Little Anthony’s Italian + Bar

Little Anthony’s is an Italian place in the financial district of Toronto. Click here to view their menu. I was there this past weekend for dinner. We saw a couple of faces from Splendido, another GTA hotspot and had a great evening. Little Anthony’s has recently completed a reservation and the steel blue with orange accents really updates the space, giving it a real contemporary feel.

We had a selection of appetizers including the Coastal Russet Fries, which when my dining companion suggested we order them, I looked at her like she’d grown an extra head. French fries in an Italian restaurant? But when they arrived they were perfectly cooked and mounded with grated parmesan cheese. Who would have thought that something as simple as fresh rosemary and some grated parm would transcend French fries to a whole new level? We also had the antipasto board, which was passable, but then I’m not a fan of tomatoes and such, so I’m not really its target audience. The spicy salami did have a lovely kick to it though. Finally we also ordered, at the request of the birthday girl, the bacon-wrapped dates. I was definitely less than thrilled with this idea because I’m not a fan of dates. AT ALL. But these were lovely sweet dates paired with gorgonzola and wrapped in bacon whose saltiness cut the sweetness of the dates perfectly, amounting to what was my favourite part of the meal.

For a main course we each had pasta. I had the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese and my friend had the Pimento & Cognac Cream Rigatoni. Both of us were quite happy with our choices and each other’s as well. The rigatoni was still a little firm to the teeth, the sauce was flavourful and had a nice saltiness thanks to the guanciale (bacon made from pig’s cheeks) and the whole dish was balanced by the velvety cream sauce. My sauce of my Bolognese was finished with cream and deliciously rich. It was just thick enough to stick to the nest of tagliatelle in my bowl, and no doubt to my ribs. I’m glad I stuck with my mantra of not ordering something I’d make at home.

We each had dessert, I was completely satisfied by my dinner (a mere mouthful or two from stuffed) but when the dessert menu was passed around I did decide to have a little sorbet, just to cleanse my palate and so the birthday girl didn’t have to eat her tiramisu alone. The sorbet was nothing to write home about, but unlike the rest of the menu, it’s not made in-house, so I forgive them for that. My friend’s tiramisu was served in a coffee cup with a piece of biscotti which she dunked once or twice. Having never acquired a taste for coffee tiramisu is not my cup of tea as it were, but I’m assured it was absolutely delicious.

At Little Anthony’s presentation is important. Each dish came plated appropriately whether it was the bacon-wrapped dates in a lovely bowl, our complimentary bread or my nest of tagliatelle. Equally important is service. It’s not just hold-your-chair-out-for-you service with a smile, it’s impeccable and the staff is both unobtrusive, but there when you think, hmm I’d like to see my waiter right about now.

When I look at it objectively, I can think of only one drawback. The menu is small. While this doesn’t bother us in the least, picky eaters and tourists should beware. All in all, it was a great evening of good food, good service and of course, great company. Many thanks to Matt and Ben for making it such an enjoyable evening.

 

And that’s my culinary 2¢ for today.

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~ by leslies2cents on August 7, 2012.

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