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Dec 3, 2007 07:39 PM

best on corso italia

where's the best Italian on corso italia? (aka St. Clair West)

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  1. I just moved into the neighbourhood so I'm slowly checking out everything along St Clair West. Frank's Pizza House has really good thin crust pizzas. I think I like it better than Terroni's (!). Personally I love the Big Ragu though I know a lot of folks on this board don't. Their sardines is a particular favourite of mine. I wasn't impressed with La Bruschetta, very average imo. Further east is Ferro, it was good but not somewhere I go out of my way for.

    If you're willing to check out other cuisines, drop by Khmer Thai. Awesome Tom Kah Gai soup. I also love the piri piri sauce from Churrasco of St Clair but the chicken is better at Coste Verde (Miguel: thanks for the tip!). Coste's sauce is too vinegary for my liking and Churrasco's chicken was overcooked so now I just get the sauce from one and the chicken from the other! Albert's Real Jamaican is always a winner (great oxtail and fried chicken) and the tongue taco at Rebozos is fantastic. So are their tortas. The steak sandwich from Dairy Freeze is good (for that diner urge you get at 1 in the morning ;-) but the burger is weak. And skip the onion rings (frozen with too thick batter). El Fogon was good but again nothing I would go out of my way for. Next on my list to check out: Bohemia Havana, Dganz, El Rincon, Filippos, La Paisa, Marcello, Mezzatta, Mi Tierra and Vanipha Lanna. And then I'll tackle Eglinton West next!

    8 Replies
    1. re: fickle

      i can't say enough about Mezzetta - there's soooo much variety and great value for your dollar. it's small dishes, tapas but med-style, called mezes, and the choices range from great hummus, and baba to amazing veggie preparations (eggplants, green beans, yam fries are my faves) to yummy meat skewers (chicken, shrimp) to traditional stuff like moussaka and stuffed vine leaves. great for a group. they have the best baklava in the city, too.

      1. re: LemonLauren

        We did make it out to Mezzetta. We sampled 10 dishes between the two of us. The Sweet Mustard salad was fantastic, we could've ordered another one. The tahina was okay but after a few spoonfuls, it was time to move on. The harissa very tasty, the potato sambousak oily, the eggplant very very oily, the mushrooms bland, the kofta was good as was the veal shish. The dream sausage was dry but the shrimp skewer was perfectly done. We would go back with a group to sample some of the other dishes but not somewhere I would go out of my way for.

        Didn't have much luck with Vanipha Lanna either. First we were seated next to the water fountain. That thing is LOUD. We moved to another table further away since we prefer not to yell at each other to be heard. Our waiter (one of two for the whole restaurant) warned us before taking our order that it was going to be a long wait for our food. Since we weren't in a rush, that wasn't a problem. We received no other service until our food was ready some 30-40 mins later. Our dishes were delivered together and piping hot. Unfortunately the beef gang ped red curry dish was ruined with the overpowering "tinny" taste of canned vegetables, the beef was overcooked also so it was tough and dry. The pad thai was decent, nothing spectacular. The Paad Puck Maesalong (tofu, veg, glass noodles in spicy piquant sauce) was tasty but definitely lacking in heat. The two waiters were so busy with the other 15 tables that they never came back to check on us nor were able to refill our empty water glasses. It took about 15 mins of trying to make eye contact to signal for our bill. Luckily we had enough cash to pay the bill so we didn't have to wait for them to run a credit card through! I don't think we'll add this place to our local rotation :-(

      2. re: fickle

        You've covered a lot of the worthwhile places in the area in a short time. I'm also a big fan of Ragu's sardines. You really should get to Marcello's. It's the best inexpensive Italian place in the area. Their pizza is a thin crust--much better than Franks IMHO. Dganz has good inexpensive steak. I think you'll find Bohemian Havana is no more. There's a new tapas place going in near Oakwood. I am interested to know whether it'll be any good. They've posted a menu. You can get a pretty good Veal Sandwich at Miami Sandwiches. Some of the caffes and bakeries have hot table offerings too. Skip the hot table at Formaggio, but they have an OK Italian cheese selection

        1. re: mikeb

          I agree mikeb, Marcello's thin crust is better. New favourite! Love Dganz. Great service with good food. Can't wait to go back and try their burger next.

          1. re: fickle

            is dganz associated with the tulip in the beaches? if so, is the atmosphere, concept, prices etc the same?

            1. re: hungryabbey

              Not affiliated as far as I know.
              Here's their website.

              1. re: fickle

                Actually there is a connection. The owner of Dganz used to co-owner at the Purple Onion at Keele and St Clair. His partner at the Purple Onion, which is now located on Dundas West at Pacific, used to work at the Tulip. This likely explains some of the similarites of the menus. The big difference is that Dganz grills the steak rather than frying them on a griddle. I really like the steak and eggs at both places. Perhaps a slight nod to Dganz.

                I am glad you made it there and to Marcello's. Take note that they may not do delivery, but they do take-out. Further afield, it's a short drive to Dupont to Vinny's Panini for yet another good Veal Sandwich place. Next door, Universal Grill isn't bad either.

      3. Marcello's is a nice option for a casual neighborhood bite to eat. La Paloma for ice cream. A bit further east is Pain Perdu. Oh, how I miss that living in the area!

        5 Replies
        1. re: littlegreenpea

          Sorry, just realized you were looking for Italian. Marcello's is Italian. I've heard good things about La Bruschetta, but I've never been.

          1. re: littlegreenpea

            Just went to Marcello's this past weekend, I must say, it was pretty good! I loved it, really. For that price, the food was great. But must go early 'coz it started getting crowded with lineups right after we got sat at 6pm on a Saturday night. I had fettucine de la nonna (or something like that), & my partner had the fettucine veggie noodle, with garlic sauce .. he enjoyed that. He's a veggie. Well, quasi. But that's besides the point. Anyway, my fettucine was tomato-y based, and I loved it ... and "de la nonna" means with calamari, apparently, and the calamari was cooked PERFECTLY. Nowhere else have I had calamari cooked that perfect. Yummy. Oh, and the waiter was cute. That's a side note.

            1. re: jennjen18

              "de la nonna" actually means "my grandmother's fettucine," LOL. "Nonna" is grandma. And obviously she has great taste because seafood is "molto squisito" with pasta!

              1. re: czthemmnt

                hehe, i guess jokes dont translate that well in cyberspace..... yes, me and my lame attempts.

              2. re: jennjen18

                Glad you liked it! Unfortunately, I don't think they take reservations, so you really do have to get there early if you don't want to wait.

            2. I would hesitate to call it "the best," but The Big Ragu is a fun place with food that is quite good and authentic (good gnocchi). It's worth a visit.

              1. The original comment has been removed
                1. OK I know you're looking for Italian but as I read these postings, it reminds me of a delicious place I found last year....mmmmm! So when you need a break from Italian, don't miss Atlas One. It's at St.Clair and Atlas, a fabulous Egyptian-themed restaurant with melt-in-your-mouth eggplant dishes, "Bruschetta Cairo" (or something like that) -- well, actually everything I've ever eaten there has been amazing. Also the decor is worth mentioning - don't be afraid to venture off to the washroom in this place! Lots to look at, friendly staff and holy cow did I mention the food?