Monday, August 13, 2012

Urban Eats @ Alimento Bar Mozza - Toronto

I love Italian cuisine. I immediately think of home cooking, food made from scratch and prepared with care and attention to ingredients and flavour. Having being spoiled by   Italian friends’ cooking, I often have high expectations when a new Italian restaurant opens up. 

Located on the King West strip, Alimento Fine Food Emporium offers a unique dining experience where patrons can have a sit down meal at Bar Mozza and/or purchase Italian goods in the neighbouring food mart such as cheeses, olive oils, pastas imported from Italy (including a large gluten free selection), desserts and meals to go...all under one roof.

When I was asked to attend a food tasting event at Alimento, I couldn’t say yes fast enough!  After learning it was founded by 4 brothers who come from a family of longstanding cheese makers and sellers, I had a feeling my taste buds would be in for a special experience.  
Antipasti Board – Tagilere Misto (small $20, large $25) - The tasting started off with a beautiful board of mixed meats, cheeses, apple, candied nuts and a spread of fig sauce. It looked so pretty and delicious, I immediately jumped in to sample.  I would come back here for the cheese alone. The Fior di Latte cheese was to die for! Fresh, soft, light and deliciously creamy. I couldn’t get enough, I am still smiling just thinking about it.
Verde Salad
Insalate ($10-16) - For our first plate they served up a Brussel Sprout Salad ($12 – shaved Brussel Sprouts, Piave Cheese, Pancetta, Apple, Pancetta Vinaigrette), Verde Salad ($13 – Green Beans, Garlic, Pistachio, Aged Caciocavallo, Lemon Vinaigrette) and Capicollo Salad ($15 – Radicchio, Rosemary Vinaigrette, Lentils, Watercress).  

Brussel Sprouts Salad
My favourites were the Brussel Sprout Salad, which was a good-sized serving, light with a tasty vinaigrette and crunchy bits of Pancetta. The Verde Salad had a nice combination of textures and flavours with a little kick. I was not crazy about the Capicollo salad as I felt it lacked some flavour and interest. All are served cold. 
Breaded Salted Cod
Apri Stomaco ($9-14) - Next came the Crocchette di Baccala ($9 –3 pieces of lightly breaded salted Cod with tomato sauce and in house made Bomba Vinaigrette), Parmigiana di Melanzane ($9 – breaded Eggplant, Fior di Latte, Ricotta Cheese, Tomato Sauce, Basil) and lastly Fresca Fritta ($9 – 2 pieces battered fresh cheese, Cream of Arugula, Lemon, Prosciutto).  All were nicely presented and tasted amazing!  
Breaded Eggplant
Standouts for me were the Parmigiana di Melanzane, a mouth watering blend of flavourful tomato sauce, cheese and sweet eggplant and the Fresca Fritta. 
The battered fresh cheese (again, the cheese!) wowed me. Soft cheese wrapped in a delicate crispy fish fry style batter. Lemon and cream of arugula added contrast and was a subtle and very delicious addition to the dish.
Primi ($13-19) - For my main, I chose the Lasagna ($17), made of Spinach pasta, Tomato Sauce, Fior di Latte and Basil Ricotta Cheese. This is not your usual thick, multi-layered lasagna that you need to saw through with a knife. Their version is put together with very thinly layered pasta that you can cut like butter.  I really enjoyed the lasagna, although I found the portion small for my appetite. I would need to order a starter along with it. 
Dolci - To end the evening, we sampled a board of mixed pastries. Favourites included the soft and sweet Orange Amaretto Cookies, the oh-so chocolaty and smooth Chocolate Pistachio Tart ($4) and the Caramel Hazelnut Meringue Cake which was sweet and light with a nice crunch with creamy centre ($3). Mmmm! 

All the food is prepared with attention to detail and made in house by Executive Chef Joe Friday, who previously worked in the international culinary program at Walt Disney World (no wonder the food is magical!) and under Jason Bangerter for the opening of Luma at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The desserts are a Canadian and Italian fusion made daily by Pastry chef Michelle Lee, formerly of Soma.  

Alimento’s Bar Mozza is a bright, trendy, open and inviting space that is infused with tradition. This is evident from their communal seating area, ideal for socializing over food and wine, to the black and white photos of older family members making cheese from scratch. With pleasant staff, Alimento Find Food Emporium is a perfect spot for special occasions, get togethers and meeting for lunch during the work week. 
Pop by the adjacent food mart to pick up mains-to-go, such as their homemade pizzas, that are made daily in house.  While there, make sure to ask about their olive oil refilling program! 

La vita e' bella, life is beautiful. Salute! 

Natalia Dziubaniwsky is a lover of life, avid traveller, animal lover, movie buff, volunteer, budding writer and is always seeking a new adventure. Interact with her on Twitter @taliasfootsteps or simply follow her footsteps through her blog.


  1. Amazing! Thanks for this! Def going to try this place.

  2. Like your cheeses too...look forward to visiting this eatery. Thanks for the info.

  3. Great photos - those meals look amaaaazing. Go figure, I just ate dinner and yet am suddenly starving.