A Taste of Italy: Grazie Ristorante (Vaughan)…By Steph Chiu

A Taste of Italy: Grazie Ristorante (Vaughan)

By Steph Chiu

Today I will be introducing you to a great Italian restaurant in Vaughan, a community known for having a large Italian population. Unsurprisingly, you will find many Italian restaurants in the area. Grazie Ristorante is one of the more popular choices for those seeking an authentic taste of Italy. The Vaughan location is in one of the plazas surrounding the Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre. They also have a location in Toronto at Yonge and Eglinton.

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I visited Grazie for lunch. Note that while reservations are accepted for lunch, you cannot reserve a table for dinner. Although the restaurant is quite large, it gets busy very quickly at dinnertime and you will only be seated once your entire party is present, so plan accordingly!

One of the things that stood out to us about the menu was the extensive pasta selection, divided into four sections by sauce type: tomato, cream, tomato cream, and extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Both of us decided to go with pasta today.

We started out with fresh, crusty bread, served with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I tend to form first impressions based on how the bread tastes, and Grazie’s bread was very good indeed.

 bread

I ordered the Tasca ($16) – fresh pasta filled with ricotta, spinach, mushrooms, and brie baked in a creamy tomato porcini sauce. This was basically a giant piece of ravioli that resembled lasagna. The presentation does not give this dish justice. Served at a tongue-scalding, freshly-baked temperature, the flavours of all the ingredients mixed inside complemented each other perfectly, and the sauce was creamy and delicious. A very unique pasta dish and one of the more popular ones according to the waiter (I can see why!)

tasca

My friend got the Catrina ($15) – spinach linguine with grilled chicken, pancetta, diced onions, and black peppercorns. As an olive oil and garlic sauce, it was more liquid than pasta sauces usually are. I tried some and found it to be good, but not outstanding. My Tasca was definitely the winner of the two.

 catar

For dessert, we ordered their famous, homemade Tiramisu to share. Served traditionally in scoop-style rather than as a cake, we could barely finish this between the two of us as it came with three large scoops. This is definitely one to share with others. I personally prefer my Tiramisu with a stronger coffee flavour, but it was otherwise a perfect balance of creamy, fluffy, and sweetness.

 tiramisu

Grazie also offers a selection of cakes sourced from a local bakery. You can check out all the desserts in a display case at the end of the bar if you can’t make up your mind.

Overall, I was very satisfied with my dining experience; the wait staff was friendly, and the food impeccable. I will certainly be returning to try more of the pasta dishes. If you’re looking for a great place to savour Italian cuisine, Grazie would make an excellent choice!