Grazie has been on my list to try for a while now. I’ve passed by the restaurant many times whenever I’m in the Yonge & Eglinton area but never once stepped in. Everyone kept recommending this restaurant to me, so I decided to finally check out what the hype was all about. On a Sunday afternoon, Anna and I decided to go there for lunch. She’s been there several times before and she told me she orders the same pasta every single time and it’s been perfect every time.
It was rainy and very windy on the particular day that we went, so the restaurant was quite empty. Despite how large Grazie is, it usually fills up fairly quickly and there’s always a line-up at the door. I guess we went at a good time! When you first enter Grazie, you’ll immediately see a counter and two dining areas to the sides. It’s not a fancy nor chic restaurant with eye-catching decor, but it’s a comfortable, casual place. The service and food came promptly.
To start off, I ordered a Latte which came in a plastic cup; definitely a first for me. It was okay; not much for me to say. The complimentary bread that came with packs of butter was really good and fresh. I was surprised that butter replaced olive oil and balsamic vinegar at Grazie, but I didn’t mind since I prefer butter anyway.
I love pasta and Grazie has pasta available in four different types of sauce: tomato, creamy tomato, cream, and extra virgin oil & garlic. Of course I went straight to the creamy sauce selection immediately. It was a difficult choice for me as there were several pastas that I wanted to try. After ten minutes of contemplation, I finally decided on Udine ($15) which consisted of linguini, goat cheese, roasted peppers, and mushrooms. In all honestly, I found this pasta to be just okay; it definitely fell short from the bar I’ve set for this restaurant. The sauce was too runny for my preference and the linguini was not cooked to al dente. Although the ingredients were fresh, the entire plate just seemed really boring to me. It lacked texture and the excitement that it desperately needed. I just didn’t get that wow factor that I was hoping for. Simply good is not enough to live up to all that hype that it’s been receiving. Perhaps I’m doing them injustice by basing my opinion solely on one dish, but I really didn’t find the pasta I ordered to be fantastic. I did taste my friend’s dish, Tasca ($15.50), which was pasta with ricotta, spinach, mushrooms and brie in a creamy tomato porcini sauce. I don’t recall having tried a pasta in creamy tomato sauce so I did find it unique and tasty.
All in all, Grazie didn’t quite meet my expectations but I wouldn’t mind giving them another chance and order different items next time. Their dessert menu did look enticing with the Crème brûlée Cheesecake and Flourless Chocolate Torte, but we already had plans to visit La Bamboche for some cake :)
2373 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4P 2C8