Amalfi Coast Ristorante (Thornhill)

Whenever I’m asked about the best pasta consumed, I’m transported back to a pier in Positano. Tired from hours of walking along the hilly landscape, we settled into a random restaurant and decided to split a seafood spaghetti and drinks. My expectations were tempered, given we were on the pier where cruise ships drop off guests, thinking it’d be a tourist trap. One swirl of the pasta in the light flavourful sauce and I was in heaven. The meal was before my blogging days so the exquisite pasta was never documented, a distant memory that I’d love to experience again.

Hence, when I heard about Amalfi Coast Restaurant, I could taste the al dante pasta and garlicky tomato wine sauce right away. Of course, there were some differences: the restaurant is in Canada, the dining room more opulent, and I didn’t need to walk for hours before dining.

Then again, the chittarra pasta allo scoglio ($25.50) wasn’t even close to the quality of the Positano restaurant. While the spaghetti noodles were homemade, it’s also means the pasta is too soft and doughy. Perhaps, it sat too long at the pass, but the dish could be hotter and there was little left of the olive oil and wine sauce. The pasta needed more salt and didn’t contain any clams (as noted on the menu), but at least what was included was cooked decently.

If you’re ordering pasta, stick with the scialatielli allo stile amalfitana ($22). The creamy tomato vodka sauce is thicker so doesn’t soak into the thick homemade egg noodles and the flavours go well with the plump tiger shrimp.  

Their burrata di bufala ($15) was creamy and buttery, but served too cold and didn’t incorporate enough olive oil or salt. Nonetheless, for the price, you received a surprisingly large portion of the burrata, which also arrives with ample slices of cured bresaola and a simple arugula and torn radicchio salad.

Amalfi’s margherita pizza ($14.50) incorporated enough toppings – sweet tomatoes and a relatively thick layer of cheese – which also has the downfall of rendering the centre of the pizza soggy. Luckily, the crust had a nice smoky essence and a nice chewiness.

Personally, I preferred the bruschetta ($3), each crispy piece of olive oil covered crostini topped with garlicky tomatoes, oregano and cheese.

What stops me from awarding Amalfi a 7 (out of 10), is their service. While everyone was friendly, they just weren’t attentive, despite checking in so often. Some suggestions, to the restaurant:

  • Avoid having staff remark to dinner guests, “You’re all finally here”, especially when they’re only late by 10 minutes and another employee has already said something similar. It’s awkward for everyone at the table.
  • Limit the people approaching a table with questions to two individuals. We had at least three people asking similar things throughout the meal that it was annoying being interrupted so often.
  • If someone is training, make sure someone is around to teach them. While the trainee was bubbly and nice, she was so nervous and hesitant that it made the experience awkward. Especially, stopping our conversation every time she refilled the water by asking each person whether they wanted more – just re-fill it.
  • If there’s a private event, bring in more staff or don’t take reservations. Our waiter wouldn’t let us order appetizers first (while deciding on the mains), stating that they were too busy and he wanted to put everything in at the same time. It’s a bit rude, especially since the dining room was only 70% filled.
  • Most importantly, have someone keep track of whether tables are getting what they ordered. After finishing all the appetizers, our drinks still didn’t arrive. I finally had to follow-up with someone, even with two people coming by and asking about the food. Why did no one notice we were without wine and beer?
Unfortunately for my taste buds, the Amalfi Coast Restaurant is no match to a random restaurant by the Positano pier. 

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Thornhill, Canada
 Address: 8020 Bathurst Street

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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