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Italian, mid-high price range

Hey there. Going for dinner with 2 vegetarians and 2 people who love "creative food". Italian seems to be the safest bet. Looking for central TO, mid prices, food with a bit of a "twist". Would love to hear any suggestions.

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      1. Whithout doubt Mistura. Best and most innovative Italian in Toronto. Second choice Oro.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ishmael

          I second these suggestions, Mistura is the only place to go if looking for innovative Italian.

        2. Mistura is good, and it's in central Toronto - where you want your choice to be - but I don't regard it as mid-priced. As Italian joints go, it's rather high-priced. Much more in the mid-priced category is Zucca, though it may be farther north than you may prefer. It's on Yonge St., about two blocks south of Eglinton. Imaginative cooking is what you get there, at fair prices (it even has a decent $22 bottle of red Portuguese on its wine list) and good service in an attractive room. An altogether enjoyable spot. You an go high end on some of its dishes, but most - especially the pastas - are eminently reasonable.

          1. Tutti Matti is overrated in my opinion. Every time I had lunch there (our offices were just around the corner) I left with a general feeling of 'ok, but meh'.
            What about Le Fenice on 319 King West? It a restauranteur's restaurant. The menu is short, but every dish is perfectly executed. Service is excellent.

            With Le Mercury on Bloor it's one of my favorite restaurants downtown.

            3 Replies
            1. re: andreas

              I'd have said just the opposite. La Fenice is merely OK and Tutti Matti is excellent.

              1. re: wordsworth

                Heh. Shows how tastes differ. I really *wanted* to like Tutti Matti but the food, while fine, just didn't do it for me. I was really disappointed, because they do so many things right - the open kitchen, the emphasis on fresh ingredients, the seasonal cooking, all exactly my cup of tea. Maybe I'll need to give the place another chance.

                The thing I love about Le Fenice is that they keep things extremely simple, yet the flavour is always there.

                1. re: andreas

                  < The thing I love about Le Fenice is that they keep things extremely simple, yet the flavour is always there >

                  that's the perfect way to describe La Fenice! it's always quality

            2. Oro has great food in creative presentations.

              1. I am very fond of both Zucca and Mistura.

                Zucca definitely more reasonable

                1 Reply
                1. re: superizzy

                  I was at Zucca last week, with a group of 6 on a Tuesday night. The mains were served more than an hour after the appetizers came to the table, and when they finally did come, they were cold. All 6 of us were serviced cold pastas! It was awful. I bet the food would have been good, had it been hot, but you know how food loses something once it has been heated up. I was very dissapointed and would probably not go back.

                2. Thank you so much for your replies. Now having the hard time of booking for a sunday evening (the only day that all of us could make it)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jaxson

                    Zucca is open on Sunday nights, last time I checked. I think they might even offer the prix fixe on Sundays, too.

                    Not sure if Noce is open Sundays, but I've had a creative & upscale Italian meal there.

                    While the antipasti, salads, pasta and sides were interesting and creative at Tutti Matti, the fish in parchment paper was extremely overcooked. I don't know whether the kitchen lost track of time and decided to serve it anyway, or whether they just don't know how to cook fish.