Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ascari Enoteca, Toronto

Ascari Enoteca has been a resto under the radar for me, despite the very good provenance of chef owner John Sinopoli, a chef that produces some of the most enjoyable Italian cuisine in Toronto. I finally found my way there and as expected, I was certainly glad that I had. Here, the cuisine is simple but with good complex flavours and textures and there is great value in these dishes.

Mixed olives, imported by the chef and hand pounded and marinated by the staff in house, combined with lemon, garlic, herbs, salt and olive oil. DO NOT MISS THIS DISH! Perhaps the best tasting olive experience in the city.

Terrific, crispy broccolini fritti with pecorino and lemon zest.

Bruschetta topped with cinnamon cap and hen of the woods mushrooms, salata cheese and red wine jus. What a delightful break from conventional chopped tomato or cheese topped bruschetta.

Insalata Americana: seared romaine hearts, oven dried tomato, radish, sunflower seeds, fried shallots and creamy oregano dressing. A delicious salad.

Spaghetti carbonara, with guanciale, butternut squash, pecorino cheese, cracked pepper and topped with an egg yolk. Another hit.

I really liked orchiette con salsiccia. The pasta was combined with house made sausage, chili, rapini, garlic, lemon and oregano pan grattato.

Budino di limone, steamed lemon pudding with whipped cream, laurel and vanilla syrup, a very light and refreshing finish.

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