian i have had in Toronto. It is the only place i've been where the food actually tastes as it does in italy (well, at least in Tuscany- guess it depends what kind of "italian" we are talking about).

                                          1. re: alltummy

                                            I had dinner at Tutti Matti about a week ago and although the pasta was quite tasty, the service was crap. In fact, it was quite odd. We placed our order - straight to mains because of time limitations - and it arrived about 3 minutes later! Not surprisingly the ravioli's were ice cold inside. How could they not know that it could hardly be heated thoroughly in a span of 2 minutes. Nice looking restaurant and yes, the pasta is good but the place was empty and I'm pretty sure I know why.

                                            1. re: millygirl

                                              i've never had anything but impeccable service there. strange. it's also usually very full.

                                          2. re: goodmom8

                                            agree! I went there for the first time today and totally fall in love with their great seafood pasta!!!

                                          3. Tutti Matti & La Fenice are my favorite lunch spots in that area.
                                            For dinner, hard to beat Il Mulino which offers exceptional good Italian food & service. I prefer it to Via Allegro.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: ace123

                                              Went to Tutti Matti the other night and it was nothing short of disgusting. The food was awful, but the service was worse. Would NEVER go back there.

                                              1. re: sam_1

                                                Hey Sam, it's nice to know I'm not alone.

                                                1. re: sam_1

                                                  Sorry to hear that.
                                                  I haven't been there for lunch for several months.
                                                  Would like to know what's so disgusting about your dinner.

                                              2. I've always enjoyed Gamberoni (3238 Yonge).

                                                Very nice and cousy atmosphere with your typical checker-board table cloth.

                                                I've been going there for the past 6 or 7 years and I've never been disappointed. Always excellent and consistent food and service with reasonable prices.

                                                I've always been a fan of their shrimp diavolo, as their tomato sauce is out of this world.

                                                Also, their Ossobuco is beyond description. While it's not always on the menu, if you stumble across it, you won't regret ordering it.

                                                1. La Vecchia, on Yonge, north of Eglinton.

                                                  Slightly below that, Terroni is consistently good.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: salad lad

                                                    Terroni's Queen Street location for some reason offers better tasting food than the other locations!

                                                    1. re: salad lad

                                                      Yes! Very good and friendly service. In summer, when the patio is open, and if you are a non-smoker, you'll have to select a spot inside, away from it.

                                                    2. i haven't had too many italian places in toronto but today I stumbled upon La Vecchia while randomly driving around looking for a place to eat. Great food and service.

                                                      1. My vote goes to Mistura, but I haven't been to all of the places mentioned above by others. Their wild boar ravioli is excellent.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: soho

                                                          I second the vote and the ravioli recommendation!

                                                        2. Haven't experienced the high end (Via Allegro, Il Mulino), but I think Big Ragu is one of the most memorable and satisfying Italian eating experiences Toronto has to offer. It's a cozy, unpretentious Roman-style trattoria, focused on quality ingredients and personable service. I find their tiny room at the tip of Landsdowne to be really charming, and it's the only place I feel like I'm actually being cooked for in someone's home.

                                                          I could get really poetic about this place, but I'll stop there. Carmen and his staff just celebrated four years, and he's finally getting around to including more obscure (read: authentic) items on his card, like baccala (salt cod), deep-fried artichokes, and even tripe.

                                                          I'm sure Via's great, but there's no way they can match the intimacy and humble flair of Big Ragu.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: SxCx

                                                            Has anyone been to one of Big Ragu's "Big Night" dinner party events? It sounds like a lot of fun....

                                                            Big Ragu
                                                            1338 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H3Z8, CA

                                                          2. Which one is better, Giancarlo Trattoriaor Il Mulino?

                                                            1. Rossini, South of Wilson - Very good food but arrogant staff (according to our last experience).

                                                              1. Re: Big Ragu - don't believe the hype! I was so looking forward to trying it and it was one of the worst dining experiences I've had in ages. The food was mostly bad, but the service was worse. Terrrrible.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: laurelmcg

                                                                  When was this? Do you mind elaborating?

                                                                  1. re: SxCx

                                                                    I say Terroni as well. I love their pappardelle with oyster mushrooms, sausage and peas. yum.

                                                                2. Ferro on St. Clair W. at Arlington. Very good food and service. Can be a bit noisy.

                                                                  1. I have heard people say that Piccolo on Carlton? has great italian, possibly the best in show for the price.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: magret

                                                                      Im also curious about this spot, has anyone been? whats the prices like?

                                                                        1. re: Googs

                                                                          lol how embarassing, I have aterrible memory apparently. Ill try to check it out myself. Thanks

                                                                          1. re: hungryabbey

                                                                            I just happened to notice another Piccolo on Birch Street. Are they of the same owners, anybody know?

                                                                    2. As previously mentioned -

                                                                      For moderate priced good Italian fare (although I hardly ever go out for Italian as I can cook pretty much everything they can just as good! ;)
                                                                      - Zucca

                                                                      Two best Italian resto's in the city:
                                                                      Il Mulino ((Their smoked duck breast and truffle sauce pasta is AMAZING!))
                                                                      Romagnia Mia

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Sadistick

                                                                        For high end Italian, I agree with Mistura, Zucca (my favourite) Il Mulino (especially if you go with a "regular") otherwise not so much, and several others are decent....
                                                                        but for a basic trattoria, none
                                                                        And I have eaten at almost all mentioned here.

                                                                        1. re: erly

                                                                          I visited Il Mulino's website, but there are no prices listed. What is the average price of a pasta dish or antipasto one?

                                                                      2. i was just curious, but has anyone been to joe maggiano's on sheppard at vic park? (http://www.joessteakanditalian.ca/) i don't really see it stacking up to any of the italian places mentioned .... but it claims to be an "italian steakhouse and bar" which seems to be a bit off....

                                                                        anyhow, my family's got a gift certificate and i wanted to see if there were any recommendations before we went .....

                                                                        and as for frankie's .... correct me if i'm wrong, but i feel like the food is cooked by chinese ppl ... and made to cater to the general tastes of everyone and not very italian

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: msprnt

                                                                          I have been to Joe Maggianos.. and I would definetly NOT call it authentic italian. More like a family restaurant thats better than east side marios and kelseys. Its similar to like Jawny Bakers in east york. I think I had the veal parm when I went and it was HUGE, good, not by any means authentic but a good carby fix. If I returned Id probably stick to the pub basics, like burger, wings etc. as its just kinda that type of kitchen it seems. But if you have a gift certificate, its worth using, its not bad, just not your ma and pop type of place for italian.

                                                                          1. re: hungryabbey

                                                                            so we went to joe maggiano's .... and it was quite typical ....we ordered their bacon wrapped scallops, fried calamari, french onion soup, and caesar salad to start... their scallops could have been a bit bigger at $10 for 4, but cooked decently... not overdone ....rest of the apps were to the taste of my familiy....

                                                                            my brother got some chicken linguine (very typical), my parents both got their 8 oz. prime rib (my dad complained the gravy was too salty), and i got their steak oscar (8 oz. sirloin, topped with crab meat, asparagus, and hollandaise sauce.... with 4 shrimp on the side....i got it because it reminded me of breakfast!) ... and we were full so we shared a tiramisu for dessert.... nothing really stood out to me, but the steak and prime rib were cooked to our liking .... and decent for the price.... before taxes and gratuity, it came out to 100 flat ... not bad for all that food ....

                                                                            1. re: msprnt

                                                                              yah thats basically been my experience. but at least you got out of there for cheap.

                                                                        2. Old-World Italian - Il Mulino, Bathurst/Eglinton....Great service, white table-cloths - Amazing smoked duck linguini and their potato-free gnocci is fantastic....their specials are always well imagined.

                                                                          New-age - Mistura...davenport and avenue - Everything comes to the table fresh and hot. Heavy on flavor - I LOVE their waygu steak...generous portions.

                                                                          1. For reasonably priced and consistent quality, I think Ferraro's on Eglinton is very good. Their salmon pasta is one of the better ones I've tried and they do very nice portobello, roasted red pepper and feta salad. I'm also fond of the seafood specials (really large, tender scallops and shrimp, for example, and tasty olive oil/garlic sauce) at Sapori Trattoria on Yonge N. of Lawrence.

                                                                            I used to love Seven Numbers but since it relocated they've discontinued some of my favourites and the menu doesn't appear to vary as much. I had a wondeful argula/red pepper salad and the desserts, all of which they make, are always good (we had a wonderful key lime pie last time). Service is also always good there but the despite a good beginning and good ending, I don't find enough anymore in the middle to make me want to go back.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                              Ferrarro Pasta is gorgious. Nice poritons too.

                                                                            2. I'm also a fan of The Big Ragu....for me it's a neighbourhood spot. Carmine is awesome and I especially like their whole fish specials. It's also good for brunch Italian style. When I'm downtown I'm partial to Cafe Nervosa in Yorkville. In the summer I love sitting on their relaxed upper patio and their seafood salad is always very fresh and tasty...lately their pizza is really good, too...reminds me of the thin crust flavourful pies I've had in Rome

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: joleedeeva

                                                                                If you don't mind me asking--what is brunch Italian style like?

                                                                              2. I went to Soto Soto located in Yorkville for my one year anniversary and it was beautiful. The food was great. The service and decor are incredible. Great wine selection as well. Definitely recommended for special occasions.

                                                                                1. I don't know much about 'bests' and '#1's but, speaking of simply wonderful restaurants that don't disappoint, Camarra's is top of my list. Since discovering it I've been there a few times and I have never been disappointed, ever. The food is prepared with care and shows a lot of attention to detail. Even in the simple dishes the attention put towards making sure things are decent and high-quality is quite evident.

                                                                                  Their pizza's are famous but their other selections are equally delightful.

                                                                                  I read their short biography in the menu (worth a read) and I think they stand up to the 'home made' and 'authentic' claims quite well.

                                                                                    1. I love the following Italian restaurants:
                                                                                      - Giancarlo Trattoria (College St)
                                                                                      - Ferraro's (Eglinton Ave)
                                                                                      - Spuntini (Avenue Road)

                                                                                      I also enjoy the wild mushroom pizza at Il Fornello's.

                                                                                      I would love to try the pasta at Massimo's (College/Spadina) and Mistura one day.

                                                                                      1. I like Michaelangelo on Gerrard East. It's been the forever, the food is good, the prices are more than fair and it's really unpretentious.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: air621

                                                                                          I really wanted to like this place, and there wasnt anything that was really bad but I just felt the food was very mediocre. I think I have gnocchi, and while the gnocchi themselves were good, the sauces of all of the pasta dishes I tried were very bland. I would try it again, what do you recommend?

                                                                                          1. re: air621

                                                                                            Michaelangelo's brings back memories of dinner with my grandmother. It was walking distance from where she used to live so were were there alot, never had a bad meal there. And every summer they used to have a lobster special in perfect timing for my birthday.... ahhhhhh the memories.

                                                                                          2. Wow - lots of great new places for us to try too, thanks.

                                                                                            I would second the Romagna Mia. The food was incredible but the service a bit slow. http://www.chow.com/places/8032

                                                                                            1. I just have to say, avoid Big Ragu, the food doesn't come close to making me forget the horrid service. Even more horrid? L'Unita. Worst experience of the past year. Sotto Sotto might be snotty, but at least THEY have years of experience to back it up. Gio's is good, consistent and I found it to be fun and unpretentious. La Forchetta on College was pretty good as well. I've never tried it, but I hear good things about Fusilli on Queen East....Good luck!

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: laurelmcg

                                                                                                Oh how I miss Spinellos!!!
                                                                                                Terroni is very good. Good consistant food.

                                                                                                1. re: Flipper_22

                                                                                                  The guys who used to run Spinello's except for the top guy now run Mirto which is on Toronto at Adelaide next to Terroni's. Great service, good food and a lot less crowded than Terroni's. Try it out.

                                                                                              2. La Bruschetta on St. Clair (E. of Landsdowne) is the real deal.....great food, great atmosphere, and great staff. Its a family owned restaurant, and is so welcoming that it feels like I'm transported back to Italy each time I walk in the door.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: metrognome

                                                                                                  Spinellos was great but I think they closed down awhile ago. Ferraros on Eglinton is very good food, great service and great prices.

                                                                                                  1. re: metrognome

                                                                                                    I was there for lunch during Winterlicious. The food was kinda meh to me, but I do agree about the great atmosphere and staff.

                                                                                                    1. re: metrognome

                                                                                                      This restaurant use to be my favourite when I lived in the area 10years ago...the owner chef use to walk around talk to the customers. Slice some cheese for sampling. I went to the restaurant in 2007...I think the owner/chef no longer cooks...Food was good but the experience was not as memorable as in the old days.

                                                                                                    2. I like Grazie at Yonge and Eg. Their bologna so good. So tomato-ily hearty. Anything tomato sauce is good there.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: jennjen18

                                                                                                        Marinello's, has very tasty authentic Italian cuisine. The are moving to college st. I believe the end of this month from there current location adelaide & wildmer. If you haven't been there be sure to check it out before they move.

                                                                                                        1. re: visualhornet

                                                                                                          AVOID - Seven Numbers on Eglinton. 4 of us shared 4 starters - the grilled shrimp were good - it all ended there!!! My lamb shank had NO FLAVOUR - tasted like it had been simmered in water then briefly roasted. It was topped with CANNED peas! That's Italian? It was insulting!!! One of my sons ordered lasagna - he couldn't eat it. Another son ordered the spicey pork loin - dry, no spice at all! Our female companion ordered the fish mix - only OK. The regular salad was fine.

                                                                                                          Each of us shared all the dishes. One would expect to get at least some garlic somewhere in this Italian cooking - there was none! We agreed that it was the worst meal we had ever eaten. Our family cooks a lot (restaurant experience) and we dine out often. The food was not even close to Gio's in any way. Yes, the prices were lower but for what????

                                                                                                          Anyone else had this experience at this restaurant?

                                                                                                          1. re: PucciFendi

                                                                                                            7 Numbers on Eglinton was one of my faves before they moved. I don't understand why a move has had such a drastic affect on the food but I've accepted it. And we don't go there any more. I got a coupon in the mail for saving such many $$ if you spend such many and that convinces me 7 Numbers is in trouble. Because when they were located on the south side of Eglinton, no way did they need to use that type of inducement to get people to visit.

                                                                                                      2. Well since this 5 year old post has been revived I guess I'll weigh in. Not necessarily the best, but definitely my two favourites. Zucca for it's reinvention of North Italian cuisine using seasonal Ontario ingredients. Fusilli for Giuseppe's profound understanding of Sicilian/Southern cuisine.

                                                                                                        531 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5A1V1, CA

                                                                                                        2150 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 2A8, CA

                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Googs

                                                                                                          Just looking at the Fusilli website--it's weird that they don't have prices on their dinner menu.

                                                                                                          1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                            Yeah, I know I find that off-putting as well. I can tell you, though, that two can easily dine for about a hundred. That would include 2 app's, 2 main's, a shared dessert, and wine.

                                                                                                            1. re: Googs

                                                                                                              Good to know. I have this growing list of places in the east end to try when I'm there---which sadly is rarely. (Maybe it's just this board but it seems like the east end of Queen is Cupcake Heaven... so if I go to CH, I know a place to go eat dinner...)

                                                                                                              1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                Googs, What is the atmosphere like at Piccolo? Would it be suitable for a group of ten twenty-somethings on a friday night? I already tried Fusilli (its for this Friday eeek).

                                                                                                                1. re: foodio

                                                                                                                  foodio, I just got this now. Did you go last night?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                    Nope, we ended up at Cafe la Gaffe on Baldwin. I'll keep Piccolo in mind for another time!

                                                                                                              2. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                <<Just looking at the Fusilli website--it's weird that they don't have prices on their dinner menu.>>

                                                                                                                They do now... http://fusilli.ca/dinner.html

                                                                                                                1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                  Thanks Googs - I too love Zucca, and I must now try Fusilli - have passed by many times and wondered... what do you recommend on its menu?

                                                                                                                  1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                                                                                                    I should say that I don't eat veal so I can't speak to those dishes. He's a master of the tomato IMHO so anything involving a tomato meeting your mouth is killer. The seafood risotto is outstanding. Fusilli isn't like Zucca. This is the simple, rustic cooking that always seems like it should be easy and yet is the most difficult to pull off.

                                                                                                                    One strong word of advice. Always call ahead to make sure Giuseppe is in the house. The best nights only happen when he's there.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                      Sounds like your taste in dinner entrees is similar to mine! Tomato, tomato, seafood and no veal----I'm going to have to read your views on food even more attentively from now on, Googs!

                                                                                                                2. ROMAGNIA MIA- on front, for a nice meal, enjoy a bottle of wine and authentic Tuscan dishes.

                                                                                                                  PIZZERIA LIBRETTO - on ossington, pizza! best in the city, like you just stepped into a pizzeria in southern italy!

                                                                                                                  1. Tutto Bene, in a strip mall just south of Hwy 7 on Yonge St. Well executed, authentic Italian. I find the menu a bit lame, but the specials usually rock. Always busy when I go, including weeknights.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: toukolou

                                                                                                                      Love Tutto Bene ! Their Grilled seafood medley with lobster Boullabaise broth appertizer is one of the best tasting dish in the GTA. Awesome veal chop as well!

                                                                                                                      Tutto Bene
                                                                                                                      8133 Yonge St, Thornhill, ON L3T2C6, CA

                                                                                                                    2. coppi is my pick, 20 years in business, its all about the food, try their fish in salt, incredible!!
                                                                                                                      Affordable too, decent wine list and knowledgeable staff

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: fishheads

                                                                                                                        With all due respect fishheads, when was the last time you visited Coppi?

                                                                                                                        It used to be very good but I think that has changed. The last time we went our evening was a disaster. The food and service was so bad it was almost laughable. Seriously, our pasta was ice cold, tasteless seafood, and the service was really a joke.

                                                                                                                        1. re: millygirl

                                                                                                                          I second that. Our meal was grossly overpriced with respect to the overall experience.

                                                                                                                      2. Langolino is good in Little Italy. Very cozy, the staff was very proud of their food and with good reason. It's just north of College on Clinton street.

                                                                                                                        1. Wow, a six year old thread. Well, since no one else responded to your second question, I will: Frankie Tomato's bears as much resemblance to good Italian food as the Mandarin does to good Chinese. Depending on what they're carving, you might find a few good things, but most things are mediocre, and some are terrible. Italian food for people who're afraid of Italian food!

                                                                                                                          1. Our go to for northern italian is Mastros on Wilson near Keele. Fabulous and consistent. Many would pass by because its in a not-so-great area and in a strip mall, but wonderful. Has been around for years and years - must say something about the place.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: BequiaT

                                                                                                                              I went to Grano this evening with a group of 5 people. I had not been there for at least 4 years and I have to report that 4 years wasn't long enough. The food was a real let down. I had a pasta with ground chicken that was so dry. My SO had the daily fish, and again the food was unedible to say the least. I was astonished at the presentation of our meals. Simply slopped on our plates.

                                                                                                                              This was a real shame because this used to be my go to place.

                                                                                                                              2035 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A2, CA

                                                                                                                              1. re: theFword

                                                                                                                                One word I've found for Grano: Inconsistent. Sometimes, food is truly disgusting and other times, it's very good. Russian roulette with your palette, really.

                                                                                                                                2035 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4S2A2, CA

                                                                                                                            2. Bar Mercurio on Bloor Street West near St. George Stn. Best Italian food overall, and especially the gnocchi.

                                                                                                                              Bar Mercurio
                                                                                                                              270 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1V8, CA

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: BodybuildingEric

                                                                                                                                We've found bar mercurio pretty spotty. We had a great meal there about a year ago but went recently and had really bad service and the food was bad in strange ways. We both ordered seafood pasta. While my pasta came swimming in a sauce so salty that I didn't finish it--a huge pile of it gooped on the dish carelessly, my partners had very little sauce. Strange things like that.

                                                                                                                              2. This month my hubby and I spent a week in Toronto and our focus was to eat delicious Italian meals - at LEAST once a day. Hubby's focus was great wines and fine food but without a supper stuffy atmosphere. We did a lot of research and asked chef friends for rec's. Our first stop was Terroni's on Adelaide. Incredible pasta, great service and super wine pairing! Every meal after we tried to force ourselves to try our other pics (which were pretty good) but we couldn't stop ourselves from hitting Terroni's 3 more times. One early quiet dinner on the patio. One cocktail hour (okay two) enjoying fabulous wine and antipasto in the bar area. One late night dinner in the main dining room and it was packed. Each time was fantastic! ...the only downside is that the wine we fell in love with is flown in from Italy for Terroni.

                                                                                                                                57 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C1K6, CA

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: foodie girl

                                                                                                                                  Just curious--what pasta dishes did you like at Terroni?

                                                                                                                                2. I LOVED Terroni! I am visiting from Calgary and wanted a casual, rustic, fun Italian restaurant - not "fine dining" or "fussy" and this is what I got! I can't say enough about this restaurant! It reminded me of being in Rome. The food was rustic, Italian, beautiful. The service was friendly, accomodating, fun. The wine list is very impressive. Don't miss the Tirimisu!

                                                                                                                                  720 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1E8, CA

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: jsfoodchat

                                                                                                                                    Terrible service. Over priced for what you get. Long wait after you order. Not staffed properly.

                                                                                                                                  2. We were at Coppi recently. The more Italian restaurants we go to the more we appreciate Coppi. We had excellent service, wine recommendation, and food. We both agreed that we will be returning more often. We started with appetizer portions of home made pasta. One with rabbit ragout and the other with porcini mushrooms. The main course of baked red snapper encrusted in layers of sea salt was delicious.

                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: saltyanchovy

                                                                                                                                      OMG, seriously?? I used to really enjoy Coppi but the last time we went it was a joke. The food was poor and the service was even worse. I could not believe
                                                                                                                                      Fausto would let things slide as he did. It made my list of Top 5 worst meals of the year. Honesly! And the other 5 people we were with agreed, our dinner that evening stunk.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: millygirl

                                                                                                                                        I really loves Sapori but they closed. We have tried the pizza place they opened next door but don't know what replaced Sapori. Noce is a big favourite. I alse went to Buca for the first time a few weeks ago and really loved, loved, loved it, especially the ricotta and zucchini flower pizza. It truly remined me of being in Roma.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sherry f

                                                                                                                                          Sapori is now Osteria. Same owner (Luigi), but with two new partners that bought out 50% so he could focus on a new restaurant up in Vaughan. Essentially the same menu, everything a few bucks cheaper to roll with the times. They got rid of the white tablecloths and a few other amenities to save some money and reduce the menu prices.

                                                                                                                                          If you were a regular customer before, you probably know Gus, the head server? He's one of the new partners, along with one of the chefs. So really nothing has changed.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                            Thanks for all of the info. I do remember Gus. Glad that it is basically the same.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                              do you happen to know the name of the new restaurant in Vaughan? Has it opened yet?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: tori_amsterdam

                                                                                                                                                Yep, it's open. It's called Autostrada. Rutherford and 400, near Vaughan Mills. A couple of folks just did a review of it recently on this board if you search on it. Both were positive, though it sounds like there are some service kinks to work out.


                                                                                                                                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                  I was shocked when I had a very authentic bowl of al dente Penne a la Vodka at Grazie last week. I haven't been to that place since the 90's and there's a good reason...the crowd is brutal!! It's a total cougar place and overall isn't a big step up from Olive Garden in terms of service and atmosphere. BUT, the food was surprisingly pretty good. I haven't had a bowl of pasta that tasty in a long while - that said, I rarely order pasta and I don't frequent high end Italian places like Scaramouche that often - I know they're much better. This is just good local pasta if you can tolerate the crowd and faux sophisticated Italian decor.

                                                                                                                                                  2373 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P2C8, CA

                                                                                                                                      2. Personally, I really like the restaurant Romagna Mia close to St. Lawrence market. The risotto is really good, and their bread is baked fresh every day and really quite good, all the pasta is freshly made and it's just very good. http://www.romagna-mia.com/

                                                                                                                                        If you live farther north, i'd have to say that the best restaurant is Il Fornello. It's a chain, I know, but it's really quite good, especially their pizzas.

                                                                                                                                        Romagna Mia
                                                                                                                                        106 Front Street East, Toronto, ON M5A 1E1, CA

                                                                                                                                        1. Zucca - my favourite Italian restaurant in Toronto year after year. It is one of the only places I am confident to recommend to everyone due to their consistency in great food and fantastic service. The chef is as passionate about the food as the maitre'd is passionate about customer service. I always feel so welcome there, and the response from the many people I've recommended Zucca to is the same.
                                                                                                                                          Now, the food... Personally, I almost always have one of the fresh pastas in appetiser size and the whole fish as a main. Simple, unpretentious - usually just lightly seasoned with salt, fresh black pepper and olive oil. I find it fairly priced given the quality of ingredients. Haven't been in a few weeks, think I am long overdue

                                                                                                                                          2150 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 2A8, CA

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: bellyhungry

                                                                                                                                            went to joe maggiano's on sat for winterlicious and had some of the best penne and tomato sauce in a long time, great portion and i would also recommend the pizza....stone oven baked yummmm

                                                                                                                                          2. Looks like Tutti Matti may have taken over the crown for now. No bad experiences or reviews surrounding this one. Porchetta Tonnata, Lamb Tagliatelle to die for, perfect veal cheeks, what's not to like?

                                                                                                                                            Tutti Matti
                                                                                                                                            364 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V1R7, CA

                                                                                                                                            1. This is a wonderful little Italian restaurant south of St. Clair. It is named Nove - after the 9 siblings. I love the warm atmosphere and the feeling of authenticity. The food is great!
                                                                                                                                              Try it!

                                                                                                                                              Nove Trattoria
                                                                                                                                              1406 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T 1Y5, CA

                                                                                                                                              1. The Big Ragu is great. I love it when the owner loves food and travels to Italy every year. The lemon shot (free) at the end of the meal is always nice too. When we have guests in town we always make reservations and go there. Perfect prices.

                                                                                                                                                Big Ragu
                                                                                                                                                1338 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H3Z8, CA

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                                                                  I really like Buca! Their pastas are amazing (particularly the bigoli - duck noodles with a duck ragu), they cure their own meats (also amazing) and serve up the best eggplant parmesan I've ever had. Highly recommended.

                                                                                                                                                  604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

                                                                                                                                                2. Il Mulino used to be one of the best! Loved their food and service!

                                                                                                                                                  How's the food these days with the new owner and chef?

                                                                                                                                                  Il Mulino
                                                                                                                                                  1060 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, ON M6C 2C9, CA

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                                                    We have been to the new lI Mulino several times.
                                                                                                                                                    Very much enjoyed our meals there.
                                                                                                                                                    Similar Menu.
                                                                                                                                                    It doesn't compare to Mistura, but a little bit more relaxed.

                                                                                                                                                    265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: erly

                                                                                                                                                      We went to the new Il Mulino last week, and I have to say it was really terrific. Agree with Erly that it is no Mistura, but it is much more reasonable in price, and really a neighbourhood gem. I had an absolutely wonderful carrot soup with orange and ginger and it was vegan, but tasted very rich. It was a huge portion whcih I Iook to the office the next day. I also had a salad with grilled mushrooms that was delicious. My husband had the seafood pasta (he requested just shirmp, and it was no problem) and a ceasar salad and he thought they were both great. They have a terrific wine list and wonderful garlic bread on the table (much like Sapori had which I greatly miss).

                                                                                                                                                      Il Mulino
                                                                                                                                                      1060 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, ON M6C 2C9, CA

                                                                                                                                                      265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA