The feeling I had this past Friday night was exactly what I was hoping for when I set out on this journey and writing this blog. I said I wanted to discover and explore Toronto and so, I’m amazed when I uncover an area which up to now has been completely unknown. I always knew where Liberty Village was, drove by there often and even partied there (Maro anyone? lol), but to actually walk around and take in the area is completely different.
We started off our newest culinary adventure with some bevies at The Brazen Head Pub. As far as pubs go it isn’t any different from anything I’ve been to before. But the patios. Oh the patios. This THREE-FLOOR pub has the most outdoor seating that I’ve ever seen. Just make sure that you get on the right side (not literally right) of the place otherwise you could be dealing with some serious wind/breeze on what is otherwise a beautiful day. Another thing that sets this pub apart from the others is their choice to steer away from the standard pub fare. I mean don’t get me wrong, they have your burgers, nachos and being an Irish pub all the traditional Irish pub favorites, but they also have a great selection of salads (not just caeser and garden) and more grown-up options like the Baked Brie, Tempura Halibut bites, Baja Chicken Tacos and a Portobello Quesadilla. Great venue to waste away the lazy weekend days or drown the after work stress.
Address: 165 East Liberty Street
Sometimes when a place is recommended to me more than just a few times I get my hopes really high and then get inevitably disappointed. Caffino
did NOT disappoint. After developing a slight beer buzz from the Brazen head we took a leisurely stroll to King Street for dinner at this hidden gem – literally, because the building (which happens to be the old Carpet Manufacturing building) is COVERED in greenery and moss. Once you walk through the iron gates and across the walkway you are inside a sweet and beautiful little restaurant that feels as if it’s been plucked out of The Secret Garden. Very vintage and European inspired with the high ceilings, large windows, mosaic décor, white linens and floral center pieces. The view is their very own patio which I must make sure to discover at some point this summer.
They had a great list of martinis’ to choose from but the highly recommended Pomegranate martini was my choice of the evening. On the menu for the 5 dining divas:
Martinis: Pomegranate, Lychee, Chocolate, Espresso
Rigatoni Bolognese – Rigatoni with a homemade meat sauce
Penne a La Puglia – Penne with sausage, roasted red peppers, black olives and baby spinach in a spicy plum tomato sauce
Pasta a La Veneziana – Casarecci pasta with smoked chicken, bacon, onions, sun dried tomatoes, baby spinach and mushrooms in a white wine cream sauce
Pasta Toscana – Parpadelle with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes in a roasted garlic wine cream sauce
Antonietta Pizza – tomato base topped with goat cheese, spinach, grilled chicken, fresh tomatoes and drizzled with pesto
Be-still my heart and stomach. There are no words. Our table was speechless aside from the noises being made from sheer delight and satisfaction. And yes, this reaction was caused by FOOD.
AMAZING, I wish my vocabulary was wider to find some better word but there just isn’t. By far some of the best Italian food that I’ve had. The owner has made a commitment to bringing traditional tastes and flavors from being brought up in an Italian home and she has found her recipe for success. Literally. The sausage penne (which clearly you’ve seen is my go to meal) had the perfect kick to it and was paired with the right amount of veggies. The pizza I could have done without to be honest. The other pastas that I sampled from the other ladies were each different and unique in their taste yet amazingly full of fresh ingredients and flavor.
Pair the food with a beautiful venue, kick ass service an affordable prices – I’ve found a keeper!
Address: 1185 King Street West
416-588-9010 (good idea to make reservations)
Parking: street parking and I believe there’s a lot close by
Price: $$ – Affordable
Ambience – 9.5/10
Service – 9.5/10
Food – 9/10 (damn pizza)
My sad disclaimer: I WOULD have had better pictures but my camera was left in a cab (did I mention the martinis were strong…)