I had been waiting for what seemed like an age to eat at the new Oliver and Bonacini Cafe Grill at Yonge and Front. The restaurant was a huge hit this spring and summer as it has one of the best patio’s in the city. It proudly stands where the old Shopsy’s used to live in the hustle and bustle of downtown. It is not everyday that you get to dine at a charming restaurant with the chef’s sweetheart. Our calendars finally aligned and I excitedly walked with Meaghan to the restaurant after a rough and tumble work day. We were treated with grace and enthusiasm by all of the restaurants front of house staff. I fell in love with the restaurants dining room interior (upside down metal buckets no less!) and was so happy that the restaurants bathrooms were stylish little private spaces. The bar features a beautiful glowing antique map of downtown Toronto and is a favorite hang out for the Bay Street crowd.
Chef Luke Kennedy outdid himself with his little dishes of delicious. My favorite items on the menu were the oven roasted gnocchi, sushi pizza, strozzapreti and the asian pear martini. Only qualms were the Spiced Maple Ginger cocktail which lacked spice and could have used a more robust maple hit. Although I wonder perhaps if my mouth was just overwhelmed by the power of my three raw tuna accompaniments.
We enjoyed the following:
Spiced Maple Ginger: Bacardi Dark Rum, maple syrup, ginger beer, ginger ale, maple bitters with maple candy.
Asian Pear Martini: pear vodka, sake, ginger, pear nectar.
Sparkling, Jacobs Creek
Tuna Lettuce Wrapes: citrus soy dipped Ahi tuna, avocado and crispy taro
Albacore Tuna Sushi Pizza: cilantro cured tuna, radish and wasabi tobiko
Sesame Seared Yellow fin Tuna on green mango and crispy rice noddle salad with julienned Jamaica, snow pea,s crushed peanuts, mint, coriander and spicy Indonesian yogurt.
O&B Mac and Cheese: slivered chicken, sweet garden peas, Balderson cheddar and goat cheese.
Tossed Sweet and Bitter Greens fresh pear and red wine vinaigrette
Vine Ripened Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella arugula, basil, balsamic an crisp pancetta.
Pulled Pork Sliders with Onion Ring
Strozzapreti with Rosemary Lamb Ragout: short hand rolled pasta, spinach and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Oven Baked Ricotta and Roasted Garlic Gnocchi slow braised veal in tomato, garlic and red wine.
Dulce de Leche Panna Cotta: blackberry compote and candied maple walnut.
#114 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010.