I love dining out with friends, especially fellow food-blogger friends who understand the importance of taking photos before eating the meal. This was the case a few weeks ago when 4 foodies dined out at the lovely Paese restaurant located at 3827 Bathurst Street in North York.
Linda, Shuang, Via and myself were invited to Paese to try out some Italian-inspired eats in this cozy restaurant that has been around for 25 years. The menu is quite vast, with many meat, seafood, pizza and pasta options. The menu stays true to Paese’s philosophy of food that is “inspired by Italy, Made in Canada’. The chef’s use traditional techniques combined with homemade precision to create comforting meals with a modern twist. Not only is the food exceptional at Paese, but the multi-regional wine list is quite memorable housing over 800 labels in their wine cellars.
The 4 of us arrived at Paese just before the rush and were seated at a lovely window table so that we could have the sought-after natural light for our food photos. How ideal ;) Our waiter was very friendly and helpful in helping us decide on drinks, appetizers, mains and dessert. After some tough deliberations here’s what we tried:
Complimentary Homemade Focaccia with White Bean Dip
Mojito and Paloma Cocktails
Polenta Fries with Roasted Garlic Aioli & Sundried Tomato Ketchup - $9
Grilled Octopus with Potato,Grilled Escarole, Mint, Lemon & Chili - $16
Roasted Scallops with Fennel and Tarragon Slaw & Citrus and Blood Orange Vinaigrette - $16
Pan-Fried Salmon with Potato, Tomato/Olive Relish, Beans & Roast Corn - Special of the Day
Veal Scaloppini Al Limone - $27
Grilled Lamb Striploin with Cherry Compote - $29
Goat Cheese & Leek Ravioli - $18
Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait - $11
Cioccolato - $11
Butterscotch Pudding - $11
White Chocolate Affogatto and Cookie - $10
My favourite appetizers were the Scallops and Grilled Octopus. Both dishes were cooked to perfection which is very important when it comes to seafood. The scallops were big and juicy and paired very nicely with the fennel and citrus flavours. The octopus was the main highlight for me. It was nicely charred and tender, I could've ate the entire portion all by myself.
My main was the Salmon Special which is not always on the menu but they do have a similar dish with Steelhead Trout which is always available. The salmon was done very well with great flavour and accompaniments.
The best dessert was the lovely Cioccolato which is composed of a dark chocolate terrina with white chocolate mousse, nutella and hazelnut brittle. It was full of delicious chocolate flavour but wasn't overly rich or sweet. I had the Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait which was nothing special. It would've been better as a layered cake with fresh strawberries.
Paese is definitely worth checking out if you want to experience a lovely dining atmosphere outside of the busy downtown area. The menu has so many options which cater to everyone and everything is reasonably priced. Paese also offers private dining for business or social functions, takes reservations, has free parking and has a partner catering company called L-eat Catering.
Paese is currently hosting a contest that runs until September 1, 2016. All you have to do is dine at Paese and snap a picture of your favourite dish. Post the photo to Instagram with the hashtag #Paesexo and you could win a dinner for two!