The lighting in this place is terrible, so I apologize in advance for the bad photowork. Onward!
Location: 57 Adelaide Street East
Price: Fancier. I saw an item that was $75. I didn’t order that of course. The pizzas can run you like $12+ starting from the simplest, like the Magherita. From what I remember about the pastas, they can be anywhere from $16-$20+.
I had heard a lot of good stuff about Terroni based off of popular restaurant sites like Yelp and Chowhound, and since Christmas was coming around, I wanted to do something a little more special, even if it meant digging deeper into my somewhat shallow student pockets. So I tried to book Terroni! They didn’t do reservations though, so my girlfriend and I were advised that it there would be a 30 minute wait time, much like Guu. Good thing Terroni has interior waiting space.
Upon arriving inside, we were pleased to note that we could actually be seated right away, as opposed to waiting for half an hour. Good thing too, since my girlfriend and I were quite hungry. Of course, Terroni has many parts — the basement area contains a party room, multiple wine cellars, old school washrooms, and the main floor has separate party rooms as well as a bar, a seating space in the front, along with additional seating space in the back, along with a reaaally high ceiling. Good stuff!
Anyways, my girlfriend and I decided to share Terroni’s meat and cheese appetizer plate (mezzo di mezzo), a Duck confit and mushroom ravioli, and a margherita pizza.
Let’s see how much I remember. Proscuitto, two different kinds of cheese, and a kind of sliced sausage (salami or pastrami, I believe) came with three different kinds of bread, a honey dip with walnuts, and a roasted pear on the side. The server explained to me that I was supposed to have fun with this dish. I could mix the cheeses, meats, breads, and sauce however I wanted. For example, I could wrap the proscuitto around the breadsticks and place them into the honey and add a dollop of cheese, or I could simply take one of the cheeses and have it with the softer bread cubes and a dab of honey and walnut. The possibilities here are great, and I probably tried 90% of them. They all tasted really good! I think Terroni makes their meats in house, so their proscuitto and sausage were both a cut above their standard storebought versions. They were all VERY salty though, both the cheeses and the meats, so it’s good that there was enough bread to help cut the saltiness. Oddly enough, honey is actually really helpful in making the saltiness bearable! All in all, an interesting way to start the meal.
I went to the washroom at this point and when I came back, our other two dishes had arrived simultaneously.
First, my girlfriend and I shared the duck confit (duck that has been rendered in its own fat to enhance flavor and texture) ravioli with wild and regular mushrooms. Terroni makes all of their pasta fresh, and this came through with the ravioli. Perfectly al-dente, with a just right amount of saltiness to the ravioli. Good show! The filling inside the pasta contained the duck, along with sweet potato. A browned butter sauce was then gently ladled on top of the pasta to give it a characteristic sheen. I’d have been very displeased if a high end Italian restaurant could not make pasta. I was definitely happy with this dish though! Not VERY happy though. It was served to us sort of luke-warm. I know I’m nitpicking but when your pasta costs you $20 I think I have the right to want it to be perfect.
THIS was what I had come for. FUCK Pizza Pizza. Cardboard is not pizza (sorry to anyone who actually likes Pizza^2… But seriously go to Pizzalio’s, Cora’s, Pizza Hut, Little Cesar’s, Domino’s… just NOT PIZZA PIZZA!!) High acclaim has been awarded to Terroni for serving a traditional Italian pizza. As such, my expectations were extremely high. Too high, I suppose. 😦 Not going to lie, this was significantly better than Pizza Pizza. Definitely a step up from all the other pizza I’ve ate. But still, even if its the best pizza I’ve ever eaten, I have to admit that there were still some things that I did not like. For one, the pizza crust was extremely thin. So even though this looks like a sizable portion, it really was not. Secondly, because of how thin the crust was, you would imagine that it would all be crispy — even the bottom part! Unfortunately, it isn’t. The sauce doesn’t soak through, but the pizza is kind of wobbly unless you hold it with both hands. Maybe this is how it’s supposed to be and I’m just used to the convenience of having a firm pizza slice that I can hold and eat with a single hand so that I can prepare a second slice with my other hand… but again, this is all nitpicking. DESERVED nitpicking!
By the way we also got dessert, but by the time we realized that I had to take pictures of it, we were already done. So let’s just say that their homemade creme de l’orange gelato was rather delicious. I’ve not had much experience with gelato, but the texture of their gelato was not like ice cream at all. There was a sort of elasticity to it, which gave it a gently bouncy texture. It tasted mainly of vanilla, but there was a nice hint of orange to it.
Verdict: Now don’t get me wrong, I love Italian food! I came to Terroni mainly because I wanted to experience the so called ‘best of the best’. I wasn’t disappointed, but I wasn’t fully satisfied either. This place is definitely solid. The food is good! But, the food is not great.
My girlfriend and I have both decided to give it an 8/10. The service was good, and the food was definitely a step up from the usual. Still, I’m pretty sure there’s a better Italian restaurant out there somewhere…
Cheeeers! Once again, happy holidays to you all. Hope you’re all enjoying yourselves!