It is another typical day. As I hastily work on the computer I look at the clock and suddenly realize it’s 9:00am. I am going to be late! I toss a load of laundry in the wash and run out of the house. After my yoga class I pick up Tony’s shirts at the dry cleaner. Back at home I quickly grab a shower, a bite to eat and head out on the road again. I have several meetings to get to. One of them runs an hour late. Some time later I find myself stuck in rush hour traffic. As I sit idly in the car staring blankly at a billboard of Fisherman’s Friend I realize that I forgot to take the salmon out of the freezer. I absolutely can not make dinner this evening! In times like these I alleviate my tension by taking a deep breath and immersing myself in one of my favourite fantasies. I am eating a fabulous pasta dish, already prepared for me by personal chef, Gianni, while drinking Chianti on the balcony of my villa overlooking the Tuscan countryside. Suddenly it dawns on me. I telephone Tony. ‘Do you want to meet me at Posticino?’
One of my favourite places to dine is Posticino Ristorante. In Italian this means little place. Like my Tuscan fantasy, this restaurant has the tradition and charm of rustic, old-world Italy. It also reminds me of family. It’s like unexpectedly popping by your Aunt Lucia’s for dinner, and if you’re not Italian and don’t happen to have a Zia Lucia I highly recommend you make your way down the Toronto Queensway and pay a visit to this little treasure. Any Italian woman, as well as any reputable Italian eatery, would never dream of turning you away when you are hungry.
We arrive at Posticino and feel as though we've come home. Mike D’Alessandro, Antonio’s partner, puts his hand on Tony’s shoulder and guides him to a table. “Come. Sit. Let me get you something”. Just like something Zia Lucia would say. We’ve eaten here plenty of times for Mike to know that we will have a bottle of San Pellegrino to start. He also knows that at times we will order a bottle of red from his extensive wine list. He asks us if we’d like to try the Jarno Trulli, Montepulciano d’Abbruzzo 2006. ‘Let’s do it’ I say. Mike asks Tony if he wants his usual Gnocchi alla Gorgonzola or maybe he’d like to try one of the specials of the day instead. ‘How does he do that?’ I think to myself. The fact that he remembers all of his customers’ preferences as well as their idiosyncrasies amazes me. Tony chooses the Medaglioni di Manzo alla Gorgonzola, a succulent filet mignon with gorgonzola cheese and pistachios. After seeing the alarming increase on my scale this morning, I prudently decide on the Mare e Monte, a marinated chicken breast with large tiger shrimp. For the antipasto we tell Mike to bring us whatever he likes.
As we finally unwind in this tranquil and romantic setting we recount the events of the day while savouring the assorted cured meats, cheeses, Sicilian eggplant and roasted peppers that Mike has selected. Franco Filice comes by to say hello and asks us see his newly added extension once we’ve finished our meal. In order to accommodate the abundant clientele, Posticino has recently been expanded to include the adjacent unit.

The synergetic union between these three men, all partners in this establishment, began years ago with their mutual passion for the culinary arts, specifically the Italian cuisine. Antonio, already a veteran in the business, gave Mike and Franco their first employment opportunity within this field when they were both only fifteen years old. The two youngsters further perfected their craft by working under the strict supervision of celebrity chef, Umberto Menghi in Vancouver as well as in various hotels throughout Italy. Antonio, recognizing their talent, joined forces with his two young apprentices and in 1999, Posticino Ristorante was born. The menu offers a wide variety of dishes that originate from northern, central and southern Italy. Many items on the list, such as the Risotto Posticino, are the result of their own personal creativity. At Posticino you can satisfy your palate at a price that won’t break the bank.
Glancing at the table beside us, I ask my husband if that isn’t one of our local politicians enjoying a plate of Risotto ai Funghi Porcini. He says it is and tells me not to stare. Over the years Posticino’s calming ambience, exquisite menu and optimal service has attracted many. Don’t be surprised if you find one of the Toronto Raptors or a Toronto Maple Leaf player seated next to you. It's common to see a slew of dignitaries as well as business moguls entertaining clients. It's equally as common to witness in the midst of this personage, a multi-generational Italian family enjoying a pleasant evening together.

I sip my espresso, completely satiated and relaxed, while I longingly watch Tony happily take in another mouthful of creamy Tiramisu. This was the most perfect way to end the day. At our own little home away from home…il nostro posticino.

Posticino in Cuba Viva Italia Trip

Cuba: The Solitary Island

The Effects of Racism: My Story of Growing Up Italian

Everyday Cooking with Toby Brand Cookin' Greens

Antonia Ehrenwerth: A Life Not Forgotten

No posts.
No posts.