Urban Spoon hosted a lovely and extravagantly delicious evening for food bloggers at Osteria dei Ganzi on August 8, 2013, and I am thrilled that I was invited. The meal was excellent from start to finish and it was great to meet and speak with other bloggers. It’s been nearly a year since this review was written, but recent trips to Ganzi have been consistent with this experience, so here it is…a glorious summer patio recommendation for Toronto residents and tourists.
My main was off the menu, Mucca Pezzata, a grilled steak tagliata with red wine and cream sauce and a balsamic reduction, with roast potatoes, zucchini with red peppers, and asparagus. It was superb, and a perfect choice for my palate that evening, but the commitment-phobe in me wonders longingly about the two entrées that I did not choose.I had been sorely tempted by two of the specials, a lamb shank that sounded divine and was pronounced ‘exceptional’ by Eye Candy’s Abraham Wornovitzky, sitting to my left, and also a shrimp and breaded fried oyster pasta in a lemon/garlic olive oil sauce that I still dream of and long to have tried.
The seasoning on all dishes was restrained, but satisfying, each simple, but complex in variety.
This satisfying repast would have been enough, but there was more that I have not taken the time to detail, like the bresaola, which had me looking longingly at the board, wishing that it would magically replenish…as I also wished with the delicious gorgonzola that too-swiftly disappeared from the board at my section of the table. Had I a list of all items on the menu, I would rhapsodize on each…but they live on in my memory.
This was all then followed by a trio of satisfyingly decadent desserts, presented on a series of platters for two. These were a cheesecake made partly with mascarpone, a tiramisu made without it, and a lovely crisp cannoli. Had I perished on my way home, this would have been a worthy last meal.
Urban Spoon was well represented by Laura Williams, a congenial hostess who spent some time visiting with each of us throughout the evening, setting the tone for a convivial atmosphere.
Our servers, whose names I sadly did not record, were all excellent and professional and have been consistently so on both visits to the restaurant.
Executive Master Chef Guerrino Staropoli was charming and earnest in introducing his food, to which he clearly has a passionate commitment. This was my second visit to Ganzi and his commitment was also clear in the contrast between the two visits.
At my first visit, not long after opening, Chef Staropoli was dealing with a newly created group of chefs that were not yet on the same page. Now, he has the evidence of a well-trained ensemble in which each knows their own role and plays their part with nuance and gusto. I can only imagine where they will be in another month, or year.
Where on my first visit, the food was very good, but not entirely memorable, this was an evening well worth revisiting and reliving on a lovely afternoon while sitting in my garden. I’m excited that Osteria dei Ganzi is fairly close to home and can’t wait until I have the opportunity to visit again. I highly recommend it for everything from a romantic dinner, to a gathering of family or friends.
My congratulations to Chef Staropoli, Mr Machado, co-owners Dan Gunam and Luca Biscardi, and to all involved on creating such a jewel.— at Osteria Dei Ganzi