Review: Julia’s Ristorante, Oakville

I recently visited Julia’s Ristorante during Oakville’s Midnight Madness street festival. My family came together at the table to celebrate my Aunt Susan’s move from Oakville to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Whenever I review a restaurant I first visit the website to print off their menu (this makes note taking much easier during the meal). I also search for their twitter handle and facebook page so I can engage and inform them that I am coming. This allows me to drum up a bit of publicity for them before I arrive. I was a bit stunned when I realized they didn’t have a facebook page or twitter account (is this just a suburban dinning thing?) Every restaurant, cafe and mothers kitchen in Toronto utilizes social media to leverage their brand, engage their customers and create an online presence. Needless to say I was only left with the owners email address and the general info inbox. I crafted a dainty letter  a week before my reservation and sadly never heard a peep.

Julia, the restaurant owner has been open for business since 2003. Oakville embraced the restaurant for its fantastic ambiance, gentile service and creative Latin-Italian inspired menu. Midnight Madness was understandably a bit crazy that night as the  festival had people eating indoors, on the side patio and on a fenced in patio on the street. The kitchen was churning out orders and staff were bustling about with what I assumed  were a plethora of orders on their minds.

I enjoyed my soup and my parents who both ordered the steak raved about its exemplary qualities. My sisters Penne which I sampled was mediocre. Not to sound like a staunch city boy, but the Julia’s experience, especially their menu options are a bit of a departure from the sort of cuisine one experiences in an ever evolving, muli-cultural city like Toronto. Since 2003 the menu hasn’t changed much. I seek to be inspired by the food on my plate and a large part of that inspiration is knowing that throughout the year (and as the seasons change) so do the menu items. Julia’s is a great spot to stop for a glass of wine but I am hesitant to go back for a proper meal as their menu still seems to be stuck in 2003.

We ordered:

Summer Corn Chowder

puree of sweet corn and South American white sweet potato, finished with a roasted jalapeno oil, blue corn tortilla shred and queso fresco

Ensalada di Julia

romaine lettuce and radicchio, with a julienne of hearts of palm, toasted cashews, sundried cranberries and our house croutons in a honey and tarragon balsamic vinaigrette

Crab Dip

warm crab meat with white asparagus and roasted red pepper puree. Topped with mozzarella and cheddar & served with yucca chips and tortillas

Penne Bolognese

our classic in house made bolognese, made with care from beef, veal, pork and stewed tomatoes

Pollo di Mole Verde

latino marinated then oven roasted chicken supreme, dressed in a Mexican Green Mole Sauce; a traditional Central Mexico mole primarily consisting of tomatillo, herbs and ground pumpkin seeds. Served with flour tortillas and a grilled cactus, tomato and avocado salad dressed with a roasted corn and black bean salsa

Grilled Beef Tenderloin

8 oz. AAA beef tenderloin wrapped with honey and black pepper scented double smoked bacon served with a roasted pearl onion and port jus, grilled tomato salad dressed with chive oil and Yukon gold potato fries

#198 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010. 

Julia's Ristorante on Urbanspoon

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