11 October 2008

Il Fornello.

Over on Church Street, we have our own branch of the popular restaurant, Il Fornello. I think the restaurant had a bit of a boom after Barbara Streisand said they had the best pizza at her Toronto concert, and it's certainly popular in our neck of the woods.

We don't go there very often because it's kind of expensive and G isn't so keen on their food. So imagine our surprise when we ended up there twice in one week!

1st up was dinner with our friend RK. We'd been trying to make plans to see her for forever, and we finally were able to set a dinner date. G's been having lots of troubles with her feet, so she didn't want to go too far from home, so I suggested Il Fornello and RK agreed.

First up, caesar salad. The picture didn't come out. But it was okay. It didn't have the delicious bite that the caesar at Byzantium has, but it was okay. The bottom line about the salad, you guessed it! It was okay.

I ordered the chicken parmesan. I was intrigued because it was baked and not fried OR breaded, which in retrospect, wasn't as good as it should have been. It's fine when I am making it at home, because I don't often fry things, but when I eat out, if it's not going to be fried to perfection, then it really needs to be spectacular otherwise. And this wasn't.

As you can see, it was positively drowning in parmesan. Which just made the overcooked and undersauced pasta underneath turn stodgy. And normally I really like cheesey. But the chicken was actually pretty nice, with a lot of toasted cheesieness on top. A little smattering of pesto gave it a fresh taste. But overall, not so hot. I could have made this at home and it would have tasted pretty dang close to this.

RK had the chicken satay pizza.

Well. This photo is hazy. (Sorry, still getting the hang of the new camera.) And the pizza was not good but you couldn't stop eating it. I don't know if this ever happens to you, where you have something to eat that you don't particuarly like but at the same time it's so utterly more-ish that you can't stop eating it. This was that.

BUT, last year when my Mom was here we ate at Il Fornello and Mom loved it so she asked if we could go there again. So of course, we did!

G ordered this lamb pasta that sounded weird. But it was amazing. It reminded me of the pasta I had Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen.

The lamb was basically wrapped up in the pasta sheet. I don't quite get the corn, but other than that it was absolutely delicious. It was one of the local menu items, and it was truly spectacular.

I decided to have the pizza. Not the satay, don't be crazy. I had the sausage.

Meh. It didn't change my life. I ate it. It was fine. I wouldn't order it again, though.

So there it is. A tale of a few dishes at Il Fornello on Church Street. It's a nice atmosphere. The food is passable and can be really good. And it's close to home, so I am sure we will eat there again some day.

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