Terroni is a well-established Italian restaurant that was opened in 1992 by Cosimo Mammoliti and Paolo Scoppio way back before West Queen West was on the radar as one of the world's coolest neighbourhoods .
Though this restaurant is known for its capacity and the frenzy serving so many diners creates, this location has plenty of cozy nooks and crannies that make it feel like you're dining all by yourselves even with a crowd of people around you.
The patio has a nice terrasse feel in the summer with vines and umbrellas, there are plenty of great booths, and I've always adored the old-school bar.
Odds are if you're at Terroni you're there for classic pizza or pasta, though they have excellent appetizers, specials and a fantastic standard salumi plate. They do a standard grilled calamari appetizer ($17) on mixed greens with balsamic dressing, tomatoes and capers.
One of the special pizzas is a crudaiola, a pizza bianca or white pizza (no tomato sauce). It's a summery dish topped with arugula, fresh cherry tomatoes, and ricotta salata. Pizzas usually don't run over twenty bucks.
For example, the Don Corrado is $18 and I'd love to see someone finish it. If you come hungry it's a possibility, but loaded with fingerling potatoes, housemade spicy sausage, gorgonzola, mozzarella, and rosemary, this pretty pizza bianca might show you your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
The Santo Stefano ($19) is a go-to for premium Italian ingredients, topped with tomato sauce, arugula, prosciutto di parma and mozzaralla di bufula.
All pizza dough and pasta is made in house at next-door bakery and sister project Sud Forno , like this rigatoni arcobaleno ($18). It's a vegetarian favourite, made simply with zucchini, a light cherry tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella di bufula.
The gnocchia alla simmi ($17) is a simple standby too, ooey-gooey potato dumplings in a light tomato sauce served with fresh ricotta, parmigiano and basil.
Don't miss the cocktails here: along with more Italian classics like the negroni ($14) they also have a build-your-own gin and tonic menu.
They also have a full vermouth selection, daily desserts, housemade gelato and great coffee.
Be sure to make a reservation if you're planning on eating here: a quick lunch for one or two will probably get seated right away, but if you want to have dinner with a larger group you're going to have to plan ahead. That said, there's plenty of space in this original location of Terroni with a sprawling downstairs, upstairs and patio that's perfect for events.
Photos by Jesse Milns