Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Urban Eats @ Little Anthony's - Toronto

Next time you’re walking past Richmond and York streets, take note of Little Anthony’s

This casual, yet classic, Italian restaurant is tucked into the corner of Toronto’s prime Financial District. With an ultra modern interior with dim lighting and cozy tables, the restaurant is not completely overflowing with suits and it has a lively after-work crowd at the bar. What’s even better is that the food is as good as the location, offering refreshing Italian dishes that are easy on the eyes and on the wallet.   

I had the pleasure of recently attending a media dinner at the redesigned Little Anthony’s restaurant. This meal served up enough food for me to get a taste of the homemade pastas and savoury mains that the classic, yet casual, Italian restaurant prides itself on. Little Anthony’s head chef, Garth Legree, formerly of Splendido and The County General, brings the food to life, by using fresh ingredients and making the pastas in-house. Working alongside Chef Legree is owner Andreas Antoniou, who left a career in the financial sector to follow his restaurateur pursuits. 

Before the meal began, Andreas spoke about how working in the financial sector gave him the best restaurant education since he experienced fine dining with clients on a regular basis. Just through his experiences, he observed the “dos and “don’ts” in the restaurant industry. During our meal, Andreas greeted every guest and stopped by to fold a napkin at our table, showing his appreciation for his guests.

Now on to the fun stuff! Here are some highlights from my meal:


Who would’ve thought that a Bacon Wrapped Date with Gorgonzola filling would have me asking my table full of strangers for seconds? The perfect savoury-sweet appetizer hit the spot for me immediately. This was paired with the Milano Sunrise cocktail, which is made up of Vermouth, Campari, soda and grapefruit juice and had me dreaming of a warm Italian summer night. 

To Start 

There are too many delicious items to mention but the Tagliatelle alla Carbonara was simple pasta at its best. 

The Pan-seared Scallops were cooked to perfection and the smoked bacon along with it naturally made the meal that much better. The bacon that came along with the scallops added a savoury flavor, like the way a sprinkle of salt changes the taste of a freshly sliced tomato.

To Follow

What more can one say about a 6oz Flat Iron Steak except that it was accompanied by soft potato gnocchi drizzled in a thyme and peppercorn sauce, that literally melted in your mouth like ice cream would melt on a hot day. This sophisticated and modern take on steak and potatoes would impress any client for a business lunch. 

The Filetto di Branzino (above) was a surprising hit for me. This piece of delectable white fish was infused with lemon al burro, accompanied by P.E.I. mussels, braised fennel and small pieces of orange. 

To Finish

The pièce de résistance, as I called it, was the Tiramisu (above). Not normally on the top of my dessert list, (as I am a chocoholic), this tiramisu made me anticipate my next visit to Little Anthony’s. Sometimes, tiramisu can be soggy, but this tiramisu had distinct layers with a soft cheese-like texture to the middle layer. It was a great finish to a wonderful meal.

I was impressed by the quality of food presented at Little Anthony’s. The ingredients were fresh, local, and served hot! Andreas has found the perfect balance between the casual, yet chic ambiance and the authentic, yet modern food that the restaurant is aptly suited for many functions, whether it’s a quick lunch, post-work drinks, or an evening date. The reasonably priced food and well-chosen wine list tops everything off like bacon around a Gorgonzola filled date. 

Little Anthony’s is located at 121 Richmond St W.  For more information on Little Anthony’s, visit their website at www.littleanthonys.ca.

Carolyn Desrosiers is the style blogger behind www.covetedclassics.com.  Find her on Twitter @covetedclassics.

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