Italian | Ontario, Canada | Toronto23 Nov 2004 06:46 am

The second recommendation from the owners of Coppi, Centro is in the same class as North 44 – excellent food and circuses galore! The visual experience alone is worth the visit.

On my visit on Monday night things were pretty quiet, but weekends must be jammed. Wine choices are extensive and varied, running the full gamut from reasonable to high end; this would be a Wine Spectator favorite. I chose a moderately priced CA pinot noir (my Oregon choice was out of stock). Evian water was another treat (thought I requested Lake Ontario straight).

Sesame flatbread and two kinds of wheat bread with a mild hummus-style spread started the experience. I chose the Risotto with roasted quail, wild mushrooms, shavings of truffled pecorino and port wine reduction. The risotto was perfectly cooked and flavors balanced to create a complex dining experience. Portion size was really enough for three (me, myself and I) so next time will order half portions and try other things. My dinner guest had a risotto with sea scallops (he said it was very good).

No time or appetite for dessert but would like to try their international cheese plate (Cashel Blue from Ireland, Pierre Robert from France, Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy and Murcia al Vino from Spain); for $17 CAN sounds like a good deal.

The pasta and risotto dishes (and pizza) are in the $17 range, with entrees in the $40 range. The Wine/Pasta Bar downstairs was closed so I assume it’s more moderately priced.

$$ to $$$

2472 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M4P 2H5
(416) 483-2211

www.centrorestaurant.com

Ontario, Canada | Toronto08 Jun 2004 09:09 pm

A visit to a 3 star restaurant is usually done with some doubt and diminished expectations because this type of initial hype often does not live up to your expectations. This place deserves a high rating, though I won’t go into the semantics of prior ratings. Instead, let’s talk about the food.

Cocktail selections reflect the modern times – and you can order the standard premium spirits which are presented appropriately – no fanfare, just solid cocktails. Wine list is very creative with selections from around the world – even Oregon Pinot Noir(s) that stand up to world class wines. Pricing is fair with many by the glass choices.

My salad of Boston Bibb with pumpkin seed vinaigrette garnished (ever so lightly) with roasted pepitas and sweet potato frites was fresh and adequate. The roasted pork tenderloin with apple and onion saute’ spaetzle and mustard jus was flavorful and beautifully presented and ample in each portion segment. Breads include whole grain and unusual ones (and the butter is fresh creamery style). Desserts are quite exceptional and include assorted artisan Quebec cheeses along with a conventional flourless cake and fresh fruit adaptations. After dinner spirit choices reflect the cosmopolitan Toronto diversity.

(And by the way, one of the entrees was Kobe beef brisket accompanied by oh so many wonderful things!)

Al in all a place worth a visit and a very high rating. It’s also in a very interesting part of Toronto. The nearby beach area will be worth another visit as it too looks like the Yonge Street area and parts of Manhattan (and Chicago’s near north side).

$$ to $$$ depending on wine choice

1097 Queen Street East
Toronto
(416) 405-9906

Kimberley Saunders

verveine.ca

Ontario, Canada | Toronto10 Feb 2004 06:38 pm

My lucky day – with the Coppi closed for a private party for McD’s high achievers, I was directed to North 44 which is just south of Coppi.
What a wonderful surprise – though I only had the Parma ham with fresh fig appetizer (with New Zealand Pinot Noir) followed by a 4-cheese selection which included fresh fruits (including yet more fresh figs) with a German Gerwurztraminer which worked well (instead of a red).
This place is elegant (and expensive) but visually a treat to behold.
Also very pleasant service, great breads with hummus spread.

$$$

reviewed Feb 2004

2537 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

(a few blocks north of Eglinton on east side of Yonge)
(416) 487-4897

Ontario, Canada | Unionville11 Dec 2003 03:47 pm

An intimate place in a picturesque town off the beaten path, though wine prices are a little steep.
$$$

205 Main Street
Unionville ON L3R 2G8
(905) 940-0235

Web site (with Web specials)

Italian | Ontario, Canada | Tony's Top Ten11 Dec 2003 02:58 pm

March 2005 update:

OK, how do you resist the risotto porcini with parmagianno cheese wheel (about 30″ diamater and 8″ high) – the cooked risotto/porcini creation (made on the first day of creation I assume – it’s real good), is ladled into the hollowed-out cheese wheel where generous amounts of cheese are shaved off and blended together with the creation. The end result is an even better creation (I’m getting religious – sorry). The Dolcetta d’ Alba was the perfect compliment. I will go back if for this specialty alone.

A wonderful Italian place with Parma cheese wheel offerings if you make a special request to Fausto Di Berardino.
$$$
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