CLOSED: Sipping the Night Away at Cresta

Cresta Toronto

Past visits to Cresta (formerly Pastizza) involved sit down meals consisting of plenty of carbs and a drink or two. At their media event this month, my perceptions changed as tables were cleared and the dining room transformed into a spacious cocktail party. With their corner lot and floor-to-ceiling windows, the atmosphere was airy yet still warm and inviting as the smell of food permeated from the open kitchen.

Indeed, there were still carbs; after all, to have attendees not try their crispy light pizza would be a shame. The heirloom tomato version was reminiscent of a margherita – tomato, cheese and basil – except augmented with onion and olives. The funghi was just as delicious as I remembered, the wild mushrooms pieces further drizzled with truffle oil.

The scallop crudo was brilliantly presented, the seafood simply topped with citrus juice and coriander. A surprising twist was the garlic chip on top, providing a sweet earthy finish to the otherwise bright canapé.

Having had their beet salad, I enjoyed their take on the dish for the event skewering the colourful beets with the vegetable’s greens. In fact, I enjoyed it more as the smaller pieces allowed a lovely crust to develop, the sweetness further enhanced with the lemon thyme dressing.  

Of course we had ample opportunity to sample the restaurant’s wines, cultivated from the Cresta Ridge in California. The pinot noir kept the red lighter as to not overpower the food, yet still complimented the tomato sauce and beef.

I certainly had my fair share of the beef tenderloin, soft meaty slices of medium rare steak wrapped around thinly sliced roasted potatoes, garlic and a cherry tomato. A lovely pairing for the wine.

The roasted shrimp paired with an empty ravioli was also delicious … what a great one bite hors d'oeuvre smartly served with a fork. In a spoon, was my first taste of Cresta’s creamy mushroom risotto – it’s hard to go wrong with fragrant truffle oil and shaved parmesan.

The event has shown me another side of Cresta: the welcoming event space it could be just a stone’s throw away from the Financial District. Moreover, it showcased their new menu nicely. Sure, Cresta can still make a mean pizza, but their beef and shrimp were just as equally scrumptious.

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 118 The Esplanade

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