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A Slice of Naples

Neapolitan Pizza at Famoso

Canadian franchise Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria opened its second Calgary location in McKenzie Towne on Wednesday evening. (more…)

Hot Dining: Homemade Pasta at Mamma Grazzi’s

A pasta dish made 'al momento' at Mamma Garzzi's

Mamma Grazzi’s offers comforting food reminiscent of a mother’s kitchen. Known for Old World Italian cuisine with homemade pasta and hand-rolled thin crust pizzas, this restaurant sticks to an “al momento” philosophy of cooking, with each dish prepared individually to order. And with pastas and pizzas ranging from about $11-$20, this is good food that won’t break the bank (try the Odessa and Milano pastas, which are local favourites). Plus, now that the weather is warm, you can even enjoy your meal on one of the prettiest patios in the city.

25 George St., 613-241-8656.

Hot Dining: Everyday Italian at Piola

Torontonians love their pizza. Even with well-established restaurants like Terroni and Pizzeria Libretto, there’s always room for a few more purveyors of quality pies. The latest to pop up is Piola, the first Canadian location of a well-liked chain of Italian pizza parlours. Catering to the urbane denizens of the West Queen West neighbourhood, the 98-seat eatery strikes a chic and sustainable setting with decor details like chairs made from recycled t-shirts and a feature wall displaying local artwork. The foodie-friendly fare includes two-dozen thin-crust pizzas ($13 to $19), plus an intriguing selection of antipasti, salads and pastas. For a special treat, book a table on the 29th of each month for “lucky gnocchi day,” featuring all the little dumplings you can eat for $14.99. And don’t be afraid to bring the kids: every Sunday in March from noon to 4 p.m., children under 10 can order any item on the restaurant’s kids menu for $6 each.

Hot Dining: Kooky Gourmet Pizza

Zazaza Pizza with Pizazz offers 32 pizza toppings.

How could you not love a restaurant with a dish named The Scary Roommate? (FYI, it’s a pizza with Kraft Dinner and hot dogs). This is the draw at Zazaza Pizza with Pizazz, the brainchild of the original owner of The Works (a local chain of gourmet burger joints). In the same vein, this bistro brings 32 original pizza toppings to the table. Some lean towards traditional (hot Italian sausage, pesto, caramelized onion), while others are more daring (tandoori chicken, twice baked potato, cream cheese). All perch atop a thin cornmeal or honey-oat crust and a healthy dose of homemade sauce. If you still have room, end on dessert pizza. 143 Putman Ave., 613-747-9292.

Hot Dining: Restaurant Review: Santa Ana

Darek Wozny is doing something very right.

Without a days-in-advance reservation or last-minute dumb luck, getting a table inside the chef/owner’s Santa Ana Pizzeria & Bistro is a tall order.

Since opening September 2010, the 40-seat restaurant south of St Vital Centre has earned a fierce following. (more…)

Many Mouths to Feed: Our 2011 Dining Guide

Whether your palate is daring or demanding, Toronto’s incredibly diverse dining scene satisfies every craving.


With the continuously growing influence of North America’s local- and slow-food movements, it’s only natural that sustainable, regionally appropriate cooking has taken hold in Toronto.

On the menus of many restaurants you’ll now find a profusion of Canadian-sourced and responsibly farmed ingredients, from Alberta’s renowned beef to East Coast seafood to vegetables harvested in Ontario’s fertile “Greenbelt.” And though simple meat and potatoes still offer us comfort on a plate, Canadian cuisine can also be very classy. (more…)

Hot Dining: In Vogue Italian at Viva Napoli

Midtown Torontonians now have a Neapolitan pizza joint to call their own. Viva Napoli recently opened on Mount Pleasant Road, and quickly became a hit with diners seeking the hallmarks of an “authentic” Italian pie—thin, wood-oven baked crust, San Marzano tomato sauce and other simple, fresh toppings. Owner Giustino Iorio lived in Naples for more than a decade, and applies exacting standards to staples like the margherita ($13), but with more than 20 pizzas on the menu, there’s also room for creativity: the ortolana ($15), for example, has eggplant, zucchini, peppers and cherry tomatoes, and the tartufata ($20) features tartufo spread, shrimp and apple slices. Dinner Monday to Saturday, 679 Mount Pleasant Rd., 647-344-8482.

Hot Dining: Perfect Pie

Morris East, Photo: Scott Munn

Morris East, Photo: Scott Munn

Tired of ordinary pepperoni and cheese pizzas? Morris East on Morris Street is a haven for the discriminating pizza fanatic. Made with seasonal local ingredients, the inventive and tasty offerings change often, all expertly prepared in a wood-burning oven.

Quirky and Cute: Coombs, British Columbia

Tucked away on Vancouver Island, north of Nanaimo off the Island Highway is Coombs, a place that’s become known for its signature rooftop of grazing goats. Under that roof is The Old Country Market, a quirky grocery store that offers a huge selection of breads and sweets made in their bakery, a cheese shop and imported foods that run the gamut from English licorice to bacon-flavoured mayonnaise a.k.a. Baconnaise.

Before you head to the Market to shop, have lunch at Cuckoo in Coombs Trattoria & Pizzeria. The Italian restaurant offers pasta and wood-stove pizza in a large space with wooden tables and rustic tablecloths (which you can buy next door in Zolena). If the weather is nice, sit out back on the patio under the plum trees. Just outside the restaurant is the greenery area with large pots and Chinese statues, shrubbery and small cacti. Nestled in amongst the plants is Zolena, a shop with wool blankets from New Zealand, Chinese silk bags and bangles from India. (more…)

Road Trip: New Brunswick’s Acadian Coastal Drive

Photo by Tim Johnson

By Tim Johnson

As rich in culture as it is natural beauty, New Brunswick’s Acadian Coastal Drive offers a lovely mix of sun-kissed beaches, delicious roadside cuisine and the wonderful joie de vivre of the Acadiens. Although it’s just 150 kilometres from Moncton to Miramichi, you should take your time and enjoy—split the drive into two or three days to make sure you properly soak up the sun, tucking into some poutine râpée and seafood pizza along the way. (more…)

Hot Dining: Editor’s Pick: Top 5 Scenes to Savour

Hu's Asian Bistro. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Some of the city’s most popular attractions are also home to popular eats. Enjoy these local food favourites while being entertained or taking in the jaw-dropping scenery:

Buffalo Stone Cafe at FortWhyte Alive serves dishes made with fresh, local fare. After hiking the trails, admiring the buffalo and exploring the interpretive centre, sit down for a hearty bison sandwich and fresh salad made with ingredients grown on-site at Fort Whyte Farms. 1961 McCreary Rd, 989-8370.

With a bird’s eye view of Shaw Park, home of the Goldeyes baseball team, catch gameday action with pan-asian cuisine at Hu’s Asian Bistro (pictured). Crispy battered chicken coated in sticky honey soy sauce and tossed with veggies is a must try. 1 Portage Ave East, 982-7426.

Sink your teeth into a nip, a local burger legend, at Salisbury House on the Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge overlooking the rushing Red River. Inside this bustling diner chain, take in the spectacular scenery  of St. Boniface, downtown and The Forks, while tucking into fries, breakfast platters or a thick slab of red velvet cake. 237-8305.

Located next to the rooftop sculpture garden at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Storm Restaurant features an incredible view of bronze sculptures created by Canadian and international artists. Wraps, sandwiches, soups and pizzas with creative ingredients are prepared fresh in this inspired space. 300 Memorial Blvd, 948-0085.

As the horses thunder around the race track at Assiniboia Downs, opt for one of the best seats in the house at The Terrace Dining Room, a tiered eatery overlooking all the excitement. An impressive international buffet, including an Angus prime rib carving station, features a plethora of classics. 3975 Portage Ave, 885-3330.

Hot Dining: Now Open: Italian Eats

Both contemporary New York-style and classic Italian eateries are making their mark in the city’s dining scene. At La Trattoria in St. Boniface, Italy-trained Chef/owner Chris Tascona delivers traditionally prepared favourites, like fall-off-the-bone grilled lamb chops marinated in fragrant garlic and mint. 271 Provencher Blvd, 233-5318.  Across the river in the Exchange, Chef Darryl Crumb (pictured) of Brooklynn’s Bistro uses a wood-fired oven to create pillowy soft pizzas served in an architecturally stunning room decorated with sleek modern accents. 177 Lombard Ave, 415-4112.