Maialino 416.551.5251 www.maialinoto.com dinner Tues-Sat, closed Sundays
Chef Roberto Marotta’s slice of southern Italy feels authentically Sicilian. The menu is concise, sourced from Italy with local ingredients. The décor is warm with wood and dark colours.
Weightless crostini, firm olives, bread baked in-house and Italian olive oil are served up first. The oil is so light and creamy with no bitterness on the finish; straight from Italy to Marotta’s kitchen.
A fine selection of Italian wine goes well with any item on the menu, my favorite being the fruity 2010 Chiaramonte Nero D’Avola Firriato.
Zucchini blossoms stuffed with gooey cheese and salty anchovies makes this classic stand out from any you’ve had before. The secret is in ratio.
Fritture di paranza yields tender shrimp, squid, and fresh white fish with just a dusting of crunchy batter is executed with finesse.
Carpaccio di Polpo is a delight. Octopus sliced paper thin and plated as though it was fished right out if the ocean.Vegetarian friendly Pane & Panelle is a revelation: hearty chickpea fritters sandwiched between sesame seed studded Sicilian bread.
Crudo di Parma is wild and creamy sitting alongside a cured-in-house salame di cinghiale that dazzles. It’s everything you love about salami (rich fatty taste) and nothing you hate (hard peppercorns, gritty fat),flawless.
Parmigiana in Vetro is served in a mason jar along with a breadstick looking crostini and a spoon. A little awkward with the spoon so I just dipped the sticks into the silky smoky eggplant dip – the ultimate indulgence. Not what I expected, but still very delicious.
And last, the Cannoli. I’ve heard so much about it, hands down one of the best I have ever tried. Honey layered gently over a crisp outer shell with a decadent ricotta filling dusted with almond and pistachio.