Torissi Italian Specialties

2011/06/20 § 1 Comment

Because I’ve read so much about it, I’ve been dying to go and sample what is supposedly grandmother’s cooking gone somewhat haute, using fresh, local ingredients in an unassuming setting.

A different menu every night.  Small plates of refined Italian cuisine served in progression.  Four antipasti courses, a pasta dish, a main course, a sorbet and dessert.  A bargain for it’s price.

Torrisi takes no reservations and has only two dinner sittings for at most twenty people per sitting.  One has to line up by 5pm to have the hostess take down your name and make it among the lucky people for the night.  I was never going to do this on a weekend.  I knew it would be impossible to snag a table unless I lined up for two hours or so…and I just was not doing that.

One rare day, J was free during the week so we lined up at 5pm to be listed.  Then we had to go back (and line up again) before 6:30 to eat.  Luckily there was a street fest down the road and we whiled away the time away shooting balls, playing dice and looking at the street food we couldn’t taste since we were already booked for dinner.

Finally, it’s dinnertime!  Was quite excited to see what was inside the lace-covered glass windows.

All kinds of sausages, for one.  Beautiful white tin ceilings, cozy brick walls lined with grocery products, subway tiles, big blackboards and Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone behind the counter.

Their main staple is warm mozzarella with milk thistle cream, drenched in olive oil and served with garlic bread.  I could have stopped eating after this and be satisfied. It was sooo good.

Next came a dish of grilled octopus and black olives, which I don’t have a photo of, unfortunately.  J liked it but I didn’t.  I like my octopus chewy.  Slightly rubbery.  [The way  it is straight out of the sea, as it’s served in my province].  Octopus are not supposed to melt in the mouth.

Then came the crudites of asparagus and dill with creme fraiche.  Which erased the memory of the disappointing octopus.

Last antipasti was pork with mung bean sprouts and micro greens, which was very tasty.

As was the pasta dish – linguini with tender littleneck clams and peppers.

For main course, J had the glazed duck breast which he loved while I had the skate with lemon butter sauce which was just a tad salty.

Then came the really refreshing lemon ices served in tiny paper cups to cleanse the palate and the dessert plate filled with various italian sweet pastries.

I loved the rainbow cookie and the mini [waffle] cannolis with Salvatore ricotta.

All in all, the dinner was quite a delight.  

I wonder what the menu is for tonight?

xxx

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