A Family Dinner at Terroni Adelaide

Family dinners are typically home cooked with everyone sitting around the dinning room table. Usually it’s a stretch to convince my parents to go out with all of us for a nice dinner downtown (a burger joint is more of my Dad’s style). But a couple of months ago, we all went out for a celebratory dinner downtown. Seeing as the kids were treating on this occasion, I was allowed to pick the restaurant. We went to Terroni Adelaide because I had heard great things about the food, it was able to accommodate our party of eight, and let’s be honest I’m always drawn to Italian food. My aunt who is Italian has spoke really highly of Terroni (especially about its panini), so I was excited to finally be able to test the food out myself.

Terroni has three locations across Toronto. The Adelaide location is gorgeously set inside the historic Adelaide court house built in 1852 in Toronto’s financial district. It has a great atmosphere, and the bathrooms provide an interesting topic of conversation since the stalls are the old holding cells.

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Gluten free pasta in a sea of wood oven pizzas.

Italian restaurants are often able to easily accommodate gluten free guests. When I called to make the reservation I double checked with the restaurant that they had gluten free options. Of course they did. However, I knew going in that they didn’t have gluten free pizza and I couldn’t try my aunt’s favourite panino.

For better or for worse, Terroni is known for not allowing any modifications to menu items. The menu begins with this disclaimer: “Our menu is filled with regional Italian dishes that have been prepared the same way for generations. So out of respect for Italian gastronomy–and our grandparents–we maintain a no modifications, no substitutions policy.” For the most part I understand why the kitchen wouldn’t want to make substitutions. There are certain pizza combinations that are better served white with olive oil instead of with tomato sauce. And I wholeheartedly agree that caprese salad should not be served with balsamic vinegar. The recipes obviously ‘work’, so why change them?

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The gluten free Rigatoni Arcobaleno with a wonderful cherry tomato sauce, a big heap of bufala mozzarella, zucchini and basil.

Terroni offers many salads that are naturally gluten free, as well as gluten free pasta that can be used for many of its primi dishes. For me, it was an easy choice to have the Rigatoni Arcobaleno. It was served with mozzarella di bufala, zucchini, light cherry tomato sauce, and basil. The cherry tomato sauce was wonderful, it really tasted like Italy.

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Panna cotta with a balsamic reduction sauce

For dessert, I shared the panna cotta with a balsamic reduction sauce. Panna cotta is my favourite Italian dessert and whenever I spot it on a menu, I have to order it regardless of how full I am. I had never had it served with a balsamic reduction sauce before. It had a very strong taste, which in my opinion took away from the lightness of the panna cotta rather than compliment it. I prefer fruit based sauces.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals. The evening was filled with vino, proscuitto, pasta, and pizza with a backdrop of non-stop laughter. Seriously, you get the eight of us together and we’re bound to have a great time.

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