As a member of Buytopia’s inner circle, I was selected to review the Buytopia deal offered by Lo Zingaro Restaurant on Queen Street West east of Portland Street. Lo Zingaro is offering a four-course Italian dinner for two for $35 (regular $75) that includes two appetizers, one pizza (to share), two pastas and one dessert (to share). You can purchase the Buytopia $35 Lo Zingaro deal here .
Lo Zingaro opened in October 2012 on a busy stretch of Queen Street West near many established restaurants. Definitely a date place, the restaurant boasts a sleek interior featuring dark hardwood floors, pendant lighting, eclectic artwork and ultra modern furnishings.
We started with Insalata di Rucola, an arugula salad with shaved parmesan cheese, oven-dried cherry tomatoes dressed in a balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. The arugula, fresh and pleasantly bitter, blended well with the sweet tomatoes. I also loved the thick parmesan shavings, which gave you a real taste of the pleasant cheese.
We then ordered the Mushroom Suppli, a rice ball stuffed with Fior di Latte mozzarella and Italian ham accompanied by fresh tomato sauce. The rice ball is rolled in baked bread crumbs and then fried. Once you stick your knife into the ball, a burst of cheese, ham and rice explodes. The result is a glorious blend of flavours and one of my favourite items on the menu.
We loved the Margherita pizza, a simple yet tasty pie of the traditional tomato and mozzarella variety on a superbly thin, crispy crust almost like a flatbread. The fresh basil leaves on top provided a pleasantly pungent kick to the tastebuds. A few more basil leaves would have been fabulous.
We decided to share the two pastas we ordered. The first was Spaghetti with PEI mussels, clams, garlic and chili peppers, which was deceptively simple. The mussels and clams were decidedly fresh and the spaghetti was coated in a plain oil dressing; however, the flavours blended well and the peppers gave a real kick to the dish.
Our second pasta, linguine with arugula pesto, black olives, tomatoes and ricotta, was more substantial. These same baby tomatoes, skins removed, that appeared earlier on, tasted wonderful with the pesto and provided a complementary sweetness for the seasoned black olives. The linguine was cooked to perfection. At this point, we were almost full and had trouble finishing the pasta.
We debated between the two dessert choices and decided on the Tiramisu. The dish came with an espresso powder cover on top of a creamy pudding of lady fingers. I found the strong espresso overpowered the sweet concoction beneath and felt a dusting of espresso would have been preferable. I suggest ordering the panna cotta if you are looking for a sweeter dessert as I was advised it was served with strawberries and whipped cream.
All in all, the $35 Buytopia dinner for two at Lo Zingaro turned out to be a fantastic deal for the quality and quantity of food we received.