Oakville is overrun with the rich. I regularly return to my parents home in Oakville at Christmas, Thanksgiving and any large family gathering which promises to be packed with tables covered in food and free booze. I recently discovered that Oakville is also a great place to visit when your entire apartment floods and you have no place to live. I always love to pop by Whole Foods and watch the rich as they scan the aisles for the most expensive cut of meat or single carrot which is on sale at three dollars a stem. Oakville with its massive monstrosities on the water and plethora of flashy automobiles, knows how to eat. The Lakeshore is dotted with beautiful restaurants that cater to high rollers. I recall some of my friends in high school met their parents at a different restaurant (a different night of the week) on the Lakeshore strip after school.
So when I arrived on my parents Oakville doorstep with a frown and a small piece of luggage I was determined to take the family out to a restaurant which we had not yet dined. After a little research on international websites (www.com’s) I came across Pasquales, a little Italian restaurant west of the bridge (no one ever tends to eat west of the bridge as the sidewalks aren’t as wide). Considered “off the beaten track,” to much of Oakville the Dobson’s were prepared to adventure to a relatively new (and apparently very popular) dining establishement.
In my perusal of reviews I read many times that the “manager is the kindest person you will ever meet, he talks to everyone at the table,” as well as, “the food is simple and well prepared,” with warnings of, “make sure to make a reservation this place gets packed.” We arrived at 5pm without a reservation and were immediately greeted by the restaurants tall and beaming manager. He said the restaurant was fully booked for the evening but since we had arrived early we could have a quick dinner no problem.
Antipasto Per Due
candied figs stuffed with walnuts, cured meats, roasted peppers, grilled vegetables, olives, fresh apple, aged cheeses
shaved parmigiano, tomato, extra virgin olive oil, lemon
Penne con Pollo
julienne chicken breast, white mushrooms, brandy cream sauce
garlic mozzarella, fiore di latte, tomato sauce
The service was great, all of the staff appeared to be Italian (I think members of the owners family perhaps?) which made the experience feel authentic. The antipasto plate was small and nothing compared to the glorious heaven which is served at Bravi in Toronto. You can compare their antipasto offering here. The salad was what you would expect but nothing that blew me away. The pizza was nice but nothing compared to what you can get at Queen Margherita Pizza or Pizzeria Libretto. Their pasta dish was my families favorite, not a shocker as it was covered in cream. We all found ourselves slicking our fingers around the bowl rendering the restaurants dish washer useless.
We left the restaurant and found ourselves on the sidewalk ready to cross the street when the manager ran out behind us, shook each of our hands and thanked us for coming. Pasquales may not have the best dishes (many which can be usurped by restaurants in the city) but I think you would be hard pressed to find a waitstaff and manager that are so friendly that they will run out onto the street and thank you for joining their “family for dinner.”