If you were to ask me what my fave food has been lately I would tell you Italian, so when I was invited to check out Briscola at Palmerston and College Street last week I got really excited. I had heard really good things about it from some of my foodie friends who had been there the week before. I brought my good friend Julia who loves Italian food just as much as I do to enjoy a taste of what chef Sean Reeves had to offer.
As we walked through the cute little front patio outside into the restaurant, it was bigger than I thought it would be. It was a beautiful layout with seats by the front windows near the large wood bar, seats along the side near the kitchen and more in a larger space at the back. I loved the mesh of chic rustic furniture with the modern designs and industrial light fixtures. The space is wonderful – very warm and cosy.
We decided to have a seat outside to enjoy the evening sun while we sipped on a glass of 2009 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio and looked over the menu. Right away we were served some bread to dip into the bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar that are placed on every table. I am usually not a ‘bread snacker’ but as soon as I saw the thick syrupy balsamic pour out of the bottle I knew I had to try it. It was so delicious and I couldn’t get enough. We found out that they special order the 15 year aged balsamic in from Italy and were very excited to know that they actually sell it to their customers for $25.00.
Our server Chris was so amazing, he made sure our evening went smooth and that we were taken care of. After more bread with balsamic and of course with some help from Chris we finally decided on the dishes we wanted to try and the tasting began.
We started with the Fried Olives with Orange and Parsley. These were so good, like little crunchy, salty and briny morsles of popcorn.
Next we shared the Stuffed Figs with Prosciutto Di Parma and Candied Almonds. Then we had the Stuffed Fried Zucchini Flowers with Smoked Tomato Jam. These were awesome – so light and crispy with a perfect balance of the crunchy flower to the creamy ricotta filling.
The Burrata with Scorched Tomatoes and Aged Balsamic came next – this was unbelievably good. The burrata tasted so light and milky yet had the most amazing creamy rich texture.
Then our two last dishes came, we shared the Braised Beef Ribs with Farro Risotto and The Pappardelle with Bison Bolognese and Ricotta. Both were fantastic. The ribs were sticky and fall off the bone and the farro risotto was such an amazing compliment to the meat. It had the taste of orange throughout it which really balanced all the flavours so well. The Pappardelle was homemade and cooked perfectly, there was more sauce than pasta in my bowl and I loved that!
As we finished a glass of 2009 Fumanelli Valpolicella and ate the last few bites of our meal, Julia and I talked about what a wonderful experience we had tasting incredible Italian food in our own city of Toronto. The chef himself Sean Reeves, came out just as we finished to have a chat – he was such a wonderful guy and obviously very passionate about his food. He is an amazing chef and this really showed through in each of the dishes we tried. It was really exciting to see his understanding and importance of balance throughout a meal while we ate – to me this really shows major talent. I honestly cant stop raving about Briscola to anyone that will listen, I am so looking forward to going back and tasting more of the delicious menu – thanks so much for having me!