Restaurant: Paese Ristorante
Location: 3827 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON M3H 3N1
Price Range: $$
Open in 1989, Paese Ristorante have been around for over 25 years serving housemade Italian-inspired menu in the North York area. Owner Tony Loschiavo moved to Canada when he was 3 years old and as he grew up with a passion for food and its preparation, he opened Fenton’s and Noodles. In 1983, he founded L-eat Catering then opened Paese a few years later.
Stepping inside Paese, the interior was very intimate with warm pendant lights and wood table top. The atmosphere was cozy and the ambiance wasn’t too loud either – Paese Ristorante is the perfect place for a date night or family with kids.
The Whisky Sour at Paese was excellent with the perfect ratio of whisky and lemon juice. I would have loved it more if they add a dash of egg white though, but it’s not a big deal.
The Branzino Crudo was a special of the day but I believe it is permanently available on the menu now! The branzino were thinly sliced and perfectly seasoned with salt and olive oil. The compote of kimchi and avocado were wonderful and did not overpower the delicate flavor of the branzino.
The scallops were juicy and fresh with a lovely deep golden crust. They were perfectly cooked with a nice tender, springy center that’s not rubbery. I loved how the scallops were paired with a bright, sweet and fresh slaw of fennel and tarragon. If I remember correct, most of the vegetables or herbs were harvested from the restaurant’s garden at the back.
The entire thin crust was crispy and still able to held up the toppings. I loved the contrast between salty olives with a touch of heat from the chili flakes.
Other food bloggers mentioned that Paese served their homemade hot sauces (hot pepper flakes, jalapeño & mint, and pepperoncini oil) when they ordered the pizzas though, so I thought it was quite strange that my server didn’t offer. I would have loved to try!
Paese offers a lot of daily specials and luckily for us this was another! The steak came out perfectly medium rare, and the meat was tender and juicy all throughout. I quite enjoyed the fact that the chef kept this dish simple and let the steak shine for itself.
I was quite surprised to see that there was no tiramisu on an Italian menu! I decided to order affogato as I love the blend of hot and cold elements in a dessert. The cookie was chewy and I recommend breaking it apart, sprinkle a little bit into the gelato for some textures.
The pudding was filling and it was quite sweet, thus I recommend ordering a coffee or tea to offset the sweet dessert.
The overall service was friendly and attentive. Our server was knowledgeable about the menu and seemed to enjoy making conversations with other patrons – he was quite pleasant to talk to! He ensured our glasses of water were filled up and regularly check up on us without hovering.
All-in-all, I had a very satisfying and delightful dinner at Paese. The restaurant serve solid Italian food and I would recommend them to anyone if you are in the area. Maybe next time, instead of pizza, I’ll try their pastas and whole fish as they seemed to be the most popular items on the menu.
Disclaimer: While the food was provided by Paese Ristorante, I am not obliged to publish a review on the business. All opinions/thoughts are my own. For more information about my review policy, please click here.