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Italian resto for mom's 50th

Tara9000 Aug 30, 2007 06:57 AM

I want to take my mom out for a nice dinner for her 50th. She's requested Italian, and I'm trying to think of a nice, but not insanely expensive place to go (I'll be paying for 6 people).

I've come with:


I've been to, and enjoyed both previously - but haven't been in a while, and wonder what their food/service is like lately.

Any thoughts on these restaurants? Any others I should consider?


  1. Tara9000 Sep 12, 2007 11:52 AM

    So here's a pathetic update... I took look at all of the recommendations, and ended up sending my mom the online menus for Tutti Matti, Grappa, and Noce. I told her to take a look at them, and tell me where she'd like to go. A few days and a few reminders go by (we're supposed to go out this Sat), and today she calls me and tells me that she isn't used to eating "higher-end food", and doesn't think she'd enjoy it and doesn't want to go.

    I was totally bummed. I figure now I *must* have been adopted. I can never understand why people don't want to try something new. I was only trying to do something nice, lol.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Tara9000
      Googs Sep 12, 2007 12:08 PM

      Moms can be like that. (I think it's just lovely you're going to all the fuss over her.) She may be uncomfortable with the amount of money you're prepared to spend on a dinner out, the big 5-0 or not. On the other hand, her tastes may lean more towards the old fashioned brick Italian resto with red sauces a'plenty. There's something to be said for that style indeed.

      Perhaps try Zucca on her where the prices are very reasonable. Alternatively if she's looking for the old-fashioned style place Michelangelo's on Gerrard would fit the bill. They don't come much more traditional than that place. The room may not wow you, but the food is quite good.


      1. re: Googs
        Snarf Sep 12, 2007 12:29 PM

        Grano has a nice heated and covered patio that can really pull off a good casual atmosphere. Also very good food.

      2. re: Tara9000
        phoenikia Sep 12, 2007 12:23 PM

        Maybe suggest Marcello's on St.Clair West near Dufferin to her. They serve home-style food, but I don't think that your mom would find it to be "higher-end". The food is tasty, and the prices are reasonable. There's often a line-up, but it moves pretty quickly.

        Regina Trattoria on College is another homestyle resto that is more modest than Grappa, Noce, Tutti Matti.

        1. re: phoenikia
          millygirl Sep 12, 2007 12:31 PM

          There's also Quattro 4 Raggizo on the Danforth.....some CH'ers have said it's good and very reasonable. Or ViVetha in the Beach.

          1. re: millygirl
            Tara9000 Sep 12, 2007 12:38 PM

            Yeah, or I was even thinking of something as simple as Terroni or the new resto Lil Baci, since I'm in the east end.

            1. re: millygirl
              JamieK Sep 12, 2007 02:15 PM

              Yes, I was thinking to mention Quattro Raggizo too, after seeing Tara's update. Here's a a good review from hungry pangolin -
              It's still listed under its former name of Europe Planet in Places.

              And Michelango's on Gerrard, as mentioned, is also an option. Very comfortable but good food.

              Quattro 4 Ragazze
              1792 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1H8, CANADA

              1910 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4L2C1, CA

        2. b
          bogie Sep 9, 2007 07:55 PM

          Gianni E Maria on St. Clair W is an excellent Mom and Pop (literally) joint. The pastas are all homemade and superb especially the ravioli with meat sauce (not Bolognese-it's a Barolo braised beef sauce) and pillowy gnocchi. Antipasto platters are also very good and extremely generous. They are very hospitable folks who really enjoy what they do.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bogie
            phoenikia Sep 12, 2007 12:24 PM

            I love Da Gianni e Maria's gnocchi. Unbelievably good.

          2. Googs Sep 9, 2007 01:39 PM

            New convert here. Just had an unbelievably good dinner at Zucca. Then when we got the bill we almost started to laugh. Very nicely priced. Pretty room, though a touch loud due to all the reflective surfaces. Might be a wee quieter on the southwest seating. Slightly older crowd so mom should feel quite comfortable.

            1. k
              kgebhard Sep 7, 2007 01:21 PM

              Cucina on College West.

              1. d
                demeen25 Sep 7, 2007 01:08 PM

                Desserts Plus, in woodbridge, is one to consider when paying for a large party. They have HUGE servings for reasonable prices. The food there is authentic Italian food. It's like Nona is in the back cooking it. Very good!!! I'm actually going there tonight for a party.

                But if you're looking for a more upscale resto, this is not the place. It is more family oriented.

                1. icey Aug 30, 2007 10:25 AM

                  I completely agree with Rabbit's recommendations of Tutti Matti and Mistura. I do think that Mistura would be a bit expensive. I would also highly recommend Romagna Mia on Front St. I have had soooo many great meals there. And it is great, authentic Northern Italian food.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: icey
                    millygirl Aug 30, 2007 12:41 PM

                    Mistura is fabulous but its not cheap, that is for sure. It's hard to get outta there for less than $100 per person but definitely worth every cent.

                    1. re: icey
                      LemonLauren Sep 9, 2007 02:21 PM

                      My parents (who are older but still like places with a good vibe) love both Tutti Matti and Romagna Mia, and love love love Vittorio's. They recently opened a new location, too.

                      Vittorio's on Avenue
                      137 Avenue Road, Toronto, ON , CA

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

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

                      14 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M5R1V2, CA

                      1. re: LemonLauren
                        millygirl Sep 9, 2007 02:59 PM

                        I was wondering how the food was at Vittorio's. In fact, I posted about it a few months ago and did not get any replies....made me think it wasn't very popular. Perhaps it is a neighbourhood spot, which is fine with me. Passed by the Yonge Street location the other day and it looked very nice inside. What do you recommend there Lemon?

                        1. re: millygirl
                          LemonLauren Sep 9, 2007 05:19 PM

                          will have to ask the 'rents....but i think they love seafood pastas, off the top of my head.

                          1. re: millygirl
                            bogie Sep 9, 2007 07:51 PM

                            It's one of our neighborhood joints. The raviolacci (large ravioli) in mushroom cream sauce are homemade and usually available even though they aren't on the regular menu. Very tasty, indeed!

                            1. re: millygirl
                              pearlD Sep 12, 2007 12:48 PM

                              Had dinner at Vittorio's last night and was NOT at all impressed...I had the Fish (Tilapia with capers, white wine ) potatoes on the plate may have been good at one time but the whole dish had an excess of salt and there was so much salty liquid it could have passed for bad soup. My husband had the Veal Franchessa..a mustard sauce on it was excellent but that was about it. Two other guests had the mixed seafood most of which was just allright but the squid was done beyond rubber! Will not go back..prices were reasonable but that would still not tempt us for another time....p.s. this was the new one on Dupont.

                        2. Recyclor Aug 30, 2007 07:28 AM

                          I had a great time + meal at Noce about a year ago, Terroni would be good, maybe a little loud & casual for you, certainly cheaper than Noce though & always good...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Recyclor
                            pearlD Aug 30, 2007 07:37 AM

                            I second Grappa..it has a nice old school ambience, attentive service and good food. Parking (on the street) is usually easy and you could skip dessert and walk over to Dolce for gelato if it is a nice evening.

                            1. re: pearlD
                              erly Aug 30, 2007 09:03 AM

                              I really like Zucca.
                              Excellent pasta.
                              Not noisy.
                              Good, (but not cloying) service.
                              Grilled whole fish, as well as meat selection, and nice ambience.

                          2. Rabbit Aug 30, 2007 07:01 AM

                            Noce is expensive (mains can push $40ish)... for that budget, you might also consider Mistura.

                            Less pricey, is Tutti Matti (although this week they are on their yearly hiaitus). It's a nice, neighbourhood-y place (still elegant-ish), with very authentic Tuscan food.


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