By Neil Barbaro
If culture, sophistication, and a passion for fine dining are absolute tonics for a memorable dinner date, then soften her heart and tickle her palate at Almalfi Italian Ristorante. But first, lose the chintzy tendencies.
Whether you’re looking to create a lasting first impression or re-spark an existing relationship, she’ll appreciate the style and grace this restaurant exudes.
The long, narrow dining room radiates sophistication through its cozy atmosphere. Spacious seating, with fresh flowers, encourages intimacy while Almalfi’s commitment to accommodating only forty guests at a time promises little distraction and plenty of privacy.
Enjoy the old-school Italian hospitality that’s genuinely heart warming and subtly nimble in attention.
The menu is simple and authentically Italian. Starters don’t come cheap. The anti-past ($6.95), caprese salad ($6.75), and the recommended Almalfi greens dressed in an old fashioned olive oil sauce ($6.95) are to die for.
Entrées include pappardelle (drilled chicken in a spicy tomato sauce with linguine for $17.90) — a deliciously filling choice. Or, enjoy the veal scallopine (served in a mushroom cream sauce) that cuts with a butter knife ($19.90) and the gnocchi in a cream and basil sauce which is light in texture and robust in flavour ($16.50).
Other favourable choices include filet of steak, lamb, or some creative pasta ideas.
Fish entrees are disappointingly scarce here. Further displeasure is reflected in their win selection (all starting around $35/bottle for vintage red or white). Closure to a satisfying meal comes in a creamy, rich Italian coffee.
Tips before visiting: (1) Make a reservation… now! (2) Look the part. (3) Start your reading week off by easing your mind with a meal that’s worth the price of Almalfi’s tab!
Dinner for two (excluding win): $70.00
Hours of service: Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Weekends: only 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Almalfi Italian Ristorante is located at 227 Church St. (at Dundas).