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New Review - Mistura

  • Rabbit Jan 20, 2007 10:19 PM
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Someone on another thread was searching for upscale Italian. Here is my review of Mistura (my first visit), from this week.

The room itself is very pretty. Crowd is established - this is not the hipster crowd of King Street. Tables are perhaps a bit close together, but not terrible.

Cocktails/wine - Interesting cocktail list. My negroni was pleasant, one of us had a Havana Sidecar which was very tart but tasty. An on the rocks marg was well done (the bartender here is good!). Had a bottle of barolo - mid-range and very enjoyable.

Apps - Four of us split two appetizers - the proscciutto with balsamic, pears, endive and mascarpone was just as it should be. Those who split the smoked salmon appetizer (an evening special) reported success, and I can confirm that their accompanying potato salad was lovely.

Mains - I had the sea bass, which was nicely cooked, attractively plated and came with tomatos, olives and a potato cake (which they called a "panella" - I wasn't familiar with that term). The "panella" was slightly reminiscent of a square, baked, tater tot, but not unpleasant. Two at our table had the duck confit, also a special that night. The duck was lovely, but the side, billed as "gnocchi" came in unusual form. It was a square, rather that the usual little, potato dumplings. This was an imaginative zag, but I think a failed experiment - both parties were disappointed with that aspect of their meal. Our fourth had the fish mistura, which was probably the biggest success story of the night - his dish was just loaded with fat, beautiful fish and seafood in lovely sauce.

Dessert - One molten chocolate cake (the eat-er of which pronounced her own home-version better... however, her home version is excellent and she should know better than to order this item out!). I had the dessert special, a hazelnut and meringue concoction with a chocolate "jus," which I did not find remarkable, but which was a nice, light end to the meal. The others split a cookie plate which had great variety and some very nice offerings (the chocolate "brownie cookie" stood out).

Misc- Bread basket had nice options, highlight of which were some cheese sticks (not spa food).

Service was unrushed, but sometimes to the point of inattentive. Granted, they were quite busy.

Overall, I think Mistura delivered exactly as a restaurant of its calibre should. That said, does it make sense to Chowhounders if I say that Toronto has so many excellent restaurant offerings that this one isn't going to make my repeat rotation list? Although it never actually faltered (maybe slightly on service), it simply didn't produce that "fantastic!" dish, atmosphere, or whatever that we make me go back. Mistura is worth a try, but it would be low-ish on my list of recommendations and I am doubtful of a return.

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  1. Re. the square gnocchi - this is traditional Tuscan-style gnocchi I believe. Used to have it this way at my favourite Tuscan resto in Boston....

    4 Replies
    1. re: jcanncuk

      Ahhh, thanks for the education.

      (and what's your favorite in Boston... we're visiting soon)

      1. re: Rabbit

        La Morra in Brookline - a cozy resto near the Brookline Village T stop. You should see quite a few reviews/comments on Boston CH. Not fancy, but everything is well made and fresh. They even serve a homemade fresh ricotta with their bread and EVOO on arrival - it's yummy!

        If you want a bit of a splurge and a funky, upscale atmosphere (but not stuffy or formal), I would highly recommend Sorellina which is just off Copley Square on Huntington Ave. It is fabulous. Been there twice in the last 6 months and they are both my two most memorable meals in that time!

        1. re: jcanncuk

          Hmmm, know anything about Locke-Ober?

          We've been deliberating between Sorellina and Locke-Ober for a celebratory dinner during our stay (have already consulted the Boston CH'ers). Sorellina's been getting great reviews, but given that we're marking a milestone, we wanted somewhere we could senitmentaly revisit in years to come - and L-O seems to be the Boston landmark restaurant. Know anything about... ?

          And thanks for the great Boston feedback.

          1. re: Rabbit

            Sorry- have never been to Locke-O. I have to admit that I tended to avoid most of the "old school" Boston places. The exeption to that would be L'Espalier which I would recommend over ANYTHING for an incredible, beautiful, unforgettable experience. It ain't cheap, but I have seriously never heard of anyone walking away disappointed. I've been twice and was blown away - it's definitely more traditional than Sorellina and less "inventive/funky", BUT the service is outstanding, as is the food and quality of the overall experience.

    2. Perhaps it is testament to how far Toronto has come that a restaurant of Mistura's calibre does not make your must return list.

      I personally was very impressed with Mistura and have it on my repeat list.

      While there are well regarded retaurants in Toronto that I haven't made it to yet I would still think that Mistura would be in the top ten list.

      1. Is that divine beet risotto still on the menu?

        1 Reply
        1. re: spades

          Yes, it's one of their signature dishes and they continue to do it very well.

          I recommend allowing your server to add a few turns of cracked black pepper and freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano, both of which complete the dish very nicely.

          I think Mistura is quite good.

        2. I enjoyed Mistura for the mains & appetizers. But Modo had far better desserts.

          1. Where is Mistura? What is the price range?

            1. www.google.ca