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Paese - is it good?

I haven't been in many years and was just wondering if it's worth a revisit. Anyone been lately? Care to comment?

3827 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M3H, CA

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  1. Hi Millygirl,

    Long time no chat!
    Went to the new Paese on King. Food was fantastic. Wine list prices will blow your mind. Impressed enough that I will go back which I don't say about many places.

    333 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

    8 Replies
    1. re: Cam D

      Hey Cam D, good to hear from you! You don't chime in often enough.
      Thanks for the info and coming from you, it's definitely on the list.

      p.s. just looked at his blog and the food pics look yummy!

      1. re: Cam D

        Hi - by the wine list prices do you mean in a good way or bad way?

        1. re: Cat123

          I believe it's meant in a good way. Their website indicates that all wines are sold at cost plus $25 for corkage. Sounds like a fair deal to me.

          1. re: millygirl

            I don't often get a bottle of wine in a restaurant (usually a glass, or maybe a half pint, if between friends), but I have to say it seems kind of sad that cost plus $25 for corkage sounds good for a bottle. Makes me happy to drink my bottle at home.

            1. re: millygirl

              What?!!! Super Tuscan, Gaja's.... at COST plus $25 corkage?! No way??!!

          2. re: Cam D

            have you been again more recently - splurging on a night downtown at Le Germain and thought of this for dinner - meeting US friends for dim sum - any suggestions where don't have to line up in the cold - just recovering from flu

            1. re: foodmadfam

              A pal and I went for lunch a few weeks ago. Great food (loved the pizza) and service but found it pricey for lunch - with tax and tip but no booze it was 52 bucks for 2 - we split one pizza and the roast chicken salad.

              1. re: thebutcher

                You split one pizza and one salad for 52 bucks? That sounds very pricey.

          3. i just recently visited paese as i work in the area and it was great! service was good as well. i'm just happy they opened another location near my home so i can frequent it with my SO.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jeannieh20

              I'm bewildered. The OP seems to be enquiring about Paese's original, uptown Bathurst St. location, yet the replies all seem to be about its newly-opened, second location on King St. W., to which I've never been. But I know the original - it's a short drive from where I live, and I've been going 2-3-4 times a year since it opened about 20 years ago. It's probably one of the better Italian joints in the neighborhood, and there are a LOT of Italian-themed spots in that part of town. Indeed, it sometimes seems, when you live up this way, that half the restos in town are Italian (and the other half are sushi joints). The original Paese is well-run, spacious and comfortable, usually busy, with good service and - more to the point - a well-executed menu. Though, after a couple of price rises in the past year, it's no longer the mad buy it used to be. Many of the mains seem a dollar or two more than they should be, but the food is tasty and of good quality. In my view, the Cornish hen and the liver are the best mains on the regular menu. The halibut is also strong. My favorite starter is the warm arugula salad. The pizzas and pastas are solid, if not distinctive. Some of the daily specials are worth a shot. There's a huge wine list - one of the largest in the city - but rather than pay $40 and way, way up for a bottle, you can bring your own and pay zero corkage every night but Saturday. That helps to ameliorate the higher food prices. Bringing your own wine, it'll cost you $80-$100 a couple, all in, maybe $130-$150 if you pick a basic $40 bottle from the restaurant list. If the newer Paese is as good as the original, you've got a winner down there. But there's no reason I should ever go there when the original is a 10-minute drive away. Easy free parking as well. Try finding that on King St. W.

              1. re: juno

                Thanks for the informative post juno. And yes, I was specifically asking about the original spot on Bathurst. I used to live in the area and recently the name came up in conversation. I actually didn't realize that the new spot was up and running since I hadn't heard much hype about it.

                I probably live a little closer to the downtown location but I am sometimes in the Bathurst Street area. All of this to say, not sure which location I will choose but I do know that I plan to check one of them out very soon. They both sound great.

            2. We had a really great dinner there a few weeks ago - friendly service - I had grilled Branzino - was superb. In addition, I thought I lost a pearl earring - not only were they helpful at the time but a week or two later, I received a call to say that someone had found an earring and was it mine (which luckily I had found)

              333 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

              1. Just a heads up that both locations are featured on WagJag today:


                1. Going to the King Street location tonight. Any specific recommendations besides pizza?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ylsf

                    I've been to Paese on King twice these past two weeks. The octopus app and both pizzas I've had were good, dessert are fair but not somehting for which you have to leave room. What drew me to the restaurant was that one of Canada's Master Sommeliers worked there. He has now moved on to Mideaste in Yorkville, but the other sommeliers were very helpful. Service on both occassions was efficient and eager to see that you have a good time. Ian, the sommelier who helped on my first visit, had some good recommendations for wine pairings. I plan on going back to pick his brain.

                    333 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

                    1. re: dubchild

                      I've been there twice on a friend's high recommendation. Turns out the another friend, Ian, is the sommelier. Food is lovely, bar service is great. Not sure about table service etc but we're going tonite.

                  2. Went last night. Had the grilled octopus to start and the bianca pizza. Friend had the fungi pizza. I also tried a watermelon/rhubarb cocktail (fruity I know!) because I was curious. I am pretty sure there was no rhubarb in it. My regret was ordering the drink. There was a lot of ice in it and I didn't really taste much of the watermelon until the drink was done. It was more like a additional "colour" vs. actual taste. At $13.50 I could have skipped out and been just as happy with dinner.

                    I enjoyed the pizza but not on the same level as terroni, QMP, Libretto, etc but decent for something before a show or in the area. The meal was probably the best meal I have had in the Entertainment District. I was there with a discount voucher so looking at the normal prices I would say it is on the higher end but I think that is normal for the area.
                    If I went back I would be open to try their other mains but would probably pass on the grilled octopus again based on the value vs. taste of it. It was pleasant but not great to me.

                    1. just went to the Bathurst location tonight - salmon trout was pretty good - not outstanding, but more than good enough - excellent soup, great arugula salad and also enjoyed the shrimp appetizer

                      1. A few days ago, my wife and I had dinner at the Bathurst Street location of Paese. This has always seemed to be an odd location for it, since a large number of the residents in the neighbourhood are Orthodox Jews, prohibited by their dietary laws from eating there.
                        No sooner were we seated that we discovered that there was a group of eleven people being placed right next to us. Evidently they thought that the size of their party made it unnecessary for them to have any regard for the people nearby; anyway, they seemed incapable of communicating with each other without screaming. Fortunately, our server was able to move us to another table.

                        We began by sharing an appetizer of two large meatballs. Delicious – they should really serve them with pasta, for that Italo-Canadian-American specialty, spaghetti with meatballs.
                        For my main course, I had the liver, which was superb – tender, and without the gristle often found in this dish.

                        For dessert, we shared the tiramisu, which was large enough for two, and expensive enough, as well.I really appreciate Paese’s practice of allowing you to bring your own wine, not even charging you for doing so. We had bought a bottle of superior Valpolicella at the LCBO, and drank this, a welcome change from the Montepulciano and Makadonikos I am usually having as house wine. Not to disparage either of these, they are excellent, in my opinion, especially for the price. Nonetheless, it is good to have something a bit better.