Hot list: Paese Ristorante


Italian-inspired with distinctive made-in-Canada twist, Paese Ristorante, located on 3827 Bathurst Street, offers a wide range of Italian favourite eats including authentic appetizers, homemade pizza (with gluten-free and vegetarian options), and a variety of pasta dishes with homemade sauces. The space is dimly lit, creating a cozy and intimate atmosphere. 

I brought along my coworker, Jen Lee, to the tasting and we were able to try a variety of Paese favourites, which included the soup of the day – asparagus with garnished goat cheese, grilled octopus for appetizer,  grilled shrimp linguine and their daily special Ontario lamb chops for mains, and lastly, cioccolato for dessert.


While waiting for our dishes to arrive, we started off with their homestyle bread and hummus, which had a nice taste with the right amount of spice that didn’t overpower.


Asparagus with garnished goat cheese in veggie stock was the soup of the day. I’ll be honest, I’m not really a huge fan of goat cheese, but the cheese really mixed well with the asparagus soup. It added a rich creamier texture with the right consistency.


The grilled octopus was the next dish we had. It was lightly grilled with a bedding of grilled capers, vegetables, and potatoes. I can tell you that not many people are a fan of overly “fishy” aftertastes when eating seafood; however, the minimal seasoning on the octopus, you can barely taste the “fishy” flavour, which is a definite plus.


After our appetizers, came main course. Jen ordered the grilled shrimp linguine, and I ordered the daily special – Ontario lamb chops. Everything about the linguine tasted very fresh – the jumbo shrimp, pasta, and the sauce. Since the sauce was freshly made, you can taste the fresh basil in it with tomato chunks – a nice balance between rich and light.


My lamb chops  came with a side of mashed sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. It was perfectly cooked to medium rare, lightly sauced, and juicy. The mashed sweet potato evened out the taste of boiled brussels sprouts. It might not look a lot at first glance, but it was extremely filling,

img_7053 As if we haven’t eaten enough already, and have been experiencing a severe cause of good food coma, we couldn’t leave without trying their dessert. The cioccolato (dark chocolate terrine with white chocolate mousse, Nutella and hazelnut brittle) was not too sweet, with lightly whipped white chocolate mousse in between.

Our delicious tasting put us in a ‘food coma’, which is a sign that I truly enjoyed my time at Paese Ristorante. Make sure you try them out when you get the chance!







Tom Jones Steakhouse


The Tom Jones Steakhouse building has stood since the early 1800s and embodies such an old-world charm that you and your guest will forget the world at your intimately hidden away table for two. The candle light, the tuxedoed servers, and the live piano will make you feel like you strolled right into a romantic evening from the 1920s.

Location: 17 Leader Lane, Toronto


Hawley Crescent


Hawley Crescent uses an organic process in which food is their affordable art. Whatever the occasion, whatever the mood, they provide a personal journey to intensify each taste bud on your tongue. Executive Chef Roger Searle and his team have an immensely approachable personality while offering fresh food with high quality standards that will leave you feeling full of flavour.

Location: 105 Consumers Dr, Whitby


Atlas Espresso Bar

atlas-espresso-barTwo eclectic, small town brothers are continuing a dream first established by Sandrine Kwan in 2014. Atlas Espresso Bar is a cozy little corner of the world where you are among friends. Featuring a custom bean by local roaster Trebilcock. Serving up daily specials, tasty treats and great coffee. Come by for lunch, a coffee or just to hang out.


Location: 550 Front St W Unit 59, Toronto


Hotlist: Pumpernickel’s


Celebrating their 30th anniversary with a brand-new look and menu, local culinary family-owned gem, Pumpernickel’s reinvents themselves while keeping their core values. With eleven locations across the city and GTA, they are best known for their stellar lunch and breakfast catering. From days long ago of being a mom-and-pop deli shop style, Pumpernickel’s has come a long way in its 30 years in the restaurant business. The reinvented restaurant is now entering the fast yet casual arena scene, debuting a fresh new menu and look.

Thanks to Butter PR, I had the opportunity to visit their most recent location at 655 Bay Street, Suite 101, Toronto. Entering the restaurant, it felt very spacious and clean with a lot of seating – which is not what you would expect from what used to be just a deli-shop. To add, the menu is laid out nicely across the back wall with creatively designed fonts.


From the menu, I tried their BBQ Chicken Avocado sandwich, in addition to a variety of their salad from the salad bar, which included spiced chickpeas, quinoa, couscous, kale, with a teriyaki salmon to top it off, and lastly, their famous schnitzel.


Moving on, the BBQ Chicken Avocado (chipotle mayo, avocado, smoked provolone pickled onions on rosemary focaccia), had a lot of flavour to it. The chicken was not dry and the sauce in the sandwich was just the right amount. The pickled onions gave the sandwich a kick, balancing the bbq flavour of the chicken.


Although it was just salad, it really felt like a whole meal itself. The fact that I had no limit to how many types I can order, I ordered four different types of salad and topped it off with teriyaki salmon. This meal itself already sounds healthy, and the fact that Pumpernickel’s is in the “fast food” area, it doesn’t feel like it at all! Everything was freshly made and delicious.


Lastly, I couldn’t go without trying their Famous Schnitzel (with sautéed onions served on a long bun). The portion of that schnitzel was unreal. There were three pieces in just one sandwich. I was already stuffed and satisfied with everything, but this schnitzel was too hard to deny. The schnitzel was not overly coated with breadcrumbs, and with light dressing, I could really taste the meat.

I’m sure by now you know how my experience at Pumpernickel’s was. No need to doubt that I will definitely be going back for a healthy lunch. Make sure to try them out, you won’t regret your decision. Since they are well known for their catering business, you can share this wonderful restaurant with your co-workers/colleagues.