d o o d ' l.

food, food and other things i enjoy.

Category: Food

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the Famoso Media Launch for their first downtown Toronto location at 386 Bloor Street West! I was immediately excited receiving this invitation, especially because my family and friends always joke (but are mostly serious) about me ‘food blogging’ for the sake of getting invited to restaurants like this, where I can eat, drink and enjoy the experience in return for some free publicity 😛 I’d like to think it was my blog that got me the invite, but let’s just say I lucked out with this opportunity…

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THE MENU:

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Upon arrival, Cece and I (who came representing The Brand Factory) were instantly greeted by friendly staff who handed us some delicious orange drinks which were really refreshing having finally escaped the sweltering heat. We made our way to our table filled with friends and local food bloggers and were soon-after encouraged to order a few pitchers of Sangria – and good thing we did because they were outstanding!! Probably way up there on my list.

THE RED WINE SANGRIA:

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As for food, we wanted to order a few apps to share, so locked-in the Gorgonzola Walnut Salad and Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Balls. The salad (pictured below) included romaine lettuce, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, semi-dried cranberries, and their original gorgonzola walnut vinaigrette (which at first glance, looked like pesto and I got excited but it was good nonetheless). Lucky for us, the salad was quite sizable so we all got a taste!

THE GORGONZOLA WALNUT SALAD: 

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I didn’t get a picture of the prosciutto & mozzarella, but they were served in a bowl, smothered in campania tomato sauce and were baked, um YUM! I enjoyed them, although I could see how some people would label the dish as ‘too salty’ because of the prosciutto overload 😛

As for pizzas (the stars of the restaurant, of course), we again thought we should share. We went with a classic Margherita Pizza (fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, pecorino romano, and extra virgin olive oil), a veggie Primavera (smoked mozzarella, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, roasted mushrooms, kalamata olives and red onion), and a Prosciutto Arugula pizza (prosciutto, arugula, and pecorino romano). Seeing as a Neapolitan pizza should be cooked no longer than 90 seconds, they came fast and steaming!

THE MARGHERITA PIZZA:

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The dough on the pizza was light, the sauce had a nice flavour and consistency and the toppings were reasonably applied – all around a solid Margherita!

THE PROSCIUTTO ARUGULA PIZZA:

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(image via Carolyn Van)

We couldn’t leave Famoso without trying some of their dessert! Karen was bold enough to order the ‘Nutella Pizza’ for the table – their authentic pizza crust smothered in Nutella and folded into a calzone then cut into strips for sharing! WOW.

THE NUTELLA PIZZA:

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I must mention Famoso also offeres surprisingly good gelato (salted caramel was my flavour of choice).

Sometime in-between our feast, Justin, one of Famoso’s owners, gave a nice presentation, where he explained his inspiration for opening up a Neapolitan Pizzeria that serves pizza made with the finest imported Italian flour (straight from Napoli), imported Campania tomatoes, and fior-di-latte mozzarella (the freshest cheese). He also gave a nice little demonstration on how they make each pizza 🙂

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Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Famosa. It’s really refreshing to see new restaurants gravitating to Toronto’s downtown core, adding to the city’s immense culture and food offerings. Discovering great eats and passionately sharing them with my friends is what I do and I definitely plan on sharing this one 😉

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(Image via Carolyn Van)

valentine’s day.

pizza libretto on the danforth

valentine’s day special: free peroni

fungi pizza w gorgonzola, bufala mozzarella, rosemary & parm

special of the day: roasted garlic, capers, olives, octopus, basil & tomato sauce

chocolate dipped strawberries (few with shredded coconut) paired with proseco.

gorgeous pearl bracelet 🙂

shrimp fried rice.

fried rice with shrimp. deeeelish 🙂

spaghetti alla carbonara.


enough said.

rustic rosti.

although this is not the most glamorous photo…maybe that’s why i love it so much – it is very rustic and quite frankly my favourite meal at the moment. Rustic Rosti is what we call it and the recipe has been perfected. roasted garlic, bacon chunks, rosemary, onion and thick julienned potato: this is to die for – trust.

holy chuck.

when i heard there was another burger place with a similar concept to burger’s priest (not to mention down the street from my office), i just had to give it a try. i ordered a cheeseburger (ie. double cheeseburger) with fries and a drink. quite pricey at $14…

was pretty tasty overall but I still prefer burger’s priest. Maybe “the option” just wins my heart. Although “holy chuck” does offer a similar cheese-stuffed portabello mushroom – i have yet to try theirs. my first impression was that the meat was a tad salty and a tad messy (dripped all over the place!) i would def return though – they’ve got poutine which burger’s priest doesnt!

 

burger’s priest pt. III

the burger’s priest moved closer to my area (on yonge between lawrence and yorkmills) – this is a very dangerous thing.

“the option” (cheese-stuffed portobello mushroom, panko-coated then deep-fried) is probably the best burger-topping ever invented. get it on your cheeseburger and you’ve ordered what’s called “the priest” (my recommendation).

buca.

for my 3 year anniversary, I went to BUCA (@bucatoronto) on King and Portland. In Italian, BUCA means “hole” and in this sense, “hole in the wall” – a kind of hidden gem if you may. “Hole in the wall” may not seem attractive one bit, but this place was just that, in the coolest way possible. We had to pass through an alleyway, where we pushed through a set of thick curtains to unveil what was BUCA. High ceilings, exposed brick, and an unrefined basement-type setting – I was immediately intrigued.

what makes this place so great though, (other than the unpolished and rustic feel that has Jamie Oliver written all over it or the huge hunks of meat hanging in clear view) was the fact that the menu changes daily based on the meats and cheeses that the chef dubbs” best served” on that particular day.

unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t ideal for food photography so these pictures don’t really do the dishes justice – I guess you will just have to experience it for yourself one day!

we started our meal off with a chef’s selection of meat and cheeses. It came on a rustic wooden board, paired with an assortment of spreads. (3 choices of meats and cheeses for $19 and $17 respectfully).

in the platter, we had Buffalo Ricotta infused with mint and lemon (super light), a hard goats cheese (crumbly texture) and a semi-soft Le Tour A La Ricotta (cheese with a slight bite). As for meats, we were given duck breast, coppa (comes from the front collar bone area) and sopressata. The spreads ranged from a sweet jam, to honey and pear marmalade, bitter kale and pickled beats – it was fun to experiment with all the different flavours. Along with this platter, we ordered roasted garlic and rosemary mini-buns – a perfect pairing.

see what I mean about the lighting? Anyway, it was quite a challenge to decide on wine because this place has such a large selection! What impressed me the most, though, was when our server brought over the in-house wine connoisseur. We informed him with the mains we planed to order and he helped us decide on this Italian 2008 red. It was easily one of the best wine’s I’ve ever had ($65).

here’s a clearer shot of the label.

for our mains, we decided to go with a pizza and pasta to split. For pizza, we went with the Fungi. It was an easy choice because I instantly become sold at “gorgonzola”. It was also a fun one to share because it came on yet another rustic wooden board, uncut and served with a pair of shears.

as for pasta, we decided on the oxtail ragu gnocci (again, gnocci is a selling point for me). At this point, we were quite full but managed to get through it regardless because the sauce was devine. I didn’t manage to snap a picture unfortunately 😩

overall, BUCA was a memorable experience and I will definitely return sometime in the near future 🙂

fish hook.

this wine draws you in like a fish hook… haha lame but true.

night out during the holidays.

I’ve slowed down a bit on the blogging front… so to get back into it, how about a nice long post ?

I started the night with my friend Dominika. We went to a birthday party at a hidden “tapas” bar in the heart of Kensington by the name of  Torito Tapas (@ToritoTapas). We met at College station, where we stood out quite obviously in our blonde hair and heels. Taking the College streetcar west to Augusta, we quickly became lost in conversation as we missed our stop and eventually realized we had gone too far. Taking a short cab back in the right direction, we finally made it inside the dark and warming atmosphere of what was the Tapas bar.

This place was pretty cool. We sat at a long bench-like table that made us feel like one big family. Shortly after joining our “family”, we were  passed a jug of delicious sangria (the chunks of fresh peach were the highlight). Glancing at the Spanish-rich menu, I felt a little lost. Dominika and I eventually decided to order a few things to share – that’s the whole idea behind Tapas anyway, right?

Although I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with my surroundings, I managed to snap a pic of the Lamb Ravioli I ordered:

This was overall pretty tasty – although I was quite disappointed with the portion size (I only got four pieces in total for $16 :|).

We enjoyed ourselves nonetheless and eventually moved on to part 2 of the night – an alcohol rich holiday house party down the street…

Lots of wine was consumed.

By this point, I was over my Dubai-fail blues and was happy to be in good company 🙂