Oliver and Bonacini, our favorite fancy Toronto food boys…have started to spring up all over the place these days. Their comfortably priced Cafe Grill concept is a great place to enjoy their food genius without the excessive pay cheque. Cafe Grills can be found at Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, Oakville Place Mall at QEW and Trafalgar Road, Bayview uptown and the newest edition in Waterloo.
I enjoyed my first Cafe Grill moment at the Oakville location (as it is a stones throw from my parents house). The restaurant is massive and sort of reminded me of something Martha Stewart may have felt comfortable spending hours in. Black shutters, open spaces, a kitchen we can see, private dining area and a charming bar alcove.
I was treated with great care as my friend Jodi Chrobak, from Hotel and Food School days is the front of house manager. We started off with a glass of champagne with a few raspberries which fought with each other at the top of the meniscus of our flutes. A truly delicious complimentary bread plate which was impossbile not to devour entirely on my own (note to bread lovers: dine with friends allergic to gluten as you get all the free bread your heart could possibly desire). We started with a forest mushroom soup and the Alla Marco Pizza (BBQ duck, pineapple, caramelized onions, tomato sauce, chilies and coriander). Polished the meal off the meal with sesame seared yellowfin tuna on a green mango and crispy rice noodle salad with julienned jicama, snow peas, crushed peanuts, mint, coriander and spicy Indonesian yogurt AND oven baked ricotta and roasted garlic gnocchi with slow braised veal shank in tomato, garlic and red wine. Need I say MORE!?
#10 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010.