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,
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!