Tanjarine's Blog

Toronto GTA restaurant reviews

Downtown comes Uptown January 4, 2011

Filed under: Restaurants — tanjarine @ 1:40 am
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Sarpa

Craving Pasta, so it’s off to a newbie. I’ve heard its like Terra but more modestly priced. I’m down with that!!!!! Great food good price who wouldn’t be? We arrive, entering the dimly lit restaurant you can feel the buzz of a new restaurant.I’m not really sure if they will be able to accommodate us, we inquire about a table for two. Yes, they have a spot for us at the bar or by the kitchen. Normally, I would have jumped at the table at the bar but we take the other. I’m not only there for the food, but to see how well oiled the machine is.

As we are seated I notice the casual but comfortable uniform of blue jeans and black dress shirts. I feel comfortable, sort of warm and fuzzy. I watch all the plates of food leave the kitchen my mouth is watering. We wait patiently for our server, finally he arrives, greets us and asks if we would like a drink. We both ask for some water before we order some wine. Checking out the menu I noticed the Ahi Tuna crudo (19) I love tuna! What to have as a main course is more of a challenge, so many wonderful choices, but I do feel like a big bowl of piping hot pasta.The choice is easy for Dan but for me, not so much. Wild mushroom risotto, with baby spinach, Boschetto cheese and finished with White truffle oil (23) is his guilty pleasure. I on the other hand am leaning towards a seafood pasta. Ahh the Spaghettini ‘Gamberi’ is my choice, Black tiger prawns, pink peppercorns, wild leeks finished in a brandy cream sauce (25).

My tuna appetizer arrives and of course I’m eating with my eyes first. Simply presented on a rectangular white plate, so elegant! The combination of the fennel and radishes so delicately shaved and the avocado with lemon and sea salt all accompanying the seared tuna absolute decadence. I share just to be polite! Finally my 6oz. pour of Pinot Grigio (11) arrives but Dan is left waiting.

My empty appetizer plate is cleared, and almost as quickly our entree’s arrive but still no wine for Dan. His risotto arrives, the aroma wafting from his plate was so inviting. My Spaghettini is a lovely hue of pink, I can’t wait to dig in both pasta are simply plated in classic white pasta bowls. Offerings of freshly ground pepper and grated Parmesan cheese are made. I can tell from the expression on Dan’s face he’s enjoying his risotto but it’s missing something I suggest he take the lemon wedge from my glass of water, he squeezes just a few drops. The lemon seems to lighten the taste of the risotto. Now he’s happy and enjoying every bite.

My turn, shrimp first to make sure they are not over cooked. Perfect!  The pasta is so delicious with that peppery flavor that  arugula has. The sauce is not to heavy but clings to every strand of spaghettini. I want to sop up every last bit. Oh and just as we finish our meals the glass of Chianti (12) Dan has been waiting for arrives he sends it back. Our server does apologize for the delay and clear our plates.

He’s back in a flash with dessert selections. Hands down coconut cream pie made on site, coffee for Dan and Cappuccino for me. The pie is not a slice it’s an actual little pie about three inches wide and all mine, and Dan’s. The presentation is very simple not over the top. Wow! Knock my socks off the pie is great, crust is flaky and the filling is smooth except for the fresh coconut shreds with just a wee bit of whipped cream to cut the sweetness. Our server clears our table and presents our bill. All in all I would give Sarpa a second chance, the food was good the service not the greatest. Opening jitters are not uncommon in the restaurant business and I am always willing to give new restaurants  a second chance.

Our total bill came to about $120.00. You can find Sarpa located at 13311 Younge St. Richmond Hill On.905-773-2188

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Massimo Capra “For Real?” October 1, 2010

Filed under: Restaurants — tanjarine @ 4:02 am
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Fraticelli's

Fraticelli’s

As I do once a month, I look forward to the local offerings of new restaurants that are opening in our community. Early July I spot the article in our local Post. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that the newest destination I have been keeping my eye on is open and a relatively well-known Toronto chef Massimo Capra lends his name to the cause.
We are greeted the moment we walk thru the door and take in the beautiful decor, to right was the bar and beyond, the patio with its cheerful large yellow umbrellas. On the left of the entrance the dinning room and kitchen await our visit. We did not have a chance to call ahead but not to worry we are there on a week night fairly early there seems to be ample room for us. Reservations are recommended on the weekend. We are seated in a booth, off to the side of the main dinning room but still in view of the open kitchen. Our server arrives and greets us.
As I peruse the menu my eye is immediately drawn to the grilled calamari ($12) served with sautéed diced tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, red onions, olives and a splash white wine. I have to admit I have a true love of calamari I can never resist it! I choose a Pino Grigio thinking it will be a the perfect pairing with my appetizer, the combination of the wine and the perfectly grilled calamari is wonderful very tender , not chewy and the flavors WOW! We decide to order the roasted mushroom risotto ($15). Roasted porcini, oyster and cremini mushroom risotto garnished with green onion, parmigiano and romano shavings as well as the Four Cheese Gnocchi ($17). Potato gnocchi and onion sautéed in brown butter and served on top of gorgonzola, fontina, parmigiano, and romano cheese sauce. Garnished with fresh diced tomato. The risotto is good but nothing to write home about and lacking in flavor I have had better. The Gnocchi is crispy from being sautéed, the center of the gnocchi is gummy and it’s not like a pillow of goodness.I am very disappointed. No table check was done through out our entire meal, in fact we finished our meals and I had poured all the our wine the whole evening. I was very surprised that there was really no interaction during our meals with our server, until she came to clear our main course plates and left a dessert menu on the table. I did decide to have a dessert. I love Italian desserts and was excited to say the least when I was told that they made their own Cannoli ($8) I had to indulge.
They arrive…. the moment of truth, this is my last impression. They come three on a plate, I take my first bite, crisp shell, and the filling is decadent I am please. Then I look at they other half of the Cannoli that’s left in my hand and realize the center of the treat is empty. I feel totally cheated! I grab the attention of our server and make her aware of my displeasure, she does apologize and offers to get me another. I explained that I really didn’t want another.I just really wanted to make her and the kitchen aware of how I felt as a paying customer.She promptly brought our check, received our payment and didn’t even bother to say thank-you or good-bye. I suppose they really don’t value word of mouth. Our total bill came to about $100.00.
You will find Fraticelli’s located at 10 Vogell Road. Unit B. Richmond Hill, On. 905-883-6841

 

 
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