Cantine has been on my restaurants-to-visit list for a while now. Located in the area of upscale dining, Yorkville; Cantine is an Italian Bistro at the southwest corner of Avenue & Davenport. When my cousin, Christine, and I entered the restaurant, we were immediately greeted with a romantic ambiance. The lights were dim, the floors were of dark wood, the chairs were made of leather, and the walls were decorated with beautiful artwork.
After we were seated, we ordered Riesling and Sauvignon blanc from the wine list. The waiter started us off with slices of bread and olives. I did find their logo on the cover of their menu to resemble the yellow, smiley face of Wal-mart, so that gave me a quick chuckle. For appetizer we ordered the famous Crab Cakes ($9.95), served with chipotle rouille and mixed greens on the side. Although well-seasoned with real crab meat and a crispy exterior, I found the texture to be overly mushy for my preference. The chipole rouille was a good way to add some heat and the mixed greens drizzled with olive oil brought the dish to a lighter note. Christine did enjoy her share of the crab cakes which is a positive thing.
Our main was a Chicken and Portobello Pizza ($14.95) with grilled chicken, Portobello mushroom, roasted pepper, mozzarella, and basil pesto on top. I still remember Christine’s hilarious reaction when the waiter brought the pizza over to our table. “It’s so 3-D!”, she commented. Haha, in a sense the pizza actually reminded me of a pizza toy due to its fluffy and cute aspect (my pic doesn’t do it any justice). This was not only one of the most aesthetically appealing pizzas I’ve seen, but the crust was far from anything I’ve tasted before. It had a certain sweetness to it and it was baked to the right consistency. The tomato sauce was nowhere to be seen which automatically increased its likability (If you’ve read my previous reviews, you’ll know that I don’t particularly like tomato sauce). If there was one thing that prevented this pizza from gaining a perfect score of 10, I would steer the attention toward the chicken. I found it to be a tad too dry and rough. Nevertheless, it was a delicious pizza on the lighter side without all the greasiness.
Despite being extremely full from our lovely pizza, a meal is never complete without a dessert. Guilty of my constant sweet indulgences, Christine and I shared a dessert instead of ordering our own. It was a tough choice but we agreed on the Bavarian Apple Flan ($7.95). Completed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries, and a drizzle of toffee sauce; the apple flan was an exquisite dessert. The slices of apples melted in my mouth and everything just went together perfectly.
Overall, I did enjoy my dinner at Cantine although I must say that it didn’t quite meet the extraordinary mark. Service could have been better as it would have made our dining experience more pleasant. I would make a second visit for their brunch, but just not any time soon as there are other restaurants that I’m more excited about.
138 Avenue Rd