The Good Son

One of the most anticipated restaurant openings last year was The Good Son from Chef Vittorio Colacitti, a participant in season 4 of Top Chef Canada. Reservations have been hard to come by. I tried unsuccessfully to get a table in November two weeks in advance for a group of 8. To avoid the Valentine’s Day rush, The Fiance and I decided to celebrate on the Friday and a table for two was easier to book (still at least 2 weeks in advance).

Atmosphere: The first feature of the restaurant I loved was the separate lobby/coat check area from the dining room. There’s a calm space to come in from the cold, deal with bulky jackets before being comfortably escorted to your table. The dining area itself had high ceilings, intimate lighting, a cozy fireplace and roomy armchairs. I felt like I was having dinner in a Victorian library or den. Walls were filled with mix matched framed black and white photographers, mirrors and grandfather clocks. A good balance between hipster and old-school charm.

Service: Service that night was 90% impeccable. Our server was friendly, professional and walked us through the menu. We had ordered a good a number of small dishes and he made sure they arrived in courses, not overwhelming us at once. The restaurant was full that night and the heavy armchairs made the dining area crowded. Another server who was taking care of the tables behind us asked me multiple times to shift my chair to get around one way, when there was ample space on the other side. Not a big deal once or twice, but an annoyance the third time.

Food: Dinner started with cocktails from The Good Son’s Winter Classic selection. I went with a Hot Apple Buttered Rum and The Fiance chose the Brandy Apple Cider. Both drinks came with a slice of dehydrated apple seasoned with cinnamon and brown sugar. Both drinks were delicious. My buttered rum was rich and warming. I also ordered Mulled Wine that was perfect. I can’t wait to see what spring brings.

We started Steak Tartare and Yellowtail Tiradito. Both dishes were top-notch. The tartare was well seasoned and served with a generous pour of olive oil. I’m slowly converting The Fiance to being a fan of tartare and this dish was a big help. The tiradito was also sublime, with depth of texture and flavour. I liked the thin, crispy lotus root chips and the fish was beautiful.

Second “course” was the Charcuterie and Cheese board, a solid competitor to other restaurants in Toronto. I liked the choice of cheese from creamy to aged and salty to savoury. The lardo was melt in your mouth and the accompaniments were perfect.

Our main course was a Salsiccia Pizza and the Grilled Octopus. It seems like every restaurant has octopus on their menu now. If they all prepared the dish as well as The Good Son, it’s a trend I’m happy to see. The octopus was soft, tender and charred. While the peppers didn’t add any spice, there was ample from the chorizo. The wood oven pizza was one of the best I’ve had in Toronto with a thin crust, lots of cheese and fresh toppings.

After all this food, the dessert menu still managed to tempt us. We split an order of the Apple Upside Down cake, that was a sweet ending to a great meal. The cake was dense but airy, sweet and tart. We also fought over the single scoop of vanilla gelato that was so rich in flavour.

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