Francobollo (Toronto) for delivery

Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

I admire how well Toronto restaurants are pivoting during this time of adversity. For some establishments, like Francobollo, the shifts push them further, quickly morphing from a place that was dine-in only to providing delivery and curb-side pick-up. How does a fine dining restaurant change its operations and offerings?

Dishes like their burrata ($22) are ideal dine-out options. The creamy cheese tastes great at room temperature and as it oozes into the accompanying produce, it’s something you’d likely combine anyways. The food quality doesn’t deteriorate: the tomatoes are surprisingly flavourful for late winter (this order originally happened in late March) and the arugula bright and fresh. Francobollo even thinks to send warmed baguette slices that are a must with the starter.

Others do not fair as well. One of my favourite dishes is the decadent gnocchi ‘Terra’ style ($27), the combination of crisped gnocchi with sweet grilled corn, roasted peppers, onions, and peas, in a roasted garlic truffle sauce is absolutely intoxicating.

What makes it particularly amazing is the crust on the pan-fried gnocchi that gives way to its soft centre. Once that sits in sauce in a closed container, the crust vanishes and the pasta turns soft – still good, but that lovely contrast disappears. I’ve even tried re-heating it in a pan the next day, willing the crust to form, but couldn’t re-create the experience.

Of the pasta dishes, the tomato-based sauces seem to work best. After a quick nuke in the microwave to get it hot, the short rib tagliatelle ($24) was remarkably similar to how it normally tastes in the restaurant. Perhaps the portion was bigger, chocked full of short ribs and ribbons of pasta with enough for another meal.

Meanwhile, the creamy rosé sauce in the lobster pappardelle ($29) turns a bit gluey and if you add water to it starts to dilute the existing flavours. At least the dish incorporated large chunks of wonderfully cooked lobster. Based on their latest offerings in late May, it appears the chef realized this and has taken the pappardelle off the menu.

In fact, they now adjust their menu weekly, offering seasonal options and a 3-course Sunday’licious prix-fixe ranging from $45 (for vegan) to $55 (for meat). They’re even expanding into vegan dishes such as panko-crusted lentil cake and cashew-based cheesecake, things I haven’t seen in past visits. Keep up this gusto, the move towards plant-based mains is a great one to help expand the customer base!

What hasn’t changed is their hospitality, such as the little touches like including grated parmesan in the order to sprinkle to your heart’s content.

Pan-fried gnocchi, until we meet again.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1959 Avenue Road
 Delivery: store delivery, Uber Eats, Doordash
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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!

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