By combining the rustic simplicity of Italian cooking with the unmistakable flavours of Canadian ingredients, PAESE serves as a bridge between the Old and New World. The restaurant currently boasts two locations in the Toronto area, and they both honour Canadian heritage and Italian tradition by cooking with ingredients harvested from an urban garden. Created by owner Tony Loschiavo and executive chef Christopher Palik, this quarter-acre plot produces everything from tomatoes and chili peppers for the chefs to mint and lavender for the bartenders and any visiting potpourri artists.
These ingredients lend a distinctive twist to traditional Italian recipes without straying too far from those roots. In addition to meatballs made from house-ground beef short rib, sirloin, and brisket, the menu features pizzas with inventive topping combinations?buffalo mozzarella, sprouts, and squash for example?and a variety of pasta dishes, such as orecchiette with wild boar sausage and foraged mushrooms. Both restaurants stock cellars with hundreds of wines from across the world, earning a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence for the King Street location as well as the Bathurst Street location.
Although Amaro Pizza's menu boasts an extensive array of traditional finger foods, a selection of familiar and gourmet-inspired pizzas continues to dominate its pages. The cooks can toss together one of their classica pies, such as the margherita classica or the potato alla cream with rosemary and parmesan, or diners can design their own using the 64 available toppings—including smoked salmon, prosciutto, and grilled eggplant—and 19 different polyhedrons of house-made dough. To accompany meals, the kitchen also fries up spicy and savoury orders of wings and layers garlic focaccia bread with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh herbs.
Independently owned and operated, HomeBake takes the concept of take-and-bake pizza to the next level, featuring organic and natural ingredients. Choose from more than 40 toppings, such as fresh oregano or jalapeño sausage, to create a regular ($13.95) or large ($15.95) pizza on organic, unbleached white crust, or upgrade to a multigrain, yeast-free, or gluten-free crust. Eleven specialty HomeBake favourite pizzas—all of which start with a base of shredded mozzarella and either organic tomato sauce, organic-roasted garlic glaze, or pesto sauce—salads, and cookie pies are also available on the menu. Check HomeBake’s website for baking instructions and tips after your grand-slam gastrolith arrives safely at home base.
Marinella's Italian-cuisine experts blend together fresh ingredients, local beef, and daily imported fish to cook up a menu of classic Italian entrees. Tomato sauce drips over homemade sausages and meatballs in small ($17) and large ($22) orders of Pappardelle Giovanni pasta made with fresh eggs and 100% durum semolina flour, and diners wrap their mouths and pocket measuring tapes around the circumference of a thin-crust margherita pizza topped with imported extra-virgin olive oil ($15). In the kitchen, chefs prepare locally sourced, prime-grade new york strip-loin steak aged for 28 days ($32) and blend together fresh scallops, shrimp, king crab, and a lobster into a seafood risotto ($32). Meanwhile, candlelight flickers across brick walls as bartenders pour selections from an extensive wine list, and sunlight spills over a patio where diners can practice plate juggling after finishing off one of the eatery's daily selection of in-house-made desserts. Customers may also substitute organic spelt noodles in pasta dishes.
A staple of the city’s culinary scene since 1965, Frank’s Pizza House has earned the affection of appetistas with a lineup of nearly 20 pizzas. The Toronto pizza ($12.50) brings together pepperoni with its mortal enemies green peppers and mushrooms to forge a tasty truce, and the vegetariana pizza ($13.95) collects broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts for herbivore happiness. Pasta dishes include ravioli ($11.95), penne pasta with roasted peppers and grilled chicken ($12.95), and gnocchi with Italian sausage ($12.95). Frank’s Pizza House also offers desserts and drinks fresh from the family dessert farm, with tiramisu and espresso providing a one-two punch of post-entree paradise.
Since 2003, John's Italian Caffe has captivated its clientele with its rich and colourful authentic Italian dishes, warm atmosphere, and excellent service. Following a long-successful tradition, the cafe not only serves its signature pesto sauce over fresh pasta, but also on pizzas, sandwiches, and bruschettas. The pesto?s classic green hue is even splashed throughout the eatery, on the outdoor awning and across the patio?s chairs and tables. However, the pesto isn?t the only thing with a long history at John?s Italian Caffe. The eatery?s building dates back 105 years, and still has some markings that honor its history, including a carving of the Ten Commandments on the door frame.