I was recently introduce to this little Italian gem through my friend Elizabeth,
it was the perfect spot for a lunch time meeting.
Once inside out of the cold that seems to be gripping Toronto, (I know it's winter in Toronto - but we have been spoiled with the above seasonal temperatures - so a slight "normal" is tres cold ...brrr)- it's like you were transported to a restaurant somewhere in Italy. The waiters all have wonderful Italian accents and drop a few Italian words here and there. While the menu sends your taste buds into over load just reading about your options - the waiters' passion as they describe a dish has you wanting to order one of each. Did I mention it was lunch?
As our beverages arrived - so did this fabulous platter of warm bread drizzled in olive oil
topped with rosemary.
Zuppa del Giorno - Pasta Fagoli
I am a huge fan of this soup - and this one did not disappoint!
Calamari alla Grilia - grilled calamari, warm black Moroccan olives, scallion tomato salsa
Elizabeth savoured each bite ...
notice the disappearing bread?
Vitello al limone - veal scaloppine, lemon white wine, grilled vegetables and mashed potatoes
As tasty as the wonderful presentation.
Gnocchi - ricotta gnocchi, four cheese sauce
I'm still salivating days later over this delicious gnocchi with the rich creamy cheese sauce!
The continued disappearance of the bread ... it really is yummy ...
Dessert - strawberry gelato, crème brûlée - lavender
While Elizabeth chose a "healthier" option the strawberry gelto -
I of course could not resist the crème brûlée, after all it was lavender!!
One of the many things I enjoyed about this restaurant was that you were not rushed ... the service was brilliant and the atmosphere inviting. As, we were getting ready to leave, Elizabeth's hair stylist and nail technician (whose shop is next door) were enjoying a little late lunch at the bar - most of the lunch crowd had departed by this time. So, we joined them for another glass of vino. And I got to experience the staff as they worked on transitioning from lunch to dinner. Their dedication, passion attention to detail and zest for life continued as they went about their tasks preparing for the dinner guests.
From the scrumptious food to the sophisticated and elegant decor you can see the care and attention that goes into every aspect of creating a magnificent dinning experience for their guests.
Whether you are coming in for a meal; a drink or an espresso at the bar, - you really will feel a sense of being welcomed not just into a great restaurant - but by a "family" that enjoys creating an authentic Italian experience for their guests.
La Dolce Vita!
Carisma a little taste of Italy ...
Carisma is located at 73 King Street East (2 minutes from the King St. subway station)
visit their website here.
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