CityPlace is as urban as a Toronto neighbourhood gets, and so the addition of a rustic Italian trattoria is exactly what this neighbourhood needed. Città brings traditional Italian dining, with its simple ingredients and time-honoured culinary techniques, to this bustling neighbourhood, and based on our experience, it’s surely to become a favourite among the neighbourhood locals and Torontonians alike.
The restaurant space bridges the old and new. Floor to ceiling windows, typical of the buildings in the CityPlace community, bring in a lot of natural light. Inside, it’s a mix of warm materials like wood, marble, and leather, but presented with modern and simple design cues. The wood-fire oven is definitely a feature; in front of it are hanging shelves and a countertop adorned with traditional Italian staple ingredients. Candles light the tables, where ornately designed glassware and dishes rest. It’s a beautiful space – very warm and very welcoming.
On this night, we were presented with a five course menu from Executive Chef Ben Heaton, formerly of The Grove. The first course consisted of a cheese plate and charcuterie plate; both upheld the quality you’d expect from a great Italian restaurant. The second course consisted of three items – an arugula salad, burrata, and squash fritters. I love burrata, and this one was delectably soft and creamy, and along with the roasted tomato and perfectly toasted bread, it was divine. Still, the squash fritters stole the show – with its smooth texture and the unexpected heat from the chili balancing the sweetness of the squash.
For third course we had the Margherita pizza and the agnolotti. With David Mattachioni , former pizza master at Terroni, and a wood-fire oven at his disposal, the pizza did not disappoint. A Margherita pizza is as simple as an Italian pizza can be – sauce, cheese, basil, and dough, so it’s all about the execution. The crust was perfectly crispy and light, and the toppings were delicious. The agnolotti, cooked al dente, was also delicious – the arrabiatta sauce had just the right amount of spiciness.
The fourth course consisted of a protein – a braised short rib braciole, and two sides – roasted potatoes, and a broccoli rabe. The short rib was quite flavourful, and fall-off-the-bone tender.
The fingerling potatoes were cooked to perfection – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and the caramelized onions gave this common side dish a fresh new twist. The broccoli rabe was also tasty, with hints of chili, lemon, and garlic.
Finally, there was the dessert course. First there was the cannoli, filled with ricotta and rimmed with chocolate and crushed pistachios; it’s everything you’d want in a cannoli. Then, there was the bombolini. From appearance, it reminded me of a Boston creme doughnut with its chocolate frosting. Inside though is what makes this dessert truly shine – a salted caramel filling that is to die for. We also had a selection of biscotti, to complete this dessert feast.
With Città, Ink Entertainment and Icon Legacy add another great restaurant to its family, which already includes favourites such as Patria, Weslodge, and Byblos. If you didn’t have a culinary reason to visit the CityPlace neighbourhood before, you have one now. Città is located at 92 Fort York Blvd just east of Dan Leckie Way. For reservations, call (416) 623-9662.