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Apr 29, 2008 07:51 AM

Alternative to Terroni?

Any ideas as to where I could find an experience similar to Terroni? Casual atmosphere, homemade pastas and excellent pizzas. I have family driving in from out of town next month and the only time I could get a reservation at Terroni was 6pm, which may be too early given that they're driving from Chicago.

I'm thinking maybe the Big Ragu or Quattro Ragazze? How about the multitude of Italian spots on Yonge, north of Lawrence -- any gems there?

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  1. If you're looking for homemade pasta and delicious thin-crust pizzas, look no further than Imperia at 17 Yorkville Ave. Although it doesn't look casual to the, ahem, casual observer, the owner and his staff make each and every patron feel relaxed and comfortable. Frank Agostino, the owner, has a habit of greeting people at the door, hanging coats, making brief visits to all of the tables, and helping out his staff when they need it. Outstanding. I've dined in dresses and in jeans and never been treated any differently. Love it. One particular server, Don, has been just terrific at making suggestions that hit the mark of each diner at my table.

    No website (grrrr), but here's just one of the good reviews they've received. One inaccuracy I should point out is that this restaurant is in no way wheelchair accessible. There are 2-3 steps in and the washrooms are downstairs.

    1. I liked the Big Ragu, but can't recall whether they do pizzas. Same goes for Five Doors North, but I love their food and the atmosphere is really fun. There's always the Terroni south of St. Clair (I actually like that branch) if you want another Terroni option.

      1. If you're looking farther north, your best bets would be Five Doors North (s. of Yonge and Eglinton) or 7 Numbers (Avenue and Eglinton). Can't go wrong with either of those.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mackinni

          I don't think that either Five Doors North or Seven Numbers has pizza (but I stand to be corrected). Also, I wasn't too impressed with the new incarnation of Seven Numbers. In that same area, Autogrill has great pizzas (though far fewer options than Terroni) but I find the atmosphere to be somewhat lacking. Ferraro has pretty good pizza and a lot of options, but it's not Terroni quality IMO -- plus the restaurant is usually packed to the gills with kids (not that I dislike kids, but I prefer a slightly more subdued dining experience).

        2. There's a great pizza place in the same neighbourhood as the Big Ragu -- Marcello's. It's more casual than Terroni, but the pizza is comparable. Delicious! 1163 St. Clair West.

          2 Replies
          1. re: klawless

            I absolutely agree, but bear in mind that Marcello's does not take reservations - it might not be an issue on a Monday night, but it sounds like you're looking for some certainty. The pizzas we had were fantastic (Pizza alla Compagniola with spicy sausage, eggplant and peppers - and another whose name I don't remember, which involved gorgonzola and zucchini). I would also say that the tiramisu is the best that I've had outside my dad's kitchen.

            1. re: wickalicious

              Yeah, I need someplace that takes reservations -- this is for a party of 6 on a Friday night.

          2. I couldn't get a table at the new Terroni (former Courthouse) last Sat night. So we went one block south west to MERCATO. The food was surprisingly good! Interesting bruscetta samplers and good pizza.
            It was cheap and the waiter/sommelier was pouring very large testing glasses. Lots of food and wine was $90 all included.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ajf

              Glad you liked it!
              Mercatto never disappoints!
              I'll also add they make a true authenticate delicious Italian Cappuccino.

              1. re: ajf

                I only really enjoyed the pizzas at Terroni's and the pizzas at Mercatto are as good if not better. The sandwiches at Mercatto are also tasty. I have not tried their pastas. The service at Mercatto is so much better than Terroni's that I am amazed that I ever tolerated the snotty service at Terroni's. On my last visit to Mercatto, the server offered to substitute an item on a pizza! Mercatto cuts their pizzas! The servers are efficient and yet still friendly. I have never experienced any attitude even when there has been a full house.