Ufficio simply translates into “office” Italian. Ironic because fun is the last thing I associate with an office. And fun was the word of the evening. Working together with other bloggers, sharing light to take pictures makes these food events one of the perks of going to media openings…
A large floor-to-ceiling window opens into a narrow room. The dark space is lightened by textural tones of the interior décor: whimsical patterns, sleek grey marble, knotted nautical fabrics, hanging greenery.
This whole room just flows! Owners Jenny Coburn and Marlo Onilla launched the open concept Italian pescatarian kitchen, which can be described as a modern interpretation of traditional Italian cuisine. “We wanted to introduce common culture to a new perspective in the food and hospitality industry that elevates and connects, said Marlo Onilla, “a place that can enlighten a community through a common interest. A group of like-minded individuals with a vision that will inspire. It all comes down to this: feeding the soul.”
The bar is a mixologists delight. Garnishes pickling in jars, fresh cut fruit and vegetables await bar manager Rob Granicols finishing touch for his euro-retro cocktail list. Libations include: Fennel Sour (Bombay sapphire, pernod, fennel syrup, fresh lemon, egg white, orange bitters), Cosmonaut (Eristoff vodka, luxardo, maraschino, buckhorn shrub, fresh lime)…
Picante Pasini ( Cazadores tequila, Aperol, chili, grapefruit), Selvaggio (Florida De Cana 7 year, Amaro Montenegro, fresh lime, ginger beer).
At the helm of the kitchen is head Chef Jeff Lapointe, former Splendido Sous Chef and Sous Chef Dru Vaughan-Evans along with Consulting Chef Craig Harding from neighboring Campagnolo. The menu, meant for sharing offers Italian fare with a strong focus on seasonal, sustainable and local ingredients: handmade pastas, bread baked onsite, fish is cured, smoked and prepared in-house.
The dishes sampled tonight were sublime. Delicate whole mackerel balances crunchy pickled cauliflower, carrots, parsley, red pepper topped on grilled crostini. Surprising light tasting fried fish balls are packed with dense flavour, floating on a house made tartare sauce.
A salad of roasted beets, horseradish, trout roe, hazelnuts and dill seems odd at first, however its earthy love at first bite – finishing with a salty sting. Conserva Di Tonna (poached albacore) drizzled with olive oil crunches and cools.
This next dish is one of my favorite ever! Visually the porcini agnolotti is rustically stunning, swimming in a sultry creamy pool of hedgehog chanterelles and perigord (black) truffles. A great ending.