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Toronto's Tastiest Calamari?

HerMajestyPrincessBaklava Nov 29, 2008 11:14 AM

I am addicted to calamari, the lightly battered and crunchy kind that is not overly fishy, chewy, or oily. Seems not to be consistent, though...some places are good once and then horrible the next.
Any ideas? Preferably downtown T.O.?

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  1. food face RE: HerMajestyPrincessBaklava Nov 29, 2008 02:00 PM

    Grano at Yonge and Eglinton fit's your description.

    3 Replies
    1. re: food face
      magic RE: food face Dec 10, 2008 06:50 PM

      I second Grano.

      Some of their menu is quite hit and miss, but their fried calamari is possibly the best I've had in Toronto. Light light light. Tender. Not a lick of grease.

      1. re: magic
        bogie RE: magic Dec 11, 2008 06:06 AM

        I third Grano, best I've had in the city so far...

        1. re: bogie
          HerMajestyPrincessBaklava RE: bogie Dec 11, 2008 08:28 AM

          Wonderful. I'll add Grano to the list.

    2. Charles Yu RE: HerMajestyPrincessBaklava Nov 29, 2008 03:22 PM

      Pizzeria Libretto's version is pretty good. Met your criteria. However, no matter how good their pizzas or calamari may be, its just not worth the average one hour wait during normal dinner hour to get a table!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Charles Yu
        pancake RE: Charles Yu Nov 29, 2008 03:24 PM

        i actually like the version at rocco's plum tomato. They add in greens to the mix (which sounds scary) but the fried leafy greens are a sinful treat in the mix. The dipping sauce is quite tasty too.

        1. re: Charles Yu
          erly RE: Charles Yu Nov 29, 2008 06:47 PM

          Pizzeria Libretto has by far the best Calamari that we have ever tasted in the city.
          The batter is thin and light.
          Not a drop of "grease" to the taste. and the squid has just the right amount of "bite".
          It is served atop a red pepper almond sauce that is simply delicious.
          I thought that I detected a hint of Anise as well, but was told that there is none in the sauce.
          We are "so-so" about the Pizza, but have been twice for the calamari, and the squash angliotti is surprisingly good as well
          We went early about 6:30 and on one occasion no wait, and possibly a ten minute wait the second time.
          Possibly we were lucky,
          Our server ( Alex) is a delight as well.
          In fact every staff person we encountered had a genuine smile .
          We feel very comfortable there as well, a new restaurant that feels like an old friend.

          1. re: erly
            LovesToEat RE: erly Dec 4, 2008 09:56 AM

            We're also big fans of the calamari at Pizzeria Libretto. Agreed that it's way better than the pizza. As for the wait, if you go early, it shouldn't be that bad. We showed up right at the 5:00pm opening time on a Sunday and there was no wait at all.

        2. JamieK RE: HerMajestyPrincessBaklava Nov 29, 2008 03:26 PM

          Haven't been in a while but I really enjoyed the calamari at Joso's.

          202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J2, CA

          3 Replies
          1. re: JamieK
            Snarf RE: JamieK Nov 29, 2008 08:16 PM

            Joso's has consistently served the best calamari in the city for many years.

            1. re: Snarf
              millygirl RE: Snarf Nov 30, 2008 04:58 AM

              I was at Cafe Nervosa on Friday night and did not order it but wish I had. It seemed everyone else was and it looked fantastic. I've had a severe craving for it ever since! Definitely going to give their's a try.

              1. re: millygirl
                Googs RE: millygirl Nov 30, 2008 09:02 AM

                Should we be expecting a Nervosa report on a separate post? It hasn't been talked about in quite a while.

          2. janel RE: HerMajestyPrincessBaklava Dec 4, 2008 08:25 AM

            I like the calamari at Pantheon on the Danforth. They do deep fried and grilled versions that are yummy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: janel
              pearlD RE: janel Dec 7, 2008 04:29 PM

              re above....yes, the Pantheon for grilled is fantastic, don't eat the battered and fried because I don't care for it. Marchello on St.Clair West also does a an excellent broiled one.

            2. e
              eco987 RE: HerMajestyPrincessBaklava Dec 4, 2008 09:43 AM

              I've tried the Joso's one. Mezes' is way better. So far, I don't think I've ever had better calamari (not including homemade) than Mezes. Batter is crispy and light and the squid is super fresh.

              1 Reply
              1. re: eco987
                plavka RE: eco987 Dec 7, 2008 04:06 PM

                I guess it depends on the cook but the last time I had the calamari at Mezes my jaw was sore because it was so rubbery

              2. l
                LemonLauren RE: HerMajestyPrincessBaklava Dec 4, 2008 06:20 PM

                Matahari on baldwin omg so good

                1. ghighi RE: HerMajestyPrincessBaklava Dec 7, 2008 03:19 PM

                  Allens at Broadview and Danforth has a perfectly crispy calamari with a mayo-chipotle dip! Yowza

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ghighi
                    HerMajestyPrincessBaklava RE: ghighi Dec 10, 2008 06:30 PM

                    Thanks everyone for your input. I am going to have a calamari week and try a different place each night, and then report on my findings!

                  2. s
                    Squiggles RE: HerMajestyPrincessBaklava Dec 11, 2008 11:29 AM

                    There used to be a vendor in the food court at Sherway Gardens that had "Cajun Calamari". I was absolutely addicted to the stuff. Alas they disappeared a few years ago.

                    If anyone knows if the same people are operating elsewhere please let me know!!

                    1. b
                      budeeez RE: HerMajestyPrincessBaklava Dec 11, 2008 12:11 PM

                      Surprisingly, the greek place at the Toronto Life Square has some good fried calamari. Whoever made it for my husband made it from scratch - it took some time. The squid is real squid, not some preformed frozen ring. It was nice and lightly battered and perfectly cooked (not chewy). I took a pic of it on my mobile. I think the place is called, "Opa!". It's next to the pasta place. (Note: this was back in July though) The hummus/pita in the pic might have been extra. So, this might be another option where you wouldn't have to dine in a restaurant - fast, a bit less expensive but still good quality.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: budeeez
                        doctorandchef RE: budeeez Dec 11, 2008 04:19 PM

                        The calamari dish at Colbourne Lane is the tastiest and most complex out of all that I've tasted in Toronto, including most of the above mentioned places.

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