- Address: 333 King St W, Toronto
- Visited: 7/06/2013, Lunch, 8 people
- Cuisine: Italian
- Rating: 4.5 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: N/A
Summerlicious 2013 rolled around in July this year and looking through the list of participating restaurants, I was excited to see many new players. Instead of booking old favourites, this year I only looked at restaurants new to the event. First up for a group lunch was Paese, an Italian restaurant located in the theatre district. The menu appealed to me with lots of options for a larger party at a great price ($20).
Atmosphere: It was a hot and humid day when we visited. Paese has a great patio right on King St, but with the heat, we opted for a table inside. We were seated at a large square table, which was great for our group and I loved being within earshot of everyone. I’m not sure if there was an issue with their A/C or it was due to the front windows being open to the patio, but it was hot and humid inside. The servers assured us they were trying to cool down the dining area and had closed off the front, it could have just needed more time. The temperature was just a tad uncomfortable but it didn’t detract from the meal at all. I loved the exposed brick wall and the black and white photography.
Service: At the time, our table was the only one seated inside. I had booked a late lunch so it was an odd timing. Our group was not punctual and arrived a few at a time. The service was patient and attentive with refilling glasses while we assembled. All dishes arrived at the table together. Each course arrived quickly and was announced with a quick explanation of the ingredients.
Food: My order was the tomato and watermelon soup to start, the trout and spelt linguine entree and the cookie plate to finish. I split everything with the BF who ordered the clams, grilled steak salad and lime sorbet.
Before we even dived into our food, the bread set the tone. It was airy, topped with herbs and accompanied by a delicious jelly. I happily reached for seconds, and thirds. Both appetizers were larger portions than I had expected. The clams were rich and the ciabatta was soaked in butter. My soup was chilled and very refreshing. All the layers of flavours, the sweet watermelon, spicy chili oil and hint of seafood, came together and complimented each other.
I liked the steak salad better than the linguine The texture of the spelt linguine was more grainy and not as chewy as normal pasta. The trout was okay. I personally really like fish roe, pops of salty flavour but they’re not for everyone. The dressing on the salad was light and it was nice to see a heavy handed approach to the chunks of Gorgonzola cheese. The steak itself was cooked to a nice medium rare with a pink center.
For dessert, the sorbet was underwhelming with being too sour. The cookies really delivered with the breadth of assortment, two pieces of biscotti ( a fennel and a chocolate chip) and three cookies. The biscotti was flaky and crisp. All of the cookies were soft and had a great flavour. Everyone enjoyed their meal and it was more than a satisfying amount.
We did order one cocktail between the two of us. Drinks were on the pricier side, $10 – $16, and a little overwrought. Out drink took at least 5 mins to make and involved the use of liquid nitrogen. My taste buds aren’t tuned to appreciate the process yet.