I have been to this restaurant before, a couple of years back when it went by a different name. So with a new title I decided to revisit and see what else has changed. It wasn’t the decor, or the menu, as both looked exactly as I remembered it. So even before I ordered, I was a little apprehensive, as my original review had them pretty average. However the cooking and quality can change and has changed for the better over the course of 2.5 years.
So before you start reading about my latest visit, take the time to recall how they were when they were “L’ Antipasto”.
They have a smaller space, half of it is dedicated to their open kitchen. This intimacy gives you the feeling of dining at someone’s home, where they are cooking for you. Especially when the chef leads over the counter to inquire about your meal and if/how you are liking things. It definitely gives the food a face.
But chances are that will be seated on their year round patio. Rain or shine it is covered with a waterproof tarp and outfitted with several heat lamps. Still cold? They offer red fleece blankets that match the awning. This is also where large groups are situated, and was the case during our visit. So our group of four found ourselves inside with a view of the chef in action. Three backs hunched over the various ranges, scooping and saucing fresh made pasta. This transparency only makes you appreciate the quality of said noodles when it finally hit your tongue.
We were a group of four so had four of their pastas to share.
The one that actually brought us in was the “Pasta Saporita with pancetta, porcini, sun-dried tomatoes and Gorgonzola cream”. We were here trying this limited edition specialty menu item, as a part a philanthropic dining series hosted by Tangoo. This was part of their #ChewingForCharity series, where they found a way for the tech-savvy modern diner to do good by doing what they do anyways. Diners can give back to local charities by taking and posting photos of delicious looking food on Instagram and tagging #GiveWarmth.
To read more about the charitable program and our participation in it, visit the link below.
As for the actual pasta, it was a classic Italian done beautifully. A little salty and a little sweet, best with a couple scoops of fresh parmesan cheese and grated coarse pepper. But what we really liked about it was the noodles. These thick and coarse sheets were chewy with a gummy texture. And the lighter sauce was ideal in exemplify it. Case in point is the pasta below. It had the same kind of noodles, but here we all liked this one better. So it’s a shame that it is not regularly available on the menu, to come back and have more of.
The Pappardelle “rosche rosche” had free range chicken, organic boneless beef short ribs, and Italian fennel sausage. Together it made a hearty ragu. The menu cited it as a “family recipe passed down Nonno Nicola”. There was nothing wrong with this dish, just being able to compare it to the one above, had us leaning the other direction. Overall, a great option for meat lovers.
The “Garganelli alla primavera” was short fresh pasta in a classic tomato and basil sauce, draped with burrata mozzarella pugliese. This too was a great classic pasta. I just wished the generous amount of burrata was a tad more fresh. It didn’t quite melt the way I expected, or have had it. The dish over all was juicy and fresh, idea for a lighter meal on a warmer day.
The “Lobster and crab ravioli” is one of their most popular dishes, which their Chef Filly does in a sauce of fresh tomatoes, arugula, and prawns. And it was done well, light to highlight the mild seafood flavour. We shared the plate, but given the size and richness of each square, I would gather that this is the perfect portion size for one satisfied serving.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Revisits are a great way to reassess your original review. There are always outliners to consider during any one visit, as is there always an opportunity to improve. So revisiting somewhere you are apprehensive about after your initial stop in, is a good way to gauge the above. And even though my original lunch may have been a “no” to return, I think two years in between is enough time to consider it a new visit of sorts. In short, now I would come back and can now happily recommend them for anyone looking for quality pasta in a more intimate setting. A great choice for date night, under their romantic lighting, and best paired with wine. Don’t deny your cravings.