Showing posts with label fior di latte. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fior di latte. Show all posts

Famiglia Baldassarre (Toronto)

If you’re able to withstand a bit of uncertainty, having lunch at Famiglia Baldassarre will be a reward for your resilience and patience. Over two hours (12-2pm) on Wednesday to Friday, Famiglia dishes out pasta fresh from their line, passing over plates of hot steaming carbs that causes its recipient’s eyes to light up.

Famiglia doesn’t take reservations so get there early if you want to eat at one of their five indoor tables or ten (approximately) patio areas (warning, one person will need to sit on a hay bale). The process is simple: wait, order at the counter, sit at the table they point you to (do not try to sneak out of line to secure a spot), help yourself to cutlery and bread, have a seat, and then wait for your name to be called as dishes are ready.

With a choice of two pastas (each with a white and red sauce option), three sides, and two desserts, you’ll want to go with a buddy to share and try a few things. On our visit, they were offering a tagliatelle ($16) and ricotta & spinach ravioli ($16), which we ordered with ragu and al bianco, respectively.

Before the main event arrived, we tucked into a ball of freshly made fior di latte ($9.50) and thinly shaved 16-month crudo di Parma ($7), which were the perfect compliments to their soft crusty bread. The house made mozzarella was simply adorned with a sprinkling of salt, so the cheese’s creaminess came out in flavour and texture. Meanwhile, the Parma ham had a delicate salty sweetness to it that was great on its own or on the bread.

With two chefs manning three portable induction cooktops, the pastas were churned out at a quick pace. First up, the ravioli where the pasta was so silky since they were literally being made-to-order. In hindsight, we should have gotten these with sugo rosso sauce as the ricotta filling was neutral and needed more seasoning. The butter and cheese sauce, while allowing the spinach flavours to come out, seemed too plain. However, it did make for a tasty bite once I added on a piece of mozzarella and prosciutto.

The tagliatelle was divine and was made to marry the ragu. Who doesn’t like a forkful of smooth chewy pasta coated with a fresh tomato meat sauce? We loved it so much that a second helping was ordered along with a third to go by my friend.

If you order the tiramisu ($5), they’ll write your name on the cup and keep in in the fridge so that when you’re ready for it, the dessert remains cool. I’m glad they actually use mascarpone in the creamy base – and plenty of it given the richness of the custard. Yet, I could have had more of the espresso-soaked cake as it’s the combination of slightly bitter and sweet along with the moist lady finger with cream that I like.

Chef Leandro Baldassarre is a god send, bringing the delicious pastas he learnt to make in Mantova to Canada. Having it fresh at the restaurant is the best way to enjoy their creations, but if you can’t make it out to their limited lunch seating, Famiglia Baldassarre also operates a retail operation (Tuesday to Fridays) and supplies several of Toronto’s restaurants. Just bring an appetite and be patient, as good things come to those who wait.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 122 Geary Avenue

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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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