Voglie Risto in T.O.'s Church Wellesley Village serves up a modern Italian menu in a gorgeous old Toronto home-turned-restaurant. The elegant converted space is perfect for a date, family dinner, or just a night out on the town with friends.
Aside from their usual Italian menu, Voglie has also been giving "Tapas Thursdays" a whirl, with a list of about twenty tapas dishes available and served late each Thursday evening.
Tempted by positive reviews from friends, and the $3-$6 tapas list, I decided to stop in with a date for dinner on Thursday night.
To start things off, we ordered the Cacciatore Sausage with Asiago, Marinated Eggplant & Bread ($6) and Fried Calamari with Garlic Aioli & Lemon ($4).
The Calamari was our favourite of the two, winning points for presentation as well as being perfectly fried. The cacciatore sausage was nice, but the marinated eggplant had a slight fishy taste (as if the oils had been mixed with those of a seafood antipasto), which threw me off a bit.
Next on our list was the Cheese Stuffed Risotto Ball stuffed with Tomato Sauce ($3). Also known as Arancini ( little oranges ), the fried rice ball is a classic Italian comfort food and having all kinds of fond childhood memories of sneaking 'em from the kitchen when my mom wasn't watching, I just couldn't resist. Voglie's Risotto Ball has a crispy shell, soft rice interior and oozes piping hot mozzarella - just the way it's meant to be. It also happens to be a well-sized portion for sharing, so put this one on the fave list as well.
Arriving soon after are our Portobello Burger with Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese ($4) and Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese, Walnuts & Peppers ($5). This is a great pair for vegetarians or those who just love roasted peppers and goat cheese (that would be us). The burger is mini, as expected, but packs a lot of flavour with a giant, juicy portobello mushroom.
With room to try out one more dish before dessert, we ask for the Roasted Brie with Niki's Sugared Walnuts & Crostini ($5). This was my date's absolute favourite. The soft, warm brie was a heavenly pair to the crunchy sugared walnuts. The crostini and pear slices are just bonus joy. We like this one enough that we debated just getting another dish of it (or two) with some wine to end the meal.
Being the devoted reviewer though, I decided try try one more choice from the tapas menu.
Sicilian Cannoli stuffed with Sweet Ricotta and Chocolate Drizzle ($4) was our pick and while it was a nice little ender to the meal, the brie would probably have been better. Despite "cannoli" technically being a plural, this wee bite-sized cannolo (pictured at the very top) is a very single portion. If you really want it, order two!
Food photos by Tanja Tiziana