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At home in the kitchen with the family and friends
by The Cooks.
The Cooks recently had the pleasure of dining at the well-established 'La Bruschetta'. Located on the south side of St. Clair Avenue West, this unassuming eatery presents outstanding quality and wholesome home cooked dishes. Owners Benito and Franca Piantoni along with their daughters, Silvia and Brenda collectively run a family operation not to be missed.
We were treated to a special night not only of eating--as is our specialty--but on this evening we were invited into the kitchen to learn how our dishes were put together. We even got a few of Benito's secrets passed onto chef Daniel, who effortlessly created several dishes for The Cooks.
We put ourselves totally in their hands as the family along with Daniel planned what we should try next. We were not disappointed as the cooking and the eating began.
Our first dish does not appear on the menu. It is, however a house favorite created by Brenda. Regulars ask for it by name 'Sambucca Shrimp'. This phenomenal dish consists of very large shrimp sauteed in olive oil, flambeed with Sambucca, thickened with cream and finished off with diced tomatoes. The presentation was beautiful and the taste worth every calorie!
We then dined on two pasta dishes--one, homemade gnocchi with a Gorgonzola Cream Sauce--and another created with a mixture of mushrooms (porcini, portabella & oyster), which are sauteed with a touch of brandy and grated into a mixture, which is added to pasta.
Following the pasta course, we were treated to a veal dish that was excellent--Veal Lemoncello, which consisted of veal cutlets topped with marinated wild mushrooms in a lemon sauce made from Lemoncello Liqueur and finished with, melted smoked provolone cheese, an amazing mixture of flavours. To say the least the Cooks were pleasantly stuffed, although we were enticed to sample a selection of desserts, the highlight being Benito's homemade Tiramisu.
The regular menu at La Bruschetta is varied and is complemented with daily specials of soups, pasta, seafood and meat dishes.
The Antipasto Sections include an antipasto platter, mussels, salads, carpaccio and of course bruschetta (a must!)
There is a variety of pastas, veal and fish sure to tempt any appetite.
The evening would not have been complete without the personal tour of the wine cellar, where proud Benito showed us his very extensive wine collection where he says the discerning customer may attend to pick out his own wine as some do not appear on the printed wine list but is a staple to this educated collector's cellar.
Cooking lessons (by appt. only) staring Daniel in the kitchen creates a hands--on demonstration of Benito's longstanding recipes to then be enjoyed by the students. We will be attending for sure to add to our recipe collection...
La Bruschetta has the capacity to seat approx. 145 people and can also accommodate private parties in the upstairs portion of the restaurant.
La Bruschetta, located at 1317 St. Clair Avenue West Toronto. 416-656-8622 is open Mon -- Sat for dinner starting at 5:30p.m. and lunch is served Wed -- Fri. Dinner for two with wine can be enjoyed for approx. $110.00.
See you there -- tell them 'The Cooks' sent you.