Sunday, 07 February 2010
Coppi Ristorante3363 Yonge Streethttp://www.coppiristorante.com
Toronto, ON M4N 2M6
Tummy Points: 3/5
Notes: Burrata Caprese $15,
Trenette alla Genovese
$18, Salmone alla Livornese
$25. Street and valet parking.
Named after Fausto Coppi, a renowned cyclist between 1939 and 1958, Coppi Ristorante was opened in 1991 by Fausto Di Berardino, unrelated to Coppi. The restaurant presents simple Italian cuisine with one or two spices per dish - which is a pleasant departure from the complex spices and chemicals used in present day fast food.
I went during this year's annual Winterlicious, where a few of Toronto's fine restaurants present fixed price menus. Although not all items I ordered were off the fixed price menu, almost all of their fixed price menu items were available in the regular dinner menu. My visit was on a weekend so the restaurant was very busy with most tables filled and staff busy sliding around chairs. The interior is simple and dimly lit. Numerous wine bottles lined the walls.
The salmone alla Livornese, a norwegian salmon filet prepared in a light tomato sauce with black olives, capers and served with a rustic mash & steamed asparagus, was not very visually pleasing. My initial thoughts were the fish was going to be soggy and the flavoring would be heavily diluted to an almost watery taste. I'm not a fan of olives so I quickly brushed them off to the side.
Cutting into the salmon with my fork quickly revealed my salmon wasn't going to be as bad as I was thinking. But it wasn't going to be amazing. The salmon was evenly cooked through with just a tad on the cooked too long side. I'd have preferred a softer inside. The tomato sauce was light as they advertised on their menu. Steamed asparagus was fresh being not too hard and not too soft. It was an easy dish to forget.
The complementary bread arrived freshly toasted with a hard crunchy crust served over olive oil. These went quickly and they even gave us a second serving half way through out dinner.
Burrata caprese, burrata mozzarella & tomatoes served with mixed greens, was nice. The mozzarella was very soft and fresh. As with all mozzarella, it doesn't have that cheese smell, worth a try for people who aren't into uncooked cheese, like my sister. The twirl of extra virgin olive oil helper fill the plate. The mixed greens were crunchy and tomato were ripe, both were very fresh. I just wish there was more of everything on this plate.
Trenette alla Genovese, Triangular shaped pasta with pesto sauce, potatoes, green beans & pine nuts, was definitely something different. The pesto was very strong. I'd have preferred gnocchi rather than the potatoes. Pine nuts and green beans didn't add much to the plate. The triangular pasta were chewy and a tad on the hard side. I thought I'd quickly get bored of the dish but the chewiness had an addictive aspect and I quickly finished it all.
Panna cotta con frutti di bosco,cooked cream custard served with a mixed berry compote, looked quite disappointing compared to the tiramisu. It looks like tofu but it tasted more like a creamy strawberry yogurt. The fruits on top were very candied and chewy. It was good but I think I'd go for the tiramisu next time.
The service was very good in the beginning with our server filling our water well, offering good suggestions, and very patient. But as the night went on, we saw less and less of him until at the end he was gone altogether. The food was decent but it doesn't stand out in the crowded Italian restaurant market. Not really worth the re-visit but pricing was very reasonable.