Francobollo Posto Italiano is a relatively new Italian restaurant, that opened up last December, situated along Avenue Road in North York, known for their Novo Italiano – 1st generation Italian – dishes.
It is amongst one of the four Italian restaurants headed by Executive Chef Stephen Perrin‘s Substance Food Group – including Terra in Thornhill, Rusty’s in Blue Mountain, and Sarpa in Richmond Hill – with each one having a distinct character. Substance Group had recent victories taking top honours in the BBQ Food Fight Night competition and second place overall in the Pasta category at the World Food Championships in Kissimmee, Florida.
The two-storey establishment greets you with pristine white of a delicate tone with a jacquard wallpaper. In addition, the wine rack is beautifully displayed, forming a wall between the kitchen and the dining area, and reflects the wide variety of wines they serve on the menu.
Dinner began with the classic tradition of serving bread with extra virgin olive oil. There was a pleasant surprise of having naan alongside foccacia, both freshly made.
The Winter Scallops ($11) antipasti livened up the palate with the grilled endives, texturizing prickly pear, and the refreshing beet relish. The grittiness of the walnut pesto brought together all the flavours.
For the zuppa was a curried butternut squash soup ($10) which was a perfect fit for a cold winter day. The squash, fennel, pear, and buffalo yogurt was smooth to taste.
Of course an Italian meal wouldn’t be complete without the Paste. Lamb Risotto ($26) was very intriguing with an array of wild mushrooms, artichoke, and braising jus. It was a satisfying dish with a home-cooked feel to it, with rich mushroom and gravy-like flavours easily making this my favourite dish of the night.
Once the Carne Pan was served, I was already drooling, The 12 oz. provimi veal chop ($39), seared to medium-rare, was so tender and juicy. It was drizzled with vitello tonnato – essentially a citrus, tuna, fresh parsley in aioli – with heirloom carrot, rapini, white radish, red potatoes, scallions, and shiitake mushrooms on the side. The complexity of textures put into the dish gave each bite a unique experience every time.
What’s special about Francobollo is that the dessert menu is always changing, providing a surprise element to the meal. For the night, there were three different options: a salted caramel or double chocolate tartufo, housemade tiramisu, and nutella cheesecake. With a caramel based-crust, their nutella cheesecake is a must-try!
Francobollo is a versatile destination for a romantic uptown date night, a family experience, or an after-work gathering. The restaurant has an uplifting animated ambiance perfect for social events.
Photos by Janey Tso and Nick Lee