Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Enoteca Sociale Toronto hits all the right buttons. Great quality, reasonable prices and an excellent wine list. Really good value here.

Enoteca Sociale is my kind of place.  The price point is great with most dishes under $20 and they even serve first rate complimentary bread and olive oil. A nice surprise in a restaurant keeping their prices competitive.  

The wine list is a perfect combination of thoughtful Canadian and Italian wines.  The first thing on the list was a sparkling wine by Hinterland in Prince Edward County, one of my personal favourites.  They also had another of our faves, Norman Hardie's County Pinot Noir.  They have an impressive knowledge and selection of Italian wines and nicely paired my food with some delicious choices that were new to me.

Tuna with Orange and Pine Nuts

The Albacore tuna with oranges, pine nuts and lovage was melt in your mouth perfect.  

Yellow Perch Fritto

The Yellow Perch Fritto with fingerling potatoes, rapini and red pepper sauce was fried without being greasy.The perch was cooked perfectly and nicely balance with the slightly bitter rapini. Nothing dry or overcooked.

Brussel Sprouts with Goat Cheese

Are brussel sprouts Italian?  I've always thought of them as bad English food but we've had them in several Italian restaurants recently and they were really good and Sociale was no exception.  No bitterness, just a vegetable worthy of craving.

We also shared the squash ravioli with onions and sage and the linguini vongole.  Both dishes we love and are picky about. Thumbs up.  We would both recommend Enoteca Sociale and be happy to return again.

Enoteca Sociale , 1288 Dundas St W, Toronto

Friday, November 8, 2013

Root Down, Denver is my new favourite restaurant. A little far to go for dinner but we really liked Colorado.

Root Down in Denver, Colorado strives to accommodate all food preferences, vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan and carnivores alike.  All with top quality ingredients from local sources or their own gardens.  It's a funky, happy place full of people having a good time.  I loved the atmosphere and the food.  One of the best vegetarian meals David and I have eaten in a very long time.

Arugual, piquillo peppers, super seed mix, goat feta, vegetable chips and charred green tomato vin combined to make a complex salad with each component perfectly prepared.  Impressive.

Warm Root Vegetable Salad

The gnocchi with Roasted Hazel Dell Mushrooms, Brussel Sprouts, Red Kuri Squash, Poached Egg, Piquillo-Almond Pesto Vin was one of those dishes that you crave after.  If we lived in Denver I'd be a regular for this dish alone.  Break the egg and it becomes part of the sauce.  

Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi

Sliders are rarely available for vegetarians and most of the burgers ho hum but this grainy treat with jalapeno jam and sprout salad topping is delicious and the fries equal to the burger.

Veggie Burger Sliders
Absolutely bar non the best tofu dish I've ever eaten.  Deep fried with a tasty, crispy coating, the salad and maple stout mustard is a perfect partner.
Country Fried Tofu

Great drinks list and our server knew enough about wine and beer to keep us happy.

The decor is just plain fun.  There's a full old fashioned phone booth on the way to the bathroom and this wall of phones was over our heads.  The top blue one is a match for my 15th birthday present.  Long before cell phones when having a phone in your bedroom was uber cool.