Monday, January 3, 2011

SPUNTINI - Italian Restaurant review

Hey everyone...
I know it's been a while since I've reviewed. I have been away for Christmas vacation with my family; more specifically on a glutinous, decadent cruise in  the Carribean. Yes I use those terms because I ate waaaay too many lobster tails, shimp, steaks, fresh well as my fair share of good wines and champagne had.. I know it sounds like I had quite  the spoiled experience but have to admit I am glad to be back to reality where I can enjoy delicious food but at a more moderate pace and amount. I realize, after this all you can eat type of service I had on the cruise, that sometimes smaller but more attentive portions make the plate more enjoyable and memorable. Not that I didn't love the food I was lucky enough to endulge in, but there is something about going to a great restaurant and being able to savour every scrumptious bite of a perfectly executed dish without getting full to excess.

So this is where I get to my next review. Spuntini's, an italian restaurant I frequented in Toronto a few weeks back. I had the honor of going with my parents as well as 2 of my best friends. And there is nothling like sharing a great meal with loved ones! So word to the wise, save your best outings for those who matter most!

I have to speak about the delicious octupus dish I got as an antipasto - ok I get that not everyone is a fan of octopus (probably because of its very distinct shape and texture) but it was grilled to perfection - a la Moroccan. Very simple but fresh, and the portion was just right to not fill me up for the following courses.

Polpo alla Griglia (octopus)

And yes I say courses because we got one of their famous mozza-mozza- mozzarella plates to share for the table. We opted for the Burrata which consisted of one on my faves - speck - a smoked prusciutto - along with buffalo mozarella and lightly dressed arugula. All so fresh and delicious.


As for mains, my mom and I both got one of my favorites (if not MY favorite) in Italian restaurants - seafood pasta. There is something about morsels of seafood in a light sauce (either white wine or marinara) and linguini together that makes the perfect match (also see my previous review of Biff's Bistro's memorable bouillabaise). I don't usually get pasta at restaurants but when go to a nice Italian restaurant that serves this dish I will endulge!

Now don't get me wrong, it was good, however not the best I have had - I have to admit I have had this dish at over a dozen different places so I am pretty picky. However remember at this point I have already had my octopus, smoked prosciutto, plenty of cheese, and my share of bread, so stomach may have already been giving me the signal that it was time to call it a night on the food lol! But it was still a nice plate with large pieces of calamari, scallops and shrimp. The main criticism I would give was the ratio or pasta to seafood was too large - as usually I prefer more of the meaty stuff and not too much pasta. As well the tomato sauce could have had a little more flavour. Regardless, I came out of my meal a very happy, and satisfied girl.

So to finish off, I love getting more smaller plates. My 2 first courses of the night were unfortgettable. The atmosphere was vibrant. Again, I can't stress this enough, I love when restaurants line the walls with wine bottles. It gives it such a warm feel. Another winning aspect was our waiter. We were treated like queens and king (my father being the brave lone male at a table of hungry women). Our family tends to be quite inquisitive and picky so kudos to our waiter for knowing everything on his menu inside and out. There is nothing worse that asking a waiter questions about items on the menu and them not knowing anything about them..

Spuntini's is a great date night spot, as well as makes for a nice family get-together. (again - open on sundays! - always a plus) Definitely make a reservation as it tends to fill up, especially on weekends.

Eat well! and savour each and every bite :)

116 Avenue Road
Toronto, ON M5R 2H4
(416) 962-1110