Like many people, I haven’t been out for dinner in a while. We’ve done take-out and delivery, but as a result of the spread of the Omicron virus and restaurants being closed in Ontario until recently, dining at Toronto restaurants wasn’t an option. With COVID-19 restrictions loosening, I was pleased to be able to dine out recently at Baldini Restaurant on Queen Street East in Toronto’s Leslieville. Read my review of Baldini Restaurant below. (You might also be interested in reading my review of Crowded House, another popular Leslieville restaurant.)
Offering a traditional Italian ambiance and menu, Baldini Restaurant has an extensive menu that includes pizza, pasta, seafood, steaks, salads and a delicious array of appetizers. Meat-eaters, pescatarians and even vegans will find something on the menu to their liking!
We arrived just after 5 p.m. on a Thursday night for two reasons: 1) I don’t like eating a heavy meal later in the evening; and 2) we wanted to avoid a crowd because although we are both triple-vaxxed, we are still a bit cautious about being in close proximity to others, especially while dining and unmasked.
Our server warmly greeted us and took our drinks order. My dining partner (my mother) ordered a glass of the house white ($10): Trebbiano, Citra from Abruzzo, Italy. Non-drinker that I am, I ordered a juice.
Thursday night is Buck-A-Shuck Night so I knew what I was going to have for an appetizer. Our server advised us that the oysters for the evening were Chebooktook oysters from Bouctouche Bay, New Brunswick. I ordered half a dozen! These oysters were not huge, but they were plump, very creamy and so fresh! Absolutely delicious!
My mother ordered the Insalate Caesare, $14. I had a bite of her salad and noted that the Romaine lettuce was exceptionally fresh, dressed in a home-made Caesar dressing with garlic croutons and grana Padano. In addition, the dressing did not overpower the salad like so many Caesar dressings do.
My mother ordered the Fileto di Manzo (Surf & Turf), $38, for her main dish. Her grilled filet mignon topped with Black Tiger shrimps and brandy peppercorn sauce was served with vegetables and mashed potatoes. The vegetables were perfectly cooked al dente and her filet mignon was medium rare, just how she ordered it. She also loved the mashed potatoes, which were creamy and delicious.
My entrée was the Calabrese Zuppa di Pesce, $38, with Tiger shrimps, scallops, mussels, calamari, fresh fish of the day, garlic and leeks in a fresh herb Chardonnary tomato broth. My seafood stew was delicious – I loved the herb tomato broth. Although I think I counted only one scallop, there were a few Tiger shrimps that were fresh, several calamari and six mussels. The decent sized pieces of salmon and Branzini (the fish of the day) soaked up the delicious broth!
We were pleased with all the dishes we enjoyed at Baldini Restaurant. If you are looking for a traditional, cozy, romantic restaurant in Leslieville, give Baldini a try! It will warm you on these coldest of winter nights!