Friday, September 23, 2011

Grazie Vaughan

I haven't been to Grazie in maybe, 5-7 years? I'm, of course, talking about the original Grazie location at Yonge & Eglinton. I remember that location was always so packed and crowded. I also remember I needed to yell just so that the person sitting across from me could hear me.  I guess I haven't been back because I hardly hang out in that neighbourhood anymore (I used to work close by) and it's also not the easiest to find street parking there (I know there's a Green P beside it but still). Basically, visiting Grazie again was never a priority for me especially now that I work in downtown.

I was happy when I found out Grazie opened another location at Vaughan Mills awhile back. Although I wanted to go try it out I never got around to it. Long story short, I finally went to Grazie Vaughan on Tuesday because my friend Dan (@deguzzi) organized a dinner there.

Dan really likes Grazie Vaughan (he is currently the mayor on foursquare) and I think it's safe to say that all 9 of us who were there on Tuesday really liked the food too.

The long table there was reserved for us.

I was overwhelmed by their huge menu. So many choices...

Zenato Ripassa - Full bodied dry with rich & velvety fruit flavour ($55)

Several people had wine while I had my extra spicy Caesar.

A basket full of bread for our 10 hungry stomachs.

Chili oil for dipping.

As usual, I can only comment on what I had and show you pictures of what other people had.


Bruschetta Pizza - Olive oil, fresh garlic, mozzarella, parmigiano cheese, fresh tomato, garlic & fine herbs ($10.75)

We all shared this appetizer. I've never bruschetta pizza before but I thought this tasted just okay; I would've liked a bit more herbs and cheese. I also prefer the traditional bruschetta on open slices of grilled bread because the toppings-to-bread ratio is better this toppings-to-pizza ratio (i.e. too much pizza for the amount of toppings).

Baked Goat Cheese Salad - Goat cheese, roasted peppers & grilled eggplant wrapped in phyllo pastry served with an arugula salad in a sherry vinaigrette ($12)

Graham (@beachrockinc) had this salad all by himself. He really liked it and polished it off within within minutes. The presentation was beautiful; each slice of tomato was cut exactly the same and lined up perfectly.


Roberto - Tomato sauce, mozzarella, prosciuttino, grilled eggplant, artichoke hearts & black olives ($15)

Prato - Penne with grilled chicken & green onions ($14.25)

Cristoforo - Goat cheese, plum tomatoes, red onions, black olives, basil and a touch of mozzarella ($14.75)

My pizza. This pizza jumped out at me on the menu because it had goat cheese. All fresh toppings and I really liked the soft and sweet plum tomatoes. There wasn't too much or too little of any one ingredient so it was very well balanced. It had a thin crust which I found to be a bit hard but this is just my personal preference as I like pizzas that have a softer base. 

Napoletana - Linguini with shrimps and clams ($15)

Cozzo Portofino - Fresh mussels steamed in a light tomato sauce or white wine sauce ($12)

Gnocchi - Gnocchi in a tomato cream sauce topped with parmigiano ($14.75)

Eligio - Tomato sauce, mozzarella, asiago cheese, prosciuttino, red onions & a variety of mushrooms ($15)

Tasca - Fresh pasta filled with ricotta, spinach, mushrooms & brie baked in a creamy tomato porcini sauce ($15)

Nonna Franca - Spaghetti with sautéed broccoli, anchovy paste, pine nuts & raisins covered with toasted bread crumbs & sesame seeds ($14.50) 


Flourless Chocolate Torte - Simply made with chocolate, eggs, butter & sugar garnished with raspberry coulis ($7.50)

I had a bite of this. The torte had a rough texture and was pretty dry. I expected the cake to be more dense and rich.

Tiramisu - Our house specialty. Mascarpone cheese with fresh cream layers between lady fingers dipped in coffee and liqueurs ($7.50)

I never order tiramisu as it is not my kind of dessert (I don't like cream) that's why this was just okay to me (I had one spoonful). I'm thinking my friends who like tiramisu would be able to give a better insight on this than me. I've never seen tiramisu served like scoops of ice cream though.

Thanks Dan for organizing! I'm happy to know that Grazie Vaughan is a place worth going back to. Although a bit overwhelming, I do love how they have a lot of variety in terms of the different kinds of pastas (broken down by type of sauce) and pizzas. They also have mains and specials such as steak, seafood, etc. 

I can't end this post without a shoutout to the group. I had a great time with y'all --> Dan, Graham, Jason (@LO_TEK), Sandon (@Sandwongsta), Jim (not on twitter yet but will very soon), Cheryl (@ctaybabe), Patricia (@luxual), Christine (@wedding_crasher), and Christine (@RealXtine). 

Grazie on Urbanspoon