416 323 0666 | $12-$15 Pizza and Pasta
I’d read a little bit about F’Amelia late in 2011, but admittedly forgot about it until this spring. I tried recruiting them for Dish Duel at that time because I’d read positive reviews, but again things didn’t work out. My most recent exposure was Toronto Life putting them into 2011’s top new restaurants, so I finally caved and decided to head over. Such a good decision.
Another concise menu foreshadowed a quality meal. There are really only six antipasti choices and eight mains outside of the pizza menu, so you know everything is there for a reason.
We started with the best charcuterie plate I’ve had in a long time (the large version pictured above). I should have filmed a video of our server describing it, but here’s what I remember as highlights. The duck prosciutto on the top left is out of this world. The thinly sliced pancetta crusted in juniper and black pepper on the bottom left blew my mind. The apple mostarda in the little dish was full of sharp flavour, with the cheeses to its right creamy and subtle in their own way. Just a fantastic spread.
Somehow, this might have been even better. Maybe the most tender calamari I’ve put in my mouth. Really fresh roasted tomato, fragrant fennel fronds and tasty bits of sausage all married to form perfect bites. Such a winner of a dish.
The green asparagus risotto while prepared masterfully, was missing the stand-out flavours of the previous dishes. The lardo gave it richness and ramps were definitely there, but despite spears of asparagus cut up inside, you would have been tough-pressed to pick out the taste of asparagus.
This super clean tagliatelle with braised rabbit (killer), brussel sprouts and wild mushrooms was very refined. The noodles were delicate and eggy, but I felt like it could have used just a bit more something (acid? sprouts?). Something.
After the previous two ‘good’, but not great courses, this pizza recovered. For those who like a mild crispiness, while preserving the thin/chewy quality that makes great pizza great, this is a home run crust. We ordered the ‘Norcina’ version, topped with more of that great sausage, prosciutto cotto, mushrooms, and nutmeg. The nutmeg was really subtle, but made you appreciate the pizza a bit more every time to caught a hint of it.
We finished with the selection of gelato - the only thing not made in house. That said, the chocolate was so smooth and filled with cocoa-flavour and the pistachio was subtle, but dead-on. The straciatella (just means vanilla and chocolate shavings) was meh.
Service and Ambience
I really liked the homey quality of F’Amelia. It did the name justice with its rustic charm. The natural light hitting the white-tiled floor just brightens up what would otherwise be a pretty dark space. It”s a good vibe on a nice day.
Our servers were excellent throughout the night. Chumming with us, bringing everything out correctly at a pleasant pace, and making us feel at home. I’ve read reviews of poor service, but they clearly didn’t have any of our four servers. Kudos.
I know Toronto needs another Italian restaurant like a hole in the head, but every city could always use an authentic one that gets the cuisine right. This is one of those places. Many of our dishes were very near perfect, the service was welcoming, and we enjoyed our meal so very much. You should go.
Posted by: Jacob, Visited May 5, 2012