even though i didn't do much. i finished my bro's cake (which is AWESOME...i'll post pics tomorrow because i don't want to ruin the surprise), and finished my peach preserves, and my 8 hour shift at the public library went swiftly, and me and the boy wandered down to leslieville and had an amazing meal at this new restaurant, lil' baci, which is owned by the same dude who owns kubo radio.
it was DELICIOUS! the idea is a simple, italian trattoria type place. the interior is really cozy and comfortable and unpretentious. there's a selection of pizzas, a few pastas, a meat and fish dish, antipasto and salads. the boy had a new wheat beer which he was thoroughly enamored with (he loves going to places where they have something on tap he's never tried before). warm bread was brought to the table with a fruity olive oil to dip in. we started with the three antipasto for $10. we had: marinated chickpeas with anchovies and chilies, brussel sprouts with horseradish, and oven-roasted cured olives. everything was fantastic, and the plate came to the table with a final seasoning of salt and pepper. i love chickpea salads, and this one was nicely balanced with tender chickpeas, fiery chilis, and the faint brine of the anchovies, all lubricated and made slick with olive oil. the brussel sprouts were tender and dusted with freshly grated horseradish that added a sparkly bite, and the olives were tender, fatty, luscious little bites. we accompanied this with the meat antipasto plate (3 for $13) where we had a musky, thinly sliced bresaola, a slickly slow-burning salumi picante, and a feather-light, porcine-sweet proscuitto crudo. again, the meats came to the table slicked with a shot of olive oil and a dusting of salt and pepper. we then shared one of their pizzas, which were thin crusted. the crust was whisper-thin and had a good amount of chew (my preference over the cracker-crust) had mild-bread flavour and was blistered on the bottom. our pizza was the "gorgonzola dolce" (pizzas range from $9-14) and came with gorgonzola, soft, cooked shreds of new potato, woodsy rosemary, and guanciale (!!!!!!! my beloved cured pork cheeks). every bite was fantastic. the pizza was also offered alongside their home made pepperoncini (hot pepper oil) for drizzling on top. finally, we finished our meal with the "lil' baci" salad, which cleansed our palates with a balanced mix of flavours and textures. it consisted of baby arugala and radicchio for bitter notes, oven roasted tomatoes for sweetness, shavings of aged asiago for a lactic bite, and chickpeas for a starchy backdrop smoothing everything out. the flavours were bound with a simple oil and vinegar dressing.
we were stuffed and thoroughly impressed with every aspect of the meal. our servers were knowledgeable and friendly, explaining the elements of the plate in a manner that was informative without being condescending. dinner for two with two glasses of beer came to under $75, which is SUCH a bargain, and it's a 5 minute bike-ride from home, to boot! you couldn't ask for better in a neighbourhood restaurant.
we walked next door to kubo after our meal and picked up the last two red devil babycake cupcakes, and two maple ones as well. both come with cream cheese frosting and are the best cupcakes in town.
all in all, it was a lovely evening. i love biking around the neighbourhood with the boy. it's so freeing and chummy, and we always emerge from our adventures all love-drunk and happy.
today i'm being taken to canadian tire for birthday prezzie shopping, then futzing around the house (i might start packing for the cottage) and then having some people over for my little brother's birthday dinner. for breakkie we're having fried eggs and bacon on kaisers with celery-apple-beet-carrot-cucumber juice. for dinnie we're having grilled red wine, garlic, and rosemary marinated lamb chops with stuffed potato skins (chives, dill, scallions, bacon, cheddar) and a marinated green and yellow bean salad. i baked him a devil's food cake with brown sugar buttercream for dessert.