In charming historic Kleinburg, a quaint, former tea house, is now the home of exquisite Italian cuisine. Linguine with shrimp, king crab, scallops, mussels and clams is served in a baked focaccia bowl. Portions are generous, pricing is gentle, and flavours are out of this world. A plate of grilled meats includes the most tender lamb, fennel sausage and beef striploin served with demi glace and fresh rosemary. Risotto is perfectly al dente, and comes with a half lobster tail, shrimp, clams and mussels in wine and tomato. We want to taste everything on the menu. Our servers are so warm and inviting, we linger over one more espresso, one more biscotti, one more chamomile infused grappa…
At this family run restaurant we are made to feel like we’re part of the family. Antipasto of grilled peppers and portabello mushrooms with olive oil; light, crisp calamari rings the size of bracelets; and delicately sliced veal carpaccio with a splash of lemon are a feast for our eyes and the table. The in house made gnocchi in a light tomato basil sauce is a dreamy pairing of sweet pillow-y potato and tangy sauce. Tagliatelli, fresh green and white noodles, is enriched in a savoury wild boar Bolognese. Fresh pasta, pure Italian olive oil, authentic cooking, and familial service make this warm dining room and peaceful patio a feel-good fine dining experience just down the slope from the main street of Kleinburg.
Located within the Eagles Nest Golf Club, the high expectations of service are exceeded by dishes of quality sourced ingredients that look like a display of fine jewelry. Chef Giacomo Romano serves a salad like no other. A treasure trove of seedlings, fruit and vegetables are meticulously placed to dazzles our eyes as well as our taste buds. Carpaccio is served on a thick slab of pine. Seared beef is cooled and sliced, and accompanied by horseradish cream, homemade potato chips, raisins and a poached quail egg. Why boil pasta in water when you could use red wine? Romano’s linguini is a decadent treat with braised rabbit, pine nuts and crumbled cheese.
“I like to make a little bit of the taste of Sorrento”, Nino Cioffi tells me. The restaurant is in Maple, but the wines and olive oils are from Sorrento, and the cuisine is from Sorrento. It’s how he ate growing up. Is there a regional difference? “It’s just the way we use the product.” The olive oil, the herbs, the cherry tomatoes; it’s all fresh and bold flavour that makes us feel like we really are in Sorrento. Whole adriatic salt-baked sea bass is served table-side. Delicately cracking open the salt casing reveals a wonderfully tender fish. Homemade Caramelle di Tartufo are luxurious bons bons of pasta filled with ricotta and black truffle, and enrobed in a rich porcini sauce. This will go down as one of my favourite dishes of 2013. There is such a jovial atmosphere as music plays and decadent desserts seduce my sweet tooth. “I want to make my customers speak Italian with me”, Cioffi enthuses.