Powered by the sustainable bounty of local producers, La Piola crafts seasonal menus of rustic Italian dishes brimming with freshness and authentic flavour. Current offerings are neatly printed on paper and colourfully scrawled on chalkboards for the convenience of diners and the withering penmanship critiques of schoolmarms. Galvanize the gastronomical gala with an antipasti plate presenting house-cured salamis, house-pickled veggies, cheese, and crostino ($12, add $5/person for multiplates). The stagionale pizza, meanwhile, lays free-range vegetables to sleep on pillows of steamy crust ($14). The kitchen makes its pastas on-site with eggs from chickens born, bred, and educated locally, and the restaurant's products are imported straight from Italy, providing the base for such dishes as the carbonara ($12) and puttanesca ($11). Drink options afford wines ($8+/glass) and local bottled beers ($4.95+) for toasting friends or roasting derelict crossing guards. Diners can enjoy all tastes on La Piola's outdoor brick patio.
Housed in an elegant, brightly lit space overlooking Thunderbird Park, Samuel's by the Park serves classic and contemporary cuisine prepared seven days a week by two chefs who make everything, including sauces and dressings, from scratch. Dinner offerings include Samuel's classic Caesar salad, accented with house-made herbed croutons, asiago cheese, and the restaurant's signature dressing ($7), and the popular chicken cordon bleu, a boneless chicken breast stuffed with ham and swiss and accompanied by bacon-cheddar mashed potatoes ($21). Samuel's salmon comes pan-seared and roasted with a maple-chili glaze, garnished with red onion-cranberry relish and served with jasmine rice ($22).
A&W Restaurant, one of the largest burger chains in Canada, has been trapping burgers between buns and filling cups with creamy root beer for generations of famished families. Choose from a brood of belly-busting burgers, such as the Papa Burger, leading the pack with two beef patties (a $4.92 value). The Baby Burger induces burger purists to shed a single tear upon seeing the simple beef patty on a bun salaciously adorned with nothing but A&W seasoning and a dollop of ketchup (a $1.89 value). The beefy Uncle Burger (a $5.70 value, $0.50 extra for cheese) bogarts all the mouth room, sprawling its sirloin patty and lettuce-tomato-onion suit all over tongue sofas. Round out a meaty meal with a medium order of crisp fries (a $2.79 value) and a medium soda (a $2.34 value).
Pablo's Dining Lounge serves classic French cuisine—made from sustainable regional ingredients—within the elegant, rustic confines of a late-1800s Heritage house. The spice-brandishing, knife-wielding chefs at Pablo's make all their products in-house from scratch, which means that no pre-packaged sauces, mixes, or leprechauns will make it onto the table. Luscious loaves are baked fresh daily and all vegetables are plucked from local farms each day by the foraging chef. Seafood dishes are fresh from the briny blue and all oysters are shucked to order, so patrons can expect a small wait on the priceless pearl producers. To pair with the fresh fare, Pablo's boasts an extensive wine list that can be enjoyed with dinner or perused while relaxing in the 16-seat lounge or at the quartz bar. Take a gander at the full menu for all the fresh and flavourful feastables.
The Reef's menus sparkle with the potential of brunch, lunch, and dinner plates inspired by the styles and tastes of the Caribbean. Midday mealtime selections showcase flavourful West Indian curries ($9–$10) paired with white rice, refreshing coleslaw, sweet mango chutney, and dahi, and served vegetarian or with a choice of chicken or goat. The calypso oxtail ($16) makes stomachs anti-grumble with a savoury bone-in beef stew, brewed and stocked with a hearty helping of potatoes and carrots over rice and peas. For dinner, the Kingston quesadilla ($12) envelops either jerk chicken or tofu, peppers, melty cheddar, and refried beans, and the coco prawns ($9) roll around in toasted coconut before putting on a cool minted avocado yogurt ski-bunny costume. Brunch items include plantain chips ($6), huevos rancheros ($10), and ackee and salt fish ($15), a Jamaican national dish of ackee fruit, cod, rice, peas, and coleslaw.
Housed within a travelling food truck, Puerto Vallarta Amigos stays parked in a steady spot throughout the work week to dish out a menu of Mexican treats made from authentic family recipes. Today's Groupon is good for tacos, a quesadilla, a torta (all normally $6), or the combo platter of salad, four tortillas, and a choice of two fillings (normally $8), plus a refreshing drink to wash down renegade rice and beans. Tacos are sextuplets of flavour, with six tortillas that can be stuffed with any of Puerto Vallarta's fillings, such as beef barbacoa seasoned with a family blend of Mexican spices, chicken fajitas, soy chorizo cooked in chile guajillo, and potato and spinach; several choices are vegetarian and vegan friendly. Fan favourites include the cheesy-joke-telling quesadilla and the tantalizing torta, a traditional Mexican hot sandwich on an eight-grain bun. To garnish your gatherings, Puerto Vallarta also offers a choice of homemade salsas, such as mild salsa verde and spicy salsa roja.