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Restaurants

Lil' Baci - Just Like Nonna Used to Make

Posted by Staff / Reviewed on December 14, 2007 / review policy

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I grew up with a Nanny and Poppa as opposed to a Nonna and Nonno but just being at Lil' Baci makes me feel like I am part of a large Italian family.

Part of the recent crop of new restaurants in Leslieville, Lil' Baci has entered as a contender for some of the best food on the block. Located right beside its sister restaurant Kubo Radio, it sits somewhere between the classy atmosphere of Joy Bistro and the laid-back nature of Velvet.

A good deal to start with and share is the Piatto Di Tavola ($15) which provides a sampling of meat, cheese and three of the antipasti servings which change daily. Tonight we selected the balsamic/oregano tomatoes, garlic marinated mushrooms and the spicy calamari.
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The calamari was full of flavour, but a little rubbery and the tomato was tasty when paired with one of the delicious cured meats. The mushrooms were the real victory, smoky flavour and wonderful all on their own. They just tasted like comfort food.

The rest of the menu boasts a modest selection of salads, panini, entrées and pasta but it is obvious the focus is their homemade pizza. The pizzas are big enough to share. I had my favourite, the Funghi ($13.95), a white pizza with crimini mushrooms, taleggio, sage and truffle oil.

The pizzas are a thin crust, which I love. As with many restaurants, you are relegated to a serrated knife and fork to cut the pie. I always wonder why they don't give out mini pizza cutters to make it easier, though tonight I have very little trouble making neat slices. Perhaps it has to do with practice.

Although my visits here do not usually end in dessert (because I am too full), I decide to save room for dessert. I selected the Ricotta Cheese Cake ($7.95); it was gone in mere seconds. The presentation was at first a bit fancy for what was a more rustic Italian meal. But garnish provided a great flavour accompaniment to the cheesecake. The fresh berries and syrup helped to moisten the cake, which was slightly drier than a traditional cheesecake.
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The wine list at Lil' Baci comes with short tasting notes to help in your selection. We had a half litre of the Grillo ($22) which paired nicely with both the pies and the antipasti.

If you are in Leslieville and looking for both good value and good food then I highly recommend Lil' Baci. And if you simply can't bear to head out in the cold, they also offer delivery.
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Discussion

10 Comments

Lori / December 14, 2007 at 08:30 pm
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I dine at Lil Baci often and I am always pleased. The pasta is always tasty, fesh and innovative. The atmosphere is welcoming and cozy. Only negative is the lack of carpaccio and take-out option.
Japhet / January 2, 2008 at 09:57 am
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I love how they have Robert Simpson Confederation Ale on tap!
tonymanocchio / September 7, 2008 at 11:31 pm
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I find the pizzas topping little cheap service was ok place is nice small baldini down the street pizzas are great topping are nice thin crust wine selection good nice italian music and the waiter great allways with smile ciao
Martha / August 16, 2009 at 08:45 am
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My husband and I went to Lil' Baci last night for dinner and had an absolutely wonderful experience. The food just blew us away. We had three Antipasti to start (chickpeas and olives, Ontario swiss chard and potato salad) and the flavors were spot on, especially the chard which was just lightly seasoned so that the fresh flavors of the chard were the spotlight. We then had a pizza each. I had the Napoli, which definitely ranked among the best I have ever had. Then, at the end of the meal, the waiter brought out a decadent chocolate cupcake on the house because we had mentioned that we had just gotten married the week before. What a lovely touch!
We really can't say enough about this place. The service, the food and the ambience are all perfect. Highly recommended.
what? / June 6, 2010 at 02:27 am
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I waited, no joke, 2 fucking hours and 30 min to get the shittiest pasta I've ever had. This place is horrible. Avoid it it like the fucking plague.
Lauren / June 25, 2010 at 09:26 am
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Super delicious pizza! Had the marco with sausage, tomato and onion and although the appearance was simple, the flavours were beautiful and authentic. Honestly, these pizzas are far better than those that you will find at Libretto + Terroni. The service was a tad slow, but between the atmosphere and some red, who really cares?
V / August 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm
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I went in for lunch last week. I was very disappointed with the lack of lunch options - they don't serve pasta for lunch (?!!!)

I ordered the zucchini soup and the tuna panino. The soup arrived stone cold even though i had ordered it hot and it tasted like broccoli, the panino was basically canned tuna on top of the worst excuse for a baguette i've ever had, with some very fresh arugula - alas drizzled with too much olive oil and unseasoned.

Now I'm a fan of rustic italian food, honest and simple, but this food is simple to the point of bland / flavourless. Yet I paid close to $20 for this supposed lunch.

I'm never returning again.
Gary / August 1, 2011 at 03:17 pm
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Terrible - cheap pizzas! Woo hoo! I got 3 lil meatballs on each slice. Then on the other it had this blended sausage full of cartilage and fat! I actually think pizza pizza is better and I hate that place. It's too bad when places like this spend all their money on the Reno and not hiring staff that can actually cook. If you want pizza, don't go here. Go anywhere else and you will not be as disappointed when you part with $30 for two small ass garbage pizzas. But hey, while you wait you get a bottle of water to drink ... Good luck. I think Lil Bacillus should change their name to Lil Bastards. Seems more suited for a place that cheaps out on toppings at a premium price. You expect more... Hopefully another place will take over and provide some quality!

DO NOT EAT HERE

BLENDED CARTILAGE FAT CRAP SAUSAGES USED
Aron / July 4, 2013 at 07:25 am
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You're walking down Queen Street East...KEEP WALKING.

Food is awful. Service and attitude are worse. I live super close and would rather eat a banana on the corner.

Pass.
Grant Lowe / May 19, 2014 at 03:58 pm
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brunch was ok - had eggs benedict and fresh orange juice. Love the pizza,

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