Saturday, February 4, 2012

Enoteca Maialino Restaurant, Toronto

The warm and friendly attitude one experiences in this small, charming restaurant puts one in a pleasant frame of mind to enjoy the good food. We ordered drinks and wine and we were presented with their complementary salumi board with 2 types, one spicy and a bit gamey and one mild,  and a cheese board with toasts and a blood orange, onion compote. Reviewing the menu I found a strong Sicilian cultural influence.

Pane and panelle, Sicilian bread with sesame seeds, filled with thin, very mild tasting chick pea fritters (no photo).
Pane "Ca meusa", Sicilian bread filled with sauteed veal spleen and cacio cavallo cheese, a very earthy form of palate pleasing comfort food.

Porchetta, sliced, slow roasted pork with aromatic fresh herbs served with toasts topped with peperonata and lentils and another with sweet caramelized onions. This was another wonderful, earthy dish. The incredibly tender, juicy pork was so well complemented by the roast peppers and sweet onions.

Carpaccio polpo, slow cooked octopus, frise salad, celery and black olives, olive oil and piano frillo particella. This was the one dish that fell short for me. It tasted a bit too "fishy" and my experience with raw and partially cooked octopus is a bit sweeter flavour.

Fettuccini cinghiale and tartufo, fresh house made pasta with wild boar ragu, grated pecorino umbro and fresh, highly aromatic shaved black Umbrian truffle. Great concept dish, terrific pasta, but small there were only "occasional" bits of the boar with no perceived sauce extracted from the boar, making for inadequate boar flavour, though great truffle flavour. I still enjoyed this dish because the pasta and truffle combination was so good.

Ravioli alla Norma, eggplant and aged, baked Italian ricotta cheese filled, house made pasta with a tomato sauce of pachino cherry tomatoes and San Marzano tomatoes. A sensationally good tomato sauce, so simple and so full of flavour, combined with terrific pasta.

Mezzalune di zucca, delicious, cinnamon and nutmeg flavoured, pumpkin filled, house made pasta with mascarpone sauce. A truly delicious dish.

Wonderfully crunchy canoli with a seductive caramel coffee sauce.

Panna cotta, with a perfectly pleasing jello-like jiggly texture and bright fruit flavours on the plate. A very satisfying conclusion to a very good meal.

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