By Annabelle Goodman –582 College St 416 535 3621
I love the Little Italy neighborhood. This College St. strip houses numerous excellent restaurants. It is such fun on a summer evening to walk the strip and observe all the happy clients dining on patios and in the interior. I have tried many of these establishments and it amazes me how many serve great food, For the most part Italian food is offered but a few other specialty food places can be found.
The Royal Cinema is situated in the middle of this ‘restaurant row.’ It always offers exceptional movies. I like to attend a 4:30 feature film and then stroll the street to make a choice for dinner. On this evening my inner radar called me to Bar Italia. I confess I had not dined here before. That was my loss. The outside patio was crowded. We opted for a cooler inside spot. I was so impressed. A large square table ready to seat 8 people is placed at the front away from all the other tables. Several larger tables are artfully arranged in the interior. One wall features quieter spacious banquettes. The other wall has tables placed closer together. It is a spacious restaurant so there is plenty of room for everyone. Dried flower arrangements are creatively placed around the room. The ambiance is inviting, warm and very pleasant.
We met some friends dining on the outdoor patio. One patron was delighted with her Caprese Salad. Bufalo Mozzarella is served with ripe tomatoes, pesto, basil leaves and a balsamic reduction.($11.00)
A group of 2 can indulge in the Antipasto Eugenio. Cured meats, marinated vegetables, olives, boccocini, pecorino makes for a satisfying snack or appetizer before dinner.($16.00)
Caesar Salad is prepared with romaine hearts and a house made dressing. Baked parmagiano and crispy pancetta enhances the flavor.($9.00)
I enjoyed the Insalata di Salmone. Fresh crisp peppery arugula was so refreshing. Pieces of warm potatoes were on the side. Several pieces of endive graced the palate. The grilled salmon was served warm and flavored with lemon vinaigrette. It was flavorful and delicious.($12.00)
The Insalata Di Funghi is prepared with cremini mushrooms, served on arugula with toasted walnuts, celery hearts and shaved parmagiano.($11.00)
My dinner companion opted for the Pappardelle Di Mare. It was a beautiful presentation of fresh egg noodles with calamari, shrimps, mussels and scallops.($16.00) My favorite pasta dish of Spaghetti with Shrimps is offered with basil and a spicy sauce.($11.50)
Several patrons were enjoying a selection from the Panino section. Vegetariano Panini is prepared with grilled veggies, goat cheese and sun dried tomato pesto ($12.00)
The menu is extensive. We enjoyed our elections very much. The service was friendly and efficient.
I can honestly say that next time I go to this part of town I will head back to Bar Italia. There are many more items I want to enjoy. It was a delightful satisfying dining experience.