Like many people, I haven’t been out to dinner in a while. We did take-out and delivery, but due to the Omicron virus and the closure of restaurants in Ontario until recently, eating at restaurants in Toronto was not an option. With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, I was delighted to be able to dine recently at Baldini’s restaurant on Queen Street East in Leslieville in Toronto. Read my review of Baldini Restaurant below. (You might also be interested in reading my review of Crowded House, another popular restaurant in Leslieville.)
Offering a traditional Italian ambiance and menu, Baldini Restaurant offers an extensive menu including pizza, pasta, seafood, steaks and salads. Carnivores, pescatarians and even vegans will find something to their liking on the menu!
We arrived just after 5:00 PM for two reasons: 1) I don’t like to eat a large meal later in the evening; and 2) we wanted to avoid the crowds because although we’re both triple-vaxxed, we’re still a bit cautious about being close to others, especially when dining and not in masks.
Our server greeted us warmly and took our drink order. My dining partner (my mom) orders a glass of 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 informed us that the oysters for the evening were Chebooktook oysters from Bouctouche Bay, New Brunswick. I ordered half a dozen! These oysters weren’t huge, but they were plump, very creamy and so fresh! Absolutely delicious!
My mom ordered the Insalate Caesare, $14. I took a bite of her salad and noticed the romaine lettuce was exceptionally fresh, dressed in a house Caesar dressing with garlic croutons and grana padano. Also, the dressing didn’t overpower the salad like so many Caesar dressings do.
My mom ordered the Fileto di Manzo (Surf & Turf), $38, for her main course. His grilled filet mignon topped with Black Tiger prawns and a pepper and brandy sauce was served with vegetables and mashed potatoes. The vegetables were perfectly cooked al dente and her filet mignon was medium rare, just as she ordered. She also loved the mashed potatoes, which were creamy and delicious.
My main course was the Calabrese Zuppa di Pesce, $38, with tiger prawns, scallops, mussels, calamari, fresh fish of the day, garlic and leeks in a Chardonnary tomato broth with fresh herbs. My seafood stew was delicious – loved the tomato herb broth. Although I think I only counted one scallop, there were a few fresh tiger prawns, several calamari and six mussels. The good sized pieces of salmon and Branzini (the fish of the day) soaked up the delicious broth!
We were satisfied with all the dishes we enjoyed at Baldini Restaurant. If you are looking for a traditional, cozy and romantic restaurant in Leslieville, try Baldini! It will warm you up on those coldest winter nights!
1012 Queen Street East (just east of Carlaw Avenue)