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Trio or Ferraro, Saturday Night.

Davwud Feb 23, 2012 06:12 AM

Hey Hounds.

Having dinner on Saturday night with my sister and her S/O. We're interested in some wood oven pizza and right now I've narrowed it down to the two above. They seem pretty close price wise so quality/experience looks to be what will separate these two.

Trio seems to have consistant "Very solid" reviews while Ferraro tends to waver between "Great" and "Underwhelmed."

Keep in mind that we aren't hard to please. While I do blog I don't consider myself a food critic. My general feeling is too many people have the attitude that if it's not "Great" it's "Crap." I aint one of those.

Want wood oven pizza and bread as well as good chocolaty dessert. We'll probably go for a bottle of wine. We usually opt for house red so that'll be a factor as well.

PS, I'll accept other recommendations as long as their north Toronto or north.

Thanks in advance
DT

  1. Davwud Feb 26, 2012 01:25 PM

    Thanks gang and good call. Really good call.

    First and foremost I should point out that Paul kinda glommed onto us when we walked in and sat us upstairs. Quieter, and we didn't have to deal with the cold rush of air when the door opened.
    We got seated and pretty much right down to business. I started poking around at the menu and Paul came back with some water and said we didn't need the menu. Okay, I'll go along. He then proceeded to tell us about the specials for the night. A nice line up I should point out.
    He really seemed to know what he was talking about. He took great care of us. So all in all, we went waaaaay over our budget but all agreed that it was totally worth the extra money. We loved the place.

    So.......without further adeiu.

    The wine we ended up with was a '96 Pelago. Fruity, not sweet and very rich. Stood up well with the mains. (pic 1)

    They had fresh buffalo mozzarella as part of their Caprese salad app. (pic2). We split 2 among the 4 of us. It was very light and the moz. was very delicate. I'd have liked more basil but all in all. Very good. I can only imagine this being incredible when local tomatoes are in season.

    We also had a Trio pizza (pic 3) which was mushroom and prosciutto cotto. Forgot to ask for well done so there was sog in the middle but it was still very tasty. Good solid pizza.

    On to the mains. All from the specials board.
    Mrs. Sippi went with the spinach gnocchi in a shallot cream sauce. (pic 4) Kinda light and rich at the same time. She loved it.

    My sisters S/O couldn't resist the rib steak. He went with the smallest and it was 26 oz. (pic 5) A huge hunk 'o cow with frites, rapini and sauteed mushrooms and veg. The vegetation was good but was way overshadowed. The steak was awesome. Great flavour, perfectly m/r and tender like you wouldn't believe.

    My sister and I both opted for the braised beef rib with saffron risotto. (pic 6) The risotto was nice and creamy and tasted fine but nothing special. Perhaps meat to be as the juice from the rib was sopped up by it and was great. The rib was braised in dark beer for 5 hours. It was almost falling off the bone tender and had a deep, rich flavour.

    Although we were stuffed, Mrs. Sippi and I couldn't turn down the chocolate mousse. (pic 7)Ultra decadent and fluffy. I could've licked the inside of the glass.

    So one of the best meals I've had in a while. As far as finer dining anyway. Thanks a lot for the help and rec's.

    DT

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    8 Replies
    1. re: Davwud
      TorontoJo Feb 26, 2012 01:40 PM

      Nice, so glad you had a good dinner. Is Paul the tall, big guy with dark blond/light brown hair? If so, he can be rather annoying and arrogant, so I'm glad you had good service from him.

      I hope you and Mrs. Sippi didn't share the chocolate mousse. It's worth having one for yourself.

      BTW, if you go and stick to the pizzas and pastas off the menu and get a house wine, it's actually a really reasonable night out. But move into the specials and the bottles and yeah, it starts to get up there!

      1. re: TorontoJo
        m
        magic Feb 26, 2012 01:52 PM

        Yeah what's with that waiter. What a pr*&k that guy is. I don't think he's innately mean, but man... what an odd guy. At least he's quite a competent waiter, unlike so many other servers who don't really give a toot. Though, I'd never allow anyone take a menu from me. At least he was right....

        Glad you enjoyed Davwud :) Meal looks wonderful.

        1. re: magic
          Davwud Feb 26, 2012 01:55 PM

          He didn't take the menu and I have no problem with a confident waiter. I've had it before and think that he'd know what's good better than I.

          DT

          1. re: Davwud
            m
            magic Feb 26, 2012 01:57 PM

            Good good. Oddball factor aside (assuming we're talking about the same guy) he is at least a knowledgable server. His style is just maybe not for me.

            1. re: magic
              TorontoJo Feb 26, 2012 02:09 PM

              Nor for me, magic. He tries to up sell aggressively and then makes faces when we don't bite. And at one summer visit, we wanted to sit on the nearly empty patio (only one other couple there). He put us at the cramped table in the corner and wouldn't put us at the larger 2 top, because it *could* sit 3 and he wanted to make sure that a larger party could be seated there. And then he proceeded to act like a carny hawker and shouted at people walking by to come in for dinner. It was incredibly annoying. Thank goodness the owner came out when we got our salads and saw us jammed in the corner when there were 3 other tables available. He moved us right away took over our service.

              1. re: TorontoJo
                m
                magic Feb 26, 2012 03:08 PM

                Thanks for sharing TorontoJo. You're not alone in your distaste for that brand of service....

                1. re: TorontoJo
                  j
                  juno Feb 26, 2012 03:18 PM

                  Trio has an upstairs? I've been going there since the joint opened and never noticed. Maybe It's because I always go there mid-week, when it's less busy - and the upstairs isn't in use. Which also may explain why I've never met this Paul. Clearly a character. Still, if he's a knowledgable pro, I'd listen to what he recommends - I can always say no, thank you. I think I know the corner table TorontoJo speaks of. It is a little tight - I've sat there a time or two - but bearable (if you're thin). I usually just sit where I want to, and nobody gives me or my guest a hard time. One of the pleasures of going mid-week, I suppose. Interesting to know that Trio can be more than a pizza house. But I'll continue to go for the pizza as a main every time out. With a salad to start - I've had that caprese salad Davwud speaks of glowingly. But then, all their salads are first-rate, even in the winter. It's a small neighbourhood gem - though maybe not so small now that I know of the upstairs. The mid-week wait staff is also pretty good, though probably not as pushy or as idiosyncratic as Paul.

                  1. re: juno
                    TorontoJo Feb 26, 2012 04:02 PM

                    Yep, they just finished the upstairs space sometime last year (Spring or so). They only use it for spillover on the weekends and for private parties. Nice casual space, including a bar -- if I were to plan a group birthday dinner, it would definitely be in the running.

                    And agreed -- the rest of the staff has always been great.

      2. TorontoJo Feb 26, 2012 09:37 AM

        So where did you and the family go, Davwud? And what was the verdict?

        1. kwass Feb 23, 2012 03:07 PM

          Haven't been to Trio, but I'm not a big fan of Ferraro...so Trio is my recommendation

          6 Replies
          1. re: kwass
            r
            robb Feb 23, 2012 03:22 PM

            Ferraro only when the liitle kids are in tow...otherwise avoid it like the plague. All food is par cooked so it arrives within minutes of ordering. Order, eat, get the cheque..in and out in 30 minutes on a slow night.

            1. re: robb
              m
              magic Feb 23, 2012 05:43 PM

              Haha, what?!! That is bollocks.

              Most restaurant food is par cooked!! This is a secret?!

              And the pizzas are certainly NOT par cooked. Not even close. They are absolutely made fresh to order. Each dough is hand rolled as each ticket rolls in. They do this in plain view, with pride! Anyone with two eyes - one eye - knows this. How is this par cooked?? I'd love to know.

              The pizzas arrive within minutes as they cook at a crazy high temp! The rest of the food arrives quickly as they are incredibly efficient and have been doing the exact same menu for 20 years!

              Also, my guess is that they've learned over the years that this particular neighbourhood's clientele DEMANDS that the food arrive quickly. And they meet that demand. This is a bad thing?? Jesus.

              This is what I mean about CH’s unfair appraisal of Ferraro. Just ridiculous.

              1. re: magic
                r
                robb Feb 23, 2012 06:20 PM

                Chill Magic,
                Watch how Joe makes a pizza at Ferraro and then go to Terroni or Libretto. Ferraros dough is already flattened, and not actually kneeded, tossed, and flattened "al a minute"....great for the whole family..been with mine about 50 times..however, would definetely not recomend going for an evening out.

                1. re: robb
                  m
                  magic Feb 23, 2012 06:30 PM

                  People's opinions don't upset me. Someone says Trio is better than Ferraro - what do I care.

                  What bothers me are untrue or misleading statements. Claiming all that all their food is par-cooked cheapens the freshness of what they provide. Whether you like the taste or not.

                  Also, if you've been there 50 times why would you urge someone to avoid it like the plague? Generally when I've been to a place 50 times it's because I love it - or at least like it! I don't get that, robb.

                  We all have our opinions, but I'd try to avoid making blanket statements out of context that don't tell the whole story.

                  Also, what would it matter if dough was kneaded then and there or 3 hours before, or the day before? In terms of quality - nothing.

                  I dunno, that's just the way I see it.

                  Sorry if I'm coming off like a crazy person. I do agree that Friday/Saturday nights there are not ideal if you want to relax - as I stated above. I enjoy going on a Saturday afternoon, or as a RARE treat a weekday afternoon. Then it's a lot more chill and you can sit for hours. Which I do.

                  1. re: magic
                    r
                    robb Feb 23, 2012 06:37 PM

                    My original reply was based on the Davwud's request for an opinion for him/her/, his/her sister and SO. I only said to avoid it (like the plague) when not with children..I stand by my answer. I did not make a blanket statement, I made a very accurate one, which was not out of context. With repect to kneading the dough " a la minute" vs 3 hours earlier..the "a la minute" is much better..."nuff said!

                    1. re: robb
                      m
                      magic Feb 23, 2012 06:42 PM

                      1. They do roll out the dough as orders come in. Not sure how you missed this if you've been 50 times.

                      2. Even if they didn't, even if they did do it a few hours or the day before means very little. What matters to me is that it's made with scatch and with love. Which by the way, it is.

                      3. Your claim was out of context as it assumes Ferraro is somehow less of a restaurant as they par-cook their food, which is something most good restaurants must do. So yes, in this respect it was out of context.

          2. Davwud Feb 23, 2012 09:33 AM

            Thanks. I was hoping to hear from you three.

            Perhaps I'll see what Mrs. Sippi says and go from there. My sister says both places look fantastic.

            Here's another thing that may be a scale tipper. Parking. I know Ferraro's situation. How's Trio's??

            DT

            BTW Magic, I think it was you that said you were interested in Jersey's in Aurora. They're currently doing "Restaurant Makeover." I hope that's not a portent of things to come.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Davwud
              m
              magic Feb 23, 2012 09:40 AM

              It was indeed me! I have not forgotten about that. Yikes, I didn't even know that show was still in production. Ok, will have to keep my eyes out for that, thanks Davwud.

              There's a good amount of sidestreet parking for both Ferarro and Trio. If you go to Ferraro, now or in the future, you can even park at the Eglinton Shoppers Drug Mart lot, a 1 minute walk from Ferarro. Easy peasy.

              1. re: Davwud
                TorontoJo Feb 23, 2012 09:49 AM

                No problem finding parking around Trio. We usually get a spot right on Yonge, but if not, the side streets are always easy to find a spot on.

              2. m
                magic Feb 23, 2012 07:15 AM

                I've been to both. Both are excellent. My personal fave is Ferraro.

                Ferraro gets absolutely no love whatsoever on CH, which continues to baffle me. I have no idea why.
                Ferraro's pizza is much thinner than Trio's and has lovely "burned" edges, whereas Trio's is a little bit more old school North American style, slightly thicker crust, lacking the lovely burned bits but with perhaps a bit more cheese (not that Ferraro is lacking cheese by any stretch). Not sure if Trio uses a wood oven. It didn't seem like it from my experience, but pizza is still good. Both are around the same size and delicious, neither have a crispy “middle” crust – which suits me just fine (but seems to irk others).

                Both have wonderful fresh complimentary bread. Both have great homemade desserts. Ferraro's tiramisu is so delicious and Trio's chocolate mousse is crazy good.

                Trio will likely be much quieter than Ferraro. Not empty, just quieter. On a Saturday, Ferraro is a bit of a zoo I must say, and I tend to avoid it on that night if I can.

                I've found Trio to be slightly more expensive.

                Both are great choices, but my heart lies with Ferraro.

                4 Replies
                1. re: magic
                  TorontoJo Feb 23, 2012 07:23 AM

                  Trio definitely has a wood oven -- they shipped the thing over from Napoli years before Libretto came on the scene touting their oven. They just didn't have the marketing machine that Libretto did. :)

                  And yes, the bread is delicious at Trio -- it's their pizza dough baked up thick in the oven, sliced into wedges and drizzled with olive oil and some herbs.

                  I've never eaten at Ferrero, so can't compare. Sounds like davwud can't go wrong at either place.

                  1. re: TorontoJo
                    j
                    juno Feb 23, 2012 08:18 AM

                    I don't know Ferraro, but I do know Trio - was just there this week - and it's good, quite good. Nice, warm, uncluttered room, with good service. As noted above, the complimentary bread is irresistible - I hoovered it up immediately, even though I knew a pizza was coming. Pizzas are always solid. salads are also first-rate. There was a lentil salad on charred radicchio on special the other night ($10.95) that was mighty tasty. The wine list has recently been tinkered with (meaning it's more expensive, with most bottles $40-$70 or more, kinda high for a neighbourhood pizza joint, though maybe not in Lawrence Park). Not mentioned on the new list are the house wines, like Citra Montepulciano d'Abruzzo ($19.95 per half-litre, $29.95 per litre, much more affordable and just fine with pizza/pasta), but if you call for them the staff will pour them for you (there's also a white by Citra - Chardonnay, I think). Some wines by the glass. Always an enjoyable evening there.

                    1. re: juno
                      TorontoJo Feb 23, 2012 09:55 AM

                      Agreed that the old house red and house white are very drinkable and a good value, so it's definitely worth asking for them.

                      If you're really looking to splurge on a bottle (and I mean "get a bottle that costs as much as all of the food combined" splurge), ask to see their amarone list. If it's not busy and Eduardo (the guy that looks like Agent Kujan in Usual Suspects) is around, ask if he'll show you the wine cellar. It's not fancy, but it's impressively stocked.

                      They have some nice ripassos, too, if you don't want to go amarone-level crazy. If you describe the type of red you like, Eduardo can usually come up with a nice option (all Italian).

                      BTW, their tiramisu is quite good, too.

                      1. re: TorontoJo
                        Davwud Feb 23, 2012 10:31 AM

                        Thanks Jo.

                        I think a really great bottle of wine would be somewhat lost on us. I'm probably the most profficient wine drinker and can tell the difference between a good bottle and bad. Not that good at good, really good, better, etc.
                        I've always thought that if a place is worth its salt it'll have a very serviceable house wine. It's usually a good value as well.

                        I'm leaning towards Trio although I've had Ferraro on my "To do" list for a while.

                        DT

                2. TorontoJo Feb 23, 2012 07:14 AM

                  Trio is as you described -- a totally solid neighbourhood joint. Can't really go wrong there if you're looking for a good thin crust pizza or pastas. They also usually have chocolate mousse for dessert, which I really like. It's not a classic, super airy French chocolate mousse, but it's still darn tasty -- chocolatey and creamy.

                  Ask for your pizza well done if you want to minimize the sog in the middle.

                  And they take reservations. :)

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