World Class Bakers

690 St Clair Ave W
Phone: 416-654-0606

This spacious and elegant Italian Cafe and bakery is located at St. Clair and Christie in Wychwood Park, across from the famous Mediterranean restaurant Mezzetta

Offers freshly baked croissants, bagels, specialty breads, cookies and a large variety of cakes (all home made). You can also try the amazing buffet of traditional Italian dishes like veggie Lasagna, Roasted Vegetables, Roasted potatoes, Green beans in a tomato stew (YUMM), and Roasted Chicken. ($8.99 veggie, $9.99 non veggie buffet). A definite excellent deal. Food is fresh, delicious, and constantly refreshed. I must admit, it does not have the look of a buffet where people are desperate going back to stuff themselves on seconds and thirds. There is a laid back casual ambiance that I love in World Class Bakers. I went here quite often for food and beverages in January when I was dating a local. We quiote enjoyed the food and healthy veggie selections and super affordable prices. World Class Bakers resembles a cafe where locals hang out, read, and relax.

World Class Bakers offers free wireless internet access so locals are encouraged to drop by, have a coffee, read, and surf the Internet for as long as they want.

With a full espresso bar you can order a latte, cappucino, and just regular coffees. Don’t forget to try the samples at the cash. Exceptionally friendly service.

Also offers programs like Spoken Word Series (monthly on Wednesday evenings from 7:30pm-9:00pm) and a Discussion Group that meets every second Wednesday evening (8:00pm). A real community hangout for locals of the Wychwood Park neighbourhood. Also offers home cooked hearty breakfasts. Hours are Mon-Sun 7am-11pm. Cafe sits 36 seats. Only accepts cash but has an ATM in the cafe.

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Jolly II Italian Restaurant

2625 Weston Road
(416) 242-6666

 

Centrally located at Weston and the 401 right near the Weston GO station and close to downtown Weston Village, Jolly 2 is a traditional Italian restaurant that has been serving patrons since 1988.

Jolly is authentic looking with comfortable seating in an open-concept dining hall

Jolly offers an assortment of salads, fresh pasta, pizza, lasagna, veal or chicken parmigiana, and other authentically Italian dishes all served cafeteria style (no worrying about a tip!)

Jolly serves typical Italian sandwiches like veal or chicken on an Italian bun, BBQ chicken sandwiches, steak sandwiches, Prosciutto and Cheese , sausage sandwich, and meatball sandwich.

Jolly also offers gourmet pizza and panzerottos and serves traditional Italian soups like Minestrone, Stracciatella, and Tortellini. They also serves pasta (Penne or Rigatoni) in Tomato sauce with meatballs or sausage as well as pasta in other shapes (spaghetti,rigatoni, penne or fettucine). Some sauces include pomodoro (tomato), meat sauce, meat sauce with meatballs, arrabiata (spicy tomato), pink (tomato and cream), and tomato sauce with sausage. Cream sauces include vodka sauce, al fredo, and a penne primavera in a choice of sauce (tomato, garlic and olive oil, cream, or pink).

Stuffed pasta includes gnocchi (YUMM), manicotti, lasagna, ravioli, Agnolotti, and Tortellini , stuffed either with ricotta cheese or meat. Pasta with seafood is priced from $10.95-$15.95

Jolly also serves a variety of salads (Caesar, Seafood, Spinach, Tomato, Tuna, and Greek)

For my first experience at this exciting new place I ordered a side order of roasted vegetables and the daily special of eggplant parmigiana; thinly sliced panfried eggplant (not breaded thank God) topped with tomato sauce and cheese. It was so delicious and not too greasy, I could taste the delicious olive oil flavour in the sauce and cheese.

The roasted vegetables were excellent. Roasted veggies were composed of roasted peppers (multi-coloured), zucchini, and onions

. Since they serve food “cafeteria style” it’s fast, fresh, and casual, and definitely NOT like crappy food courts or crappy cafeterias.

Jolly seats 120 people indoors and offers a large outdoor terrace that seats 80 people. Food is constantly refreshed. Prices for lunch can be under $10. Lunch portions are kind of small, but taste makes up for it. I would recommend ordering many small dishes. Also offers a famous hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, and all of the fixings at low prices.

Many vegetarian options. Accepts all cards. Wheelchair accessible. Liquor license. Jolly II also offers catering services and take out.

Classico Pizza & Pasta (Wendy)

 

 2457 Bloor St W
416-763-1313

Classico’s is a little hole in the wall restaurant at the Western tip of Bloor West Village, just outside the Jane subway station on the South side of the street. The atmosphere is very casual, and they serve up decent Italian fare, essentially Classico is a decent neighbourhood spot.

There is an extensive selection of pizzas & pasta dishes, including one curry dish. Most of the mains are meat or seafood based, but my veggie friend Mark ate here successfully.

All meals start out with nice warm bread rolls. They are simple but good. My first visit here, I shared the calamari appetizer with my boyfriend (who has been going here with his family for years). The calamari was very well cooked ; no elasticity in sight. The grilled veggie sandwich is definitely to be counted among the best menu items here ; very flavourful, decent portion size & comes with a side salad for a mere $6.95. The old standby chicken parmesan is ok, and for $11.95 you are provided with a portion big enough for two meals, so I have to take half of it home.

This is a place to go if you are looking for a nice casual dinner at a very reasonable price. No pretension, just a decent meal.

Toba [Mark Aaron]

243 King East
416-367-8622

URL: www.toba.ca

To summarize Toba would be simply “lovely”. Set in the St. Lawrence market area on King and Sherbourne,

Toba is a cute and unassuming place that serves an elegant brunch with a small and diverse menu. Quality

is high, presentation is beautiful and artistic and decor is minimalistic with funky art on the walls,

representations of working women in the 1970’s- Andy Warhol style. Brunch prices are between $10-$15 per

person. Drink prices are kind of steep but service, food, and whole brunch experience is just so

lovely.

Some stars and funky fixtures hang on the walls, almost looks like a kid’s bedroom surround the place.

Toba has a clean, slick look, very similar to Verveine.

For our brunch, we were served by a very friendly waiter and we started with plain lattes, extra hot,

and served in tall glasses ($5). Toba serves up some daily baked good (scones, muffins, pastries)-

$2.75 as well as mimosas and other “brunch” alcoholic beverages. Aaron started with the vegetarian

poached eggs with 2 eggs over chipotle brioche with grilled tomato, spinach, old cheddar with a

Hollandaise sauce ($11). The dish came out looking gorgeous, colourful, with texture, freshness, and

everything looked attractive to the eye. I ordered the French toast (4 triangular wedges) in a pecan

maple sauce with caramelized pears topped with maple syrup ($10.50). The dish was spectacular. Other

dishes include typical brunch fare: granola + fruit + yogourt ($5), Blueberry pancakes with fresh fruit

and whipped cream ($9.75), Hang over helper (scrambled eggs chorizo, green pepper, old cheddar, served

with organic greens, home fries, and toast ($11), the “traditional” breakfast (2 eggs any style with

choice of bacon, sausage or peameal bacon with home fries, organic greens, and toast) $10, poached eggs

with peameal bacon, Hollandaise sauce, and organic greens ($11), Duck Crepes (Wendy friendly)- with

Peking duck, carrot, apple, cabbage, hoisin sauce, and gruyere ($12), a crab melt (crab salad with gruyere and bacon on a baked angel biscuit($11), Corned beef hash (corned beef with shredded potato, caramelized onion, red peppers, with 2 baked eggs, Holandaise sauce, chipotle puree, organic greens, and toast ($13), and finally Steak and eggs with Hollandaise sauce, home fries and organic greens ($15). Toba serves a different “tart of the day” with organic greens and home fries for $10 and the omelete of the day is served with organic greens, home fries and toast is $11.

Toba is not hip and cool like Auntie’s and Uncles but it’s chiche and classy. I would definitely recommend this place for brunch-goers. Extra friendly service with high quality food, beautiful decor, and great ambiance. Great to bring a date. Seats about 15 tables. Serves Italian fare at night for dinner. Accepts all cards. Liquor license

Amore Trattoria

 2425 Yonge St. 
Tel: (416) 322-6184

Amore Trattoria is a traditional Italian eatery located in the heart of the Yonge and Eglinton yuppie ghetto. Located on 2 levels in an open concept dining space, Amore is decorated with a minimalist design with a Mediterranean colour scheme, with very few paintings on the wall, with small tables huddled close together. Ambiance is calm, romantic, and dim lighting. This is the perfect place to bring a date.

Amore’s simple one page menu offers mouth watering salads (insalata), pastas, thin crust gourmet pizza, zuppa (soups), mains, and decadent desserts. Mains are priced from $12.95-$16.95.

Amore serves traditional pasta dishes like Penne Pollo, Presto Pesto, pastas with cream-based sauces, Prima Veras, Arrabiatas, and Bolognese. Amore serves dishes “tapas” style so patrons are encouraged to order an appetizer, salad, main, and dessert. This gets to be expensive, though.

Also serves ultra thin gourmet pizzas and you can even build your own pizza (Il Fornello style) . Also offers a spelt flour option for the crust.

For our dishes, I started with a homemade vegetarian minestrone soup with red kidney beans, potato pieces, carrots, zucchini, and other veggies, in a rich tomato broth. For my main, I ordered an ultra thin spelt flour pizza with grilled eggplant, zucchini, sundried tomatoes with mozzarella oozing with a pesto and tomato sauce mix. Justine had the fettucine with a cream sauce with mushrooms that resembled Alfredo sauce.

Amore appears almost identical to Il Fornello where it tries very hard to be authentic in a trendy way. They serve thin crust pizza but also offer “healthy” options like whole wheat and spelt. Price range is similar to Il Fornello and expect that your pizza will cost more if you add extra veggies, sauce, or any other gourmet type additions like roasted red peppers, pesto, garlic,and other yuppified ingrediants. Pasta dishes come fresh and piping hot. Portions are decent and wine is served the traditional way, in cups! Waitress was very accomodating as Justine and I together can be a nightmare for any waiter or waitress in Toronto. Dim lighting and minimalist decor makes this place a perfect setting for a date. I must admit that I was not full and I was worried since I had the Toronto International Marathon the next day and I think my pizza did not have enough carbs to sustain me, but it was DAMN GOOD! I would definitely go back and try other pizza combinations.

Amore is opened Mon-Thu 11:30am-10:30pm, Fri 11:30am-11:00pm, Sat 10:30am-11:00pm, Sun 10:30am-10:00pm. Accepts all cards. Serves Sunday brunch. Liquor license.

Trapezzi Wine and Dine [Mark Aaron]

505 Danforth Avenue
Toronto, ON
M4K 1P5
(416) 465-8778

 

Wendy and I decided to check out Trapezzi because it was one of the newer restaurants on the Danforth that had opened up some months ago. We knew that it was slightly shi shi poo poo so we thought that the Summerlicious food festival would give us an opportunity to try out a complete meal at a fixed price.

Trapezzi looks like a bar and bistro with dark hues of navy blue, chocolate brown, and black. The walls are furry and padded, perhaps an aid in sound absorption, or, perhaps it gives it a luscious, soft comfortable feeling. I would love to have soft padded walls throughout my house! Trapezzi is comfortable and clean, with clean lines and a contemporary hip look that is stylish and trendy. The menu comprises mostly Mediterranean fare (meaning Italian and Greek) and mains are around $15-$20 (OUCH!). For our summerlicious $20 dinner adventure, I started with a salad of baby spinach, red onion, orange segments, goat cheese, walnuts, citrus dijon vinaigrette. Oh my gosh, was it damn good. It was sweet and the vinaigrette made the salad light and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day. Wendy had the mushroom & leek soup, in a big heaping bowl, very filling and hearty. She also ordered a bottle of sparkling water called Aoli. For my main, I ordered the gnocchi with roasted red peppers, baby spinach, shaved parmesan, saffron cream. I did not like the cream sauce as I am not a creamy sort of person. It tasted like a rose sauce but I really enjoyed the delicate flavour the gnocchi with the roasted red peppers and the baby spinach and parmesan. I am not a fan of cheese at all, but this cheesy dish was an exception. Portion size was laughable. The plate was flat and trendy but I think I only got ten gnocchi pieces. What a joke! I still think that nouveau cuisine does not mean I have to starve. I swear that I only ate ten individual pieces of gnocchi so I was very dissatsified since I know that this main would have been $14.

I ate slowly and really enjoyed my meal, but I doubt I would go back for dinner here. I would probably go to Trapezzi for brunch, but not dinner. Wendy got lucky with her main dish. She ordered the Fruit de mare with Pan seared garlic and herb crusted Atlantic Salmon, sautéed spinach, roasted mini red potatoes, and grilled lemon. Her portion was much bigger and she seemed very satisfied. For our dessert, we ordered two desserts and we shared. Wendy ordered the Tiramisu, with lady fingers, marscapone cheese, and espresso, in a rich cream cheesy icing. WOW- YUMMY! Excellent. I ordered the thick and dense Dark Chocolate and Caramel Torte, a dense chocolate moussy cake with a caramel crusted bottom layer, similar to Skor Bar. My dessert was superb.

Other items on the menu include a variety of salads ($8-$10), mussels ($10), a variety of pasta dishes like smoked chicken penne, rigatoni, fettucini, linguini, ($14-$16) and risotto dishes like pancetta risotto and mushroom risotto. ($16 and $17) , as well as a variety of pizzas ($14-$15)(some include caprese, carne, bourbon chicken, and trapezzi), as well as beef, chicken, lamb, duck, and sea food mains ($23-$30). The beef, lamb, duck, seafood, and poultry dishes all come with a variety of sauteed or roasted vegetables so it’s probably worth the inflate prices. Desserts include a variety of Gelatos ($5), Strudels, ($8), cakes ($8), as well as lattes ($3.50), and capuccino ($3.50), and alcoholic coffees (all $7). Trapezzi is also a full service bar and serves over 50 types of wine (red, white, rose, sparkly), as well as liquors. Trapezzi also serves a variety of funky flavoured Martinis ($10) , creative, sweet, and delicious cocktails ($8-$14), and apperitifs ($8-$9).

In sum, our experience at Trapezzi was great. Staff were friendly and accomodating and they did not treat us differently just because we ordered from the Summerlicious menu. The place is small but the decor and colour scheme is very hip and cool, comfortable, and relaxing. Fully Licensed Restaurant and Bar. Catering available. Seats 45 people as a restaurant. Seats 100 people as a bar. Accepts all cards. Open 7 Days – Monday thru Sunday 11am – 11pm
Bar opened until 2am. DJ plays music after 11pm on weekends. Serves a weekend egg-themed brunch. If you want a shi shi poo poo experience to the max with a good vibe, good food, and friendly staff, then come to Trapezzi. Just make sure you eat before because portions seem to be small.

Nevada [Mark-June 2005]

1963 Queen E
(416) 691-8462

 

Nevada is a trendy Italian restaurant in the heart of the beaches. I went there for brunch in Sept 2002 and I only remember one cool thing: the wicked patio. I do not really remember the food, very well. I do not remember it being bad, but I do not recall it being memorable. One of the largest and nicest patios in the Beaches, Nevada is a casual fine dining place for local folk.

Similar to The Beacher cafe just a few blocks east, Nevada serves Italian and North American dishes, made shi shi poo poo on fancy schmancy oversized plates. Place is beautiful in decor but food is very “blah”- like The Beacher Cafe. Both are charming and decorative and very homey and comfortable but food is very mediocre. Nevada is definitely one of the more trendier dining spots in the Beaches. Dinner entres are $9.95-$14.95 and they serve a weekend brunch with a fairly large menu. Gorgeous side patio that sits about 50 people comfortably. For our brunch adventure, Wendy ordered bacon, sausage, and a potato latke which she thought was too “eggy”, and she did not appove of the yellow tinge. I ordered the Peaches Foster French Toast and boy- it was not 3’s Company (Stuffed Peaches French Toast in a Berry Confit). I was looking forward to a mouth watering array of peaches braised over bourbon with a medley of fruit, bacon, and sausage. Of course the friendly and accomodating staff replaced the yucky bacon and sausage with more fruit, thank goodness. HOWEVER, when my French toast was served, it was way too eggy and there were 3 small slices of peaches and no hint of bourbon. I was not looking to get drunk (I’m not a drinker at all) but i really wanted to taste the intense flavour of bourbon and it was not there at all.

Nevada also serves a varierty of egg dishes (like most brunch spots) and it’s pretty cool to serve Challah and Potato latkes. I did not know that Jewish food was that trendy. I certainly was scared of it when i was growing up. Trust me, i dreaded potato latkes each Chanukah. As Wendy and I have been friends for 13 years, she is certainly more of a potato latke expert than I and she did not approve of 3’s Company’s latkes or Nevada’s.

Dinner at Nevada seems to be standard trendy fare: thin crust trendy pizza, pasta dishes, fish, chicken, a seafood dish, and a steak or meat dish. Very typical. I would suggest going here if you seek casual fine dining, a hip and cool decor with friendly, energetic, and young staff, and mediocre food. Although the painted mural sign on the exterior wall of the patio claims that it is a bakery, Italian market, and bakery, Nevada is only a restaurant. Accepts all cards, open late.