F’Amelia had only been open for about two weeks when I met the lovely Yasmin of le sauce there for dinner one night. I had arrived early, hoping to see Cabbagetown but all the shops in the area closed before six; with nothing else to do, I turned up to the restaurant and snagged the last seat at the bar to wait quite comfortably until Yasmin turned up.
After we were seated, we took ages over the menu, both of us quite indecisive over everything on the Northern Italian menu. We finally decided on a starter, a pizza and two small portions of pasta.
Our starter was Vickie’s Heirloom Tomato Panzanella ($12) – a Tuscan-style tomato and bread salad. These must have been the last tomatoes of the season but they were still fantastic tossed with caramelised onions and parmesan in a light dressing. And their homemade croutons….mmm….
Our pizza came, like the others, out of a large woodburning oven in the middle of the restaurant. We were both drawn to the Diavola ($15) – Crushed San Marzano tomato, fior di latte, spicy soppressata, fresh red hot chili pepper, basil, extra virgin olive oil – because of the addition of the chilli!
It was an excellent pizza too.
I thought their pastas were weaker than their pizzas. A Maltagliati ($15, for a small portion) with octopus, spicy tomato, preserved lemon and arugula was alright but I couldn’t taste any of the lemon and the pasta sheets stuck together in clumps. The octopus was wonderfully tender but still, the dish just didn’t work.
Their famous Gnocchi ($16) with porcini mushrooms and in-house cured Pancetta and parsley was good with its pillowly soft potato dumplings but needed something….perhaps something acidic to cut through the richness. I’m still glad I tried them both though.
Perhaps we didn’t really need the desserts (I was about to burst after them) but we couldn’t leave without trying them. Their Tiramisu ($8) was excellent, all light and creamy, and it was a giant portion. Bizarrely, our waitress kept insisting that all their desserts were very light and cream- and butter-free. Right…
Their Rum and Ginger Apple Toffee Cake ($8) with vanilla and honey bee pollen ice cream was good but its sticky toffeeness was little too heavy after all the food we’d consumed.
I’ve heard good things about their tagliatelle with rabbit ragu so that should possibly be on your list if you visit. There are, of course, quite a few good Italian restaurants in Toronto but I can certainly recommend this one for its pizzas.
12 Amelia Street