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Carisma - the new Il Mulino

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We loved going to Il Mulino, but then the nice couple sold the place and disappeared. They've recently opened Carisma. The menu is the way I remembered it. Our server told us it's pretty much the exact same kitchen staff and wait staff as before. This suits me fine because we were looking for the same simple comfort food. We had the mushroom salad, bufala mozzarella, gnocchi, lobster risotto and we split an apple strudel to finish. Everything was the same as I remembered, very good. My only minor complaint is that apon entering the room is very dark, it was fine once we were seated. With a couple glasses of wine, tax and tip it was $80pp. I still have to try Scarpetta to see how it compares.

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Il Mulino
1060 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, ON M6C 2C9, CA

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  1. You know I used to think the only thing wrong with Il Mulino was that it wasn't near me. I'm glad they fixed THAT problem.

    Apple strudel?!? My bff's gonna freak!

    http://www.carismarestaurant.com/

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    Il Mulino
    1060 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, ON M6C 2C9, CA

    1. Almost thought to try it out last night. Maybe sooner than later now.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jlunar

        Just wanted to share our experience trying Carisma last night. It was terrific from the moment we stepped in the door. Warm welcome by the hostess/owner,we were seated in the back room which was cosy although the bar area really takes over the size of the place it seems. Yes the place is dark, walls are black but has a nice vibe and balance of young and middle aged patrons.

        The service was outstanding! The four of us shared 3 appetizers, the buratta with tomatoes, risotto with wild mushrooms and grilled scallops. The buratta was fresh and smooth, tomatoes ripe (one of my biggest pet peeves is being served tomatoes that are not red and sweet no matter the time of year), the riotto full flavoured and the scallops plump and tasted. Having read Amy Pataki's review (this is not the reason we went, our friends had been big fans of Il Mulino) I chose to go the 3 pasta tasting route which incidentally is not a choice on the menu. While each serving of the pastas is appetizer size, trust me they collectively make one very generous portion. I chose the spaghettini with shrimp in a bit of a cream sauce, the taglioini with duck confit and mushroom and the gnocchi. Each pasta choice was very good, the gnocchi were delicious, like light tiny pillows. Thinking back I dont recall seeing much of any duck confit but the mushrooms added a nice strong flavour, and the spaghetini came with two shrimps in a nice creamy sauce.

        My friend had an incredible veal chop which was fork tender, another had the venison and my DH had a spigala special. Onto desserts, actuallly the strudel is an apple pear strudel with vanilla gelato. Very yummy. We also tried their lemon lavender creme brulee. Which was delicious. We definitely would go back.

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        Il Mulino
        1060 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, ON M6C 2C9, CA

        1. re: breezey

          Sounds like a place to add to my list. Thanks for posting your review ;-)

          http://carismarestaurant.com/

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          Carisma Restaurant
          73 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C 2V8, CA

          1. re: breezey

            I loved Il Mulino.
            I can't wait to try Carisma! Thank you for sharing!

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            Il Mulino
            1060 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, ON M6C 2C9, CA

            Carisma Restaurant
            Toronto, Toronto, ON M5C 1G3, CA

        2. Has anyone visited Carisma lately? Which dishes would you recommend? Has anyone tried Carisma's vitello piccata al limone?

          Debating between dinner at Carisma or Paese on King W. Which would you choose?

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          Paese
          333 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

          Carisma Restaurant
          73 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C 2V8, CA

          5 Replies
          1. re: prima

            We visited a few weekends ago. Consistent with the Toronto dining scene of late, nothing spectacular but good solid Italian food consistent with the old Il Mulino. Recommended.

            1. re: prima

              We (2) had an excellent and expensive ($300+ incl. 2 btls), meal at Carisma the other evening. Probably the best restaurant risotto I have had. Excellent swordfish and yes,vitello piccata al limone, fine and sharp.

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              Carisma Restaurant
              73 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C 2V8, CA

              1. re: AzulH

                Happy to hear the vitello piccata al limone was a good one. It's on my shortlist ;-)

                1. re: AzulH

                  Finally tried the vitello piccata al limone at Carisma. It was delicious. Great service, great food. I'll be back again soon. Best classical Italian food I've ordered in TO in a long time.

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                  Carisma Restaurant
                  73 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C 2V8, CA

                2. re: prima

                  Almost 2 years later, I finally tried the veal scallopine al limone ($28) at Paese, which I enjoyed almost as much as the version at Carisma. Service was well-intentioned but weak. Decent moderately-priced option when dining near Roy Thomson Hall, the Royal Alex, the Princess of Wales or the Lightbox.

                3. Took the family there for Mother's Day. Great service, great food, great wine list. Shame about the decor. Pure black is just not a good way to go. t casts too much of a pall over dinner and brings the experience down a notch rather than complimenting it. Seems like a mistake that could be corrected by painting an opposing wall in a light color.

                  1. Just had an extremely disappointing experience at Carisma...not sure which was worse, the food or the service. My husband and I started with the burrata and the carpaccio. Only the outer rind of the burrata was served. My carpaccio was still frozen. Pappardalle cinghale lacked flavour. Veal scallopine was ok, but the vegetables that accompanied were stone cold. Service was disorganized, inconsistent, rushed and unfriendly. We tried to speak to the older couple who manage the restaurant as we left, but he seem disinterested in our experience and she tried to defend the cold food!! Will not be returning.