Duck tortellini | Chanterelle mushrooms, tea smoked duck breast, charred tomato sauce

Mark your calendars for Monday, September 14 as ViaVai Pizzeria and Wine Bar hosts the Piedmont Wine Dinner – an elevated dining experience with a four-course menu by Executive Chef Joe Friday with wine pairings from Demarie Winery, located in the prestigious wine region of Piedmont, Italy . On September 9th, we visited ViaVai to get an exclusive preview.

The first course was a truffle beef tartare. Chef Friday said that their ingredients are locally sourced, and it was evident from the freshness of the produce and meats. The tartare was delicious, with the pickled fennel providing tartness, the egg yolk providing creaminess, and the perfectly toasted crostini as the vessels for the tartare.


The duck tortellini came next. The pasta was cooked to just the right firmness, with a punch of flavour from the Chanterelle mushrooms inside. The duck itself was melt-in-your mouth tender and seasoned well, and the charred tomato sauce tied the whole dish together beautifully. This was my favourite course of the night.

For the entree, we had the wild boar risotto. The risotto also had mushrooms, as well as shallots, goat cheese, and a drizzle of truffle oil. This dish was delicious and rich. The first of the two Demarie wines for our preview was served with this course, and it was a Barolo. Barolos are dry and full-bodied, matching well with the game meat and cheese of the risotto.

Finally, there was the dessert course, and it was a melted chocolate cake. Sousvide watermelon with mint and pop rock candy on the plate provided nice refreshing bursts of flavour and sensation, and the raspberries complemented the moist chocolate cake. Our second Demarie wine was the Moscato D’Asti. The Moscato’s sweetness worked well with the dessert, which itself was not overly sweet, and had a tart flavour component coming from the raspberries.

We had a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying dinner at ViaVai. We only sampled two of the Demarie wines, and were delighted with the thoughtful food pairings. At the actual dinner, you will sample five wines – one before dinner starts, and then a different wine paired with each of the four courses. These wines will be presented by none other than winemaker and owner of the Demarie Winery, Paolo DeMarie.

The Piedmont Wine Dinner is this Monday, September 14 at 7 pm. The cost is $125 per person + taxes and gratuities. To book your reservation:
Phone: 416.362.0123

ViaVai is located at 832 Bay St. where Bay St. meets Grosvenor St.

Photos by John Tan

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John Tan

John is an avid traveller, but equally loves being a tourist in his own city. With camera in hand, he enjoys discovering the sights, sounds, tastes, and everything else that Toronto has to offer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@iam_johntan) to see what he's been up to lately.