Vaticano is located in the heart of Toronto’s Yorkville hood. I marched to the restaurant with my Aunt Susan on a warm summer evening with the spirit of celebration. The previous week Susan had officially retired after over twenty years managing the art program at Appleby College in Oakville.
We spotted the restaurant easily as the owner and chef’s face smiled back at us from the road. Felice Vacca’s head shot actually appears on the menus as well… it seems as though he has made himself the mascot of the place. An ambassador to Toronto’s Vatican if you will.
We were seated on the cusp of the dining room and outdoor patio which is covered in faux vines and wee lanterns that make you feel as though you are sitting outside in a garden. Vaticano was my 3rd restaurant review for Summerlicious and I was enthused to share the evening with my Aunt to chat about her retirement and hopes and dreams for the future as she starts this new chapter.
We stared down at the menu and figured out what best suited our tastes. I found it a bit odd that the menu didn’t really reflect summer flavours or feature the bounty of the season. My aunt raved about the calamari but found her gnocchi to be doughy and overcooked with a tomato sauce that left her feeling heavy rather than refreshed after such a hot day. I ordered the veal cutlet and was surprised that it sat on top of bok choy. The restaurant dubs itself as an authentic Italian restaurant but had me scratching my head. The prix fixe menu seemed as though it would have been better suited for a cold winters night during Winterlicious.
We enjoyed two sweet finishes with Tirimasu and Chocolate Truffle Cake while sipping peppermint tea. Once finished we waddled out of the restaurant rubbing our distended bellies and chatting about our favorite summer flavours: blueberries, asparagus, rhubarb, sweet peas and zucchini flowers. A reflection that our meal had its Licious but was void of any trace of Summer.
Gin and Tonic
vodka, ameretto, bacardi coco, pineapple and cranberry
Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup
Gnocchi Al Pomodoro
Veal Chop Parmiggiana
Chocolate Truffle Cake