Ciao Wine Bar 133 Yorkville Ave Toronto, ON 416-925-2143 Perfect For: Date Night, Girls’ Night Out
For as long as I remember, I’ve always complained about the lack of good eats in the Yorkville area. Having lived and worked nearby, I’ve always found eating out a challenge. Of course, there’s the usual suspects – Sushi Inn, 7 West Cafe, Cafe Nervosa, Hemingways and lately M0R0C0. But for an area such as Yorkville, there was never enough variety and heartiness in those places. Well, no more. Because the new-ish hot spot Ciao Wine Bar is everything I’ve ever wanted – cozy and beautiful space, hearty food, and good service.
Ciao’s food menu is extensive, so it’s probably a good idea to check out their website before heading out on an empty stomach, as it might take you a while to decide on your order. The main attraction for me was the promised yumminess of the baked eggplant ($11), but that dish was the only disappointment of the night. Tough and chewy eggplant, drenched in way too much olive oil, and topped with non-existent bocconcini cheese. Never again. Next time I will go with the pastas, which were delicious. The Gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce and ricotta cheese ($17) was airy, fresh, and light. Each bite simply melted on my tongue, and I wanted more than just a bite of le boyfriend’s dish. Gnocchi is what I am ordering next time I’m at Ciao.
Jo’s Penne in pink vodka cream sauce with pancetta ($15) was hearty and full of flavour. And Donkey’s (it’s a long story) Orecchiete with rapini and spicy Italian sausage ($17) looked good and was devoured by him in a flash, though I didn’t get a chance to have a bite. My Arugula Salad with prosciutto di parma ($13) was tasty, with slightly bitter flavour of arugula offset by the saltiness of the prosciutto. Yum!
All in all, we had a solid experience, leaving full and happy, though dragging everyone there was a bit of a problem, but that’s another story. Next time you’re in Yorkville, stop by Ciao Wine Bar, there’s something for everyone.