EATS: Paese Ristorante

Hello everyone! I recently won dinner for 2 at Paese Ristorante from Mary’s Happy Belly and since the HF had never been to an Italian restaurant before (I KNOW RIGHT?!), he was obviously my first choice. I had drooled over Mary’s photos from her review so I was beyond excited to be able to give this place a try. I didn’t take any photos of the actual restaurant, but really – you came here to see the food.
We both started off with seafood appetizers – I ordered the Grilled Octopus with potato, grilled escarole, mint, and lemon chill. The octopus was beautifully charred yet still tender and not chewy/rubbery at all. The lemon really kept everything from being too rich, but really – the star was the octopus. The HF had the Grilled Calamari with spinach, sundried tomatoes, olives, and brown butter. He thoroughly enjoyed how all the flavours were robust but complemented each other well and the calamari was also very tender and perfectly cooked.For his main course, the HF opted for the classic Spaghetti and Meatballs in tomato sugo with shaved pecorino. This was the ultimate in comfort food and as soon as it went in my mouth, it felt like a warm hug after a rough day (which was not the case as we had a fantastic day downtown.) You can’t go wrong with perfectly seasoned meatballs and a classic tomato sauce. AND DAT CHEESE THO.I couldn’t decide between the Goat Cheese and Leek Ravioli and Mushroom and Spinach Garganelli, so our waitress suggested I get half sized portions of both (I didn’t even know that was an option!) I was so glad they offered because WOW. The creaminess of the goat cheese was kept in check by the lemon based sauce and wilted leeks and the roasted garlic clove was the sweetest I had ever had. My favourite of the two however was the Mushroom and Arugula (they had run out of spinach) Garganelli. 2 types of cheese (testun di barolo and parmigiano) along with the most delicious mushrooms and of course, roasted garlic and truffle oil made this one of the best if not the actual best pasta dish I’d ever had. I would GLADLY order this again – in full size!
Our lovely waitress (I can’t remember her name for the life of me but she was absolutely fantastic) took the liberty of ordering us their most popular dessert to finish off our meal which was their Cioccolato. Featuring a dark hazelnut terrina (cake) with white chocolate mousse, hazelnut brittle, and Nutella, this is what dessert dreams are made of. I was slightly worried when she brought it out as the HF is not a fan of Nutella, however he actually said that this was one of the best desserts he’d ever had since the Nutella was very subtle. The hazelnut brittle really brought this over the top since it provided that roasted sweetness with a crunchy texture. Overall we were extremely impressed with the food and impeccable service at Paese Ristorante. We will definitely be returning to try more of their menu (those scallops sound fantastic!)

Paese Ristorante is located at 3827 Bathurst Street in Toronto. You can check them out online at http://paeseristorante.com and you can follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @PaeseRistorante.

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