Friday, July 15, 2011

The Big Ragu

The Big Ragu (@TheRealBigRagu) was introduced to me by my friend Tracy (@chibikuma). Tracy told me  that The Big Ragu is one of her favourite restaurants in Toronto, a family-run restaurant with an intimate and cozy atmosphere. She said it simply serves really good Italian food. Sure, I'll go, why the heck not? And to be honest, I was already sold after "one of her favourite restaurants in Toronto". So Tracy and I invited a few friends to come along with us for dinner at The Big Ragu on a weeknight after work.

The Big Ragu is located at the corner Lansdowne and St. Clair. The restaurant may not look like much on the outside but I love the inside. The restaurant really has the look of an Italian trattoria with its textured paint and the numerous photographs, paintings, and bottles of wines against the wall.

The owners of The Big Ragu, Barb & Carm Accogli, are friendly and welcoming. Barb (@CakeStarGirlz) is also the co-owner of CakeStar where she creates cakes that are unreal! Don't believe me? Check out some of CakeStar's masterpieces here.

A Very Bloody Caesar - Vodka, Clamato juice, celery salt, tobasco, horseradish & lemon juice.

Seeing all that horseradish makes me smile. I Caesars with horseradish - personally, I think horseradish should be mandatory in all Caesars =D

Fresh bread made in-house. 

Crostini Di Casa - Toasted bread with prosciutto, pear, gorgonzola & toasted walnuts, drizzled with honey.

Not only do these crostinis look beautiful, they are also to-die-for. So delish! Can you imagine the lightly toasted bread, the saltiness of the proscuitto, the texture of the pear, the soft and melted gorgonzola cheese, the crunchiness of the walnuts, topped with the sweetness of honey, ALL in ONE bite? My taste buds went insane (in a good way).

Magic Mushrooms - Portebello & button mushrooms baked with goat cheese over arugula with a wine reduction.

This is not a light salad with all the mushrooms and goat cheese. I'm not complaining though since I'm a big mushroom and cheese fan. I also love arugula so basically I have absolutely nothing bad to say at all. With such big portion, this salad could easily be a main course for some.

We all ordered pasta as pastas is what The Big Ragu is known for =)

Pappardelle Al Ragu - Ribbon style pasta in our signature "Lamb Ragu" slowly cooked lamb in plum tomato sauce.

This is a house specialty and rightfully so. The Big Ragu did not skimp out on lamb as there was lots of it in there =D There was the perfect amount of ragu (not too saucy) which was smothered over the pasta. The pappardelle was thin and smooth I felt like I could inhale it. Is that gross? Sorry. My latest obsession seems to be the thin and flat pastas like pappardelle and tagliatelle O_o

Pappardelle Con Funghi E Formaggi - Ribbon style pasta with Portobello & button mushrooms & Asiago cheese.

Sans tomato sauce, this pasta was just as good as the lamb ragu pappardelle. All that Asiago shavings and mushroom won me over. 

Spaghetti Con Polpette - Home made meatballs bathed in tomato sauce with Spaghetti.

I did not try this (I shared the previous two pastas with Tracy) but my friend said it had a very full-flavoured sauce. The meatballs were nice and tender but he said it was the sauce that stole the show~

Cheese. Chili Oil. Yes, please =D

I'm now longing for their crostinis and pastas again as I'm typing this joke. I need to go back to The Big Ragu soon *hint hint*! Anybody?

By the way, I'm wondering, if you're wondering *haha,* why we did not order dessert? Especially when I order dessert almost 100% of the time? Well it turned out Tracy had a surprise in store for me that night~ If you want to know what the surprise was, make sure you check back next week for Part 2 of our dinner at the The Big Ragu ^_^

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