Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bark and Fitz: Sushi, Biscotti, Cannoli...for dogs?

I wanted to buy some extravagant treats for the dogs in our family, so I went to Bark and Fitz, a very frou frou-looking dog store in my neighbourhood, and I wasn't disappointed. Take a look at what was in the display case:

The Toy Space: Playing with Food

By accident tonight I passed by this great toy store on Bathurst north of King called The Toy Space and they had all these great food-related toys made mostly of wood. They had play appliances like coffee makers, scales, kettles, stoves, and toasters in addition to interactive models of food such as cakes (complete with server and candles), ice cream (separate wooden cones and balls of different coloured ice cream), pizza slices, and sushi (wooden pieces housed in a bento box). Check out these pictures:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mangia & Bevi: Best pizza in Toronto

Last night, my friend Rose and I went to Mangia & Bevi (literally means Eat & Drink), a small authentic Italian resto-bar in the King and Sherbourne area. Rose works right across the street so she had been many times for lunch and they greet her by name (so cool). Rose is Italian and has impeccable taste in everything, so I couldn't wait to try this place since she raves about it.
It's a small, cozy, friendly restaurant with a bar and stools as well as table seating for about 20, I think. Since it's right across the street from the Toronto Sun building as well as adjacent to the SAS training centre, it gets really busy at lunch, but at night on a Wednesday it's really quiet. I felt like the only other people there were friends and family of the restaurant owners.
The menu is small and simple with antipasto, interesting salads, pizza, a few pastas, and authentic Italian desserts (gelato, triamisu, etc.). The menu is not on their website, so I took a picture of it in two pieces for you. You can click on the images to enlarge them.

I started with the soup of the day, which was lentil with homemade sausage. It was hearty and tasty without feeling heavy and the sausage was amazing -- full of fresh ingredients with a really soft texture that I didn't expect. I would recommend anything on the menu with sausage in it.

For my main, I had the Guidaica pizza, which had tomato sauce, mozzarella, grilled artichokes, pecorino (salty, parmesan-like cheese), and mint. It looks like quite a big pizza, but the crust is thin so one person can definitely handle it. I would have polished mine off if not for the soup. The crust was fantastic -- crispy and light. Rose tells me that they make the dough every morning. The tomato sauce was awesome too. It tasted homemade and didn't have that tomato pasty texture like most commercial pizza sauces. The toppings were all fresh and didn't overload the pizza. Delicious.

Rose had the 4 Stagioni pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, artichokes, ham, and olives. I snuck a piece and it was yummy too. I don't think you can go wrong with anything on the menu and the service was friendly and attentive.

I haven't seen much information online yet about this place, so let me be the first to say that you should really go. You won't be disappointed. Thank you, Rose, for bringing me here. You always know about the best places.

Mangia & Bevi
260 King Street East (entrance is on the west side of Ontario Street)
Toronto, ON
M-W: 8:30AM-9PM
Th-F: 8:30AM-10PM
Sat: Lunch only
Sun: Closed