CLOSED: Azzurra (Collingwood)

Azzura Collingwood

Set in a large restored house, Azzurra has an elegant yet comforting feel to it. Upon entering, the warmth and scent of cooking food welcomes you with Italian hospitality. In the side room we were seated in, it does get a little cozy – I was rather warm in my thicker sweater.

Sharing is a great option as Azzurra’s menu contains many delicious sounding dishes. Some are rather rich so you may not want an entire order of it anyways. Such as the duck confit risotto ($26), a creamy combination of rice studded with finely diced celeriac, heirloom carrots and leeks to add colour and extra flavours. Shredded pieces of tasty duck confit is mixed throughout and sits is a rich savoury jus. It’s a delicious dish but even a few spoonful were enough to satisfy.

Their sweet potato gnocchi ($17.50) was the more al dante variety, each piece having a great caramelized crust that heightened the potato’s sweetness. Despite containing apple and maple syrup, the smoked bacon, crispy sage, and shaved reggiano balanced the dish to keep it from becoming too sweet. Meanwhile, spices in the gnocchi (could have been nutmeg?) and the roasted brussel sprouts brought an earthiness to the dish, which was great at highlighting the autumn season.

The kale salad ($12) also had some sweetness to it from the sundried tomatoes, yet was still savoury due to the flavourful basil pesto tossed throughout. Roasted butternut squash and pumpkin seeds added some crunch to the starter, while the quinoa helped absorb some of the dressing and juices to give the salad moisture.

I was most excited for the fish stew ($30), which after adding a liberal sprinkling of salt to, was tasty. The saffron vegetable stock was infused with the seafood’s flavours including white fish, bay scallops, shrimp and calamari. Plenty of potatoes, scallions, kale and swiss chard were also added to make it a hearty dish. Luckily, we thought to save our bread for dipping but definitely could have used more – Azzurra, you should really consider sending bread with the stew.

Slight improvements on service would help. For example, after pouring our white wine, the bottle was just left on the table in the warm environment; we had to request an ice bucket to keep the wine from overheating. Nonetheless, it was a good meal: my friends and I had a pleasant evening, lulled by the dim lighting and aromatic environment.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Collingwood, Canada
 Address: 100 Pine 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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