Happy “anniversary” at DiVino – date night returns!
Somehow our special (and rare) dinner date outing to DiVino was mistaken as an anniversary dinner. We were sorry to disappoint the staff when we informed them that we were “only” on a date. No special event – just a rare few hours alone together. With no dietary restrictions. Bring on the cheese, nuts and eggs.
We chose DiVino again for our date night dinner for two main reasons:
- Proximity to home. We can get there in under five minutes flat. No commuting. No taxis. No wasting time. Because every.minute.counts.
- The food and wine. Obviously.
Now, some people get to stay up late and shut a restaurant DOWN! Us, on the other hand, we opened this place UP! Earlybird style. In true “we are not Mediterranean” fashion, we were the first people to arrive.
We sat at the table that overlooked the kitchen. There are no Gordon Ramsay’s in this kitchen – it all seems smooth sailing. We guessed that with so much prep work is done in advance (making pasta, simmering sauce, curling the onions) that the actual cooking part is the “easy” part of the process. Or so it seems. I’ll find out in a couple of weeks when I take a cooking class here.
We started the evening with a platter of pickled vegetables and cured meats (affettati misti) and a glass of prosecco. See the fennel and lemon olives in the centre? I am going to try making them at home. (I’ve even gone and picked up the ingredients!)
Up next: Fried olives with a meat stuffing (olive all’ascolana) with arugula and an asparagus puree. It’s got ‘lana’ in the title – clearly, this dish was meant for me. And if you’re looking for a more affordable way to discover the hidden mysteries of ‘umami‘? Eat these and carry on. $9. That’s it. Mystery solved!
We ordered the pasta sampler again. Calling it a ‘sampler’ sounds too homespun, let’s use the restaurant term, ‘pasta tasting’. That’s better.
The gnocchi had a parsley and almond pesto with shrimp. Amazing. Buttery and light all at the same time. (Looks like I’m not the only one dealing with parsley overload these days!)
At this point, a few glasses of wine into our outing, my memory for food details ran out. Initially, I wasn’t planning to snap any photos and I didn’t bother to bring a pen and paper. Then I changed my mind. So much for being “off duty”.
Pasta tasting dish #2: broccoli and spicy salami? (Husband! I need your help!)
Dish #3: More pasta! Good grief, brain. Veal sauce? Hey, fancy onion! Blog schmog. I am having a good time.
Next dish: Beef with wild mushrooms and a gorgonzola sauce. I always remember the cheese.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t begin to list our wines. Most were red. Northern? Fancy sounding. Greatly enjoyed. To the last drop.
With time running out on our babysitter’s clock, we had to pass on dessert and coffee. Oh well… next time!
DiVino Wine Studio
225 Preston Street