If you don't already know who he is, Jamie Oliver is a renowned chef, celebrity and culinary icon. He is well known for his global campaign for better food education in healthy eating. By healthy eating, he means balance: the good stuff, the variety and the indulgences once in a while. He is an inspiring chef and educator who is trying to bring good, fresh comfort food to the masses. He believes in using fresh, sustainable, seasonal ingredients in cooking. His style of cooking from his TV shows, foodtube and cookbooks all showcase simple and straightforward food.
Pasta and pizza are made fresh daily on site. Exquisite cured meats hang in the kitchen and the bar showcases a large selection of alcohol.
Jamie's napkins provides a nice rustic feel in his open-concept restaurant. You can also purchase these from the restaurant a souvenir gift!
The restaurant for lunch service was busy. The hostess was a tad disorganized trying to seat guests to their tables. Reservations were not mandatory and we were seated right away since we decided to sit in the bar section opposed to the dining room section. I mentioned that the hostess was disorganized, right? She forgot to give us the menu, while we sat ourselves at an open shared table. Our waiter, Chris, had introduced himself to us and promptly retrieved menus for us. He was pleasant and very attentive. He started to introduce to us some specials for the day and gave us his recommendations.
To start, we ordered the fresh crab bruschetta to share. There was a lot of crab meat surprisingly. It was crisp, tangy and very spicy. The chill still had its seeds and it definitely gave a kick in my mouth.
The special pasta of the day was ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and ricotta in a butter pumpkin sauce. Our waiter sold me on it. It was creamy, hearty and delicious. The sauce was lip-smackingly good. If I was eating this at home, I would've licked the entire plate clean. Even our waiter joked if I wanted to before he cleared our plates as he noticed I was scooping up the last bit of sauce on my spoon.
Jo loved his clam and pasta dish. It was refreshing. It brought him back to Italy when here he had a similar dish in Venice. The clams weren't as sweet as the ones in Venice, but it was expected in Toronto. Of interest, the pasta dishes could be ordered as a smaller portion or a larger portion depending on how hungry you are.
On the dessert menu, the meringue cheesecake jumped out at me. It was different. The Italian meringue was like soft, velvety, marshmallow clouds. The crust was buttery and not too sweet. The tart lemon curd and raspberry compote balanced the semi-sweet lemon cheesecake and meringue. A great dessert to end the meal.
Jamie's Italian Yorkdale (Italian)
3401 Dufferin St #20, Toronto, ON