49 Karl Fraser Rd.
(Inside Shoppes at Don Mills)
There's a saying that "There's no such thing as a free lunch". That person was correct, because today's post is about a free dinner. That's right. Thanks to Mrs Joie Tataki's (@ZoeticEpics) lucky hand at Mark McEwan's (@Chef_MarkMcEwan) "Dinner for 6 at Fabbrica" contest, I was able to join her as well as Brian (@theurbancraze), Diane (@Dyee), Mark, and Rob to an open menu dinner! The rules were simple, open the menu, order, and eat. This was a fun one!
We sat close to the pizza oven, which was flown in from Naples. The oven has the ability to cook a pizza in 90 seconds. Pretty impressive!
Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico 2008 ($148)
So not only could we order anything we wanted, we also could choose a bottle of wine to pair with our meal up to $150. I'm no wine connoiseur, but this red was extremely refined and easy on the palette. Two thumbs up from me! :)
Olives ($9) -mixed marinated olives with oregano, fennel and chilli
Selezione di salume ($28) -four types
Crispy Calamari ($14) -preserved chili aoli and roasted lemon
A solid order for anyone who is a fan of battered calamari. It's not at all greasy, and is delicious with the spicy aoli dip. One order is plenty to be shared!
Beef Carpaccio ($16)-mustard sauce, capers, onions and grana padano
I almost can't believe how thinly they can slice the Beef Carpaccio, but it makes it so easy to eat. It's light even with the heavier mustard sauce, and the beef almost melts in your mouth!
Marrow Bones ($14) -horseradish gremolata and grilled bread
Pappardelle ($22) -braised shortrib, tomato and basil
Fettucine ($26) -crab, guanicle, cream and soft poached egg
Pasta is something that's hard to make terrible, but equally as hard to make exceptional. I think Fabbrica deserves a round of a applause for making some close to exceptional pastas. The house made pastas were the perfect al dente. For me, the Fettucine was the clear winner of the two with the creamy mixture of the runny egg and Afredo sauce. It was delicious and is highly highly recommended!
Octopus ($16)- ceci bean, salami, peperonata, baby arugula, and chili
I didn't particularly find this one too memorable outside of being a glorified garden salad. I thought the octopus was a bit out of place, and some pieces were over grilled.
Funghi Pizza (20) -mushroom, mozzarella, and truffle crema
Calling all mushroom lovers: this is your order right here. Literally right after I took this picture, my slice of the pizza disappeared into my belly. I loved the chewiness of the crust and how it is smothered with cheese and perfectly cooked mushrooms. Just drooling recalling how it tastes!
Sea Scallops ($34) -squid ink fregola, clams, cherry tomato and fava beans
When I saw the itty bitty 3 peices of scallops on a gigantic $34 plate, I was a bit taken back. Is this meant to be an entree for someone? But then I tasted it, and my brain was immediately distracted by what my taste buds were sensing. These scallops were phenomenal! As perfectly cooked as scallops can be. My only complaint is that I just wish it came with more!
Porterhouse for two ($68) -roasted garlic and lemon
The porterhouse starts with 34 ounces of raw meet, and is cooked until the desired level of rawness. We ordered a medium and I think that was a tad overdone for me. I probably would've enjoyed it a bit more if it was more to the raw side, but in general I think it's best to stick with the more traditional italian dishes at Fabbrica.
Potatoes ($8) -roasted fingerling potatoes, rosemary and garlic
left: Cannoli ($3.5), Right: Zeppole ($10) -warm doughnuts, cinnamon sugar, orange cream and white chocolate sauce
I don't think I enjoyed the Zeppole doughnuts as much as everyone else did, since I'm not a big fan of citrusy desserts. But what I can say is that they were nice and crunchy on the outside and filled with an orange cream. Make sure to eat them while they're nice and hot! :)
Tiramisu di Fabbrica ($10) -white chocolate sponge, espresso mousse, amaretto mouse and frappucino
People always find it surprising that I'm not a big fan of tiramisu, but it makes more sense when I tell them I don't like nor drink coffee. But this one wasn't a normal tiramisu. Instead of coffee soaked ladyfingers, the coffee is separated from the rest of the cake. Brian had the idea to pour the coffee over the cake, and I'll just say that was probably NOT the best way to eat it... haha :)
Gelati ($8) - Pistachio, Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel
Sorbetti ($8) -Mango, Limoncello, Pear & Prosecco
Every order of these frozen treats comes with three scoops, and our waiter was nice enough to let us choose 3 different scoops to try more flavours. My favourite by far was the Pear & Prosecco Sorbetti. A very prominent pear flavour that's refreshing and clean. The salted caramel was a close second, which I ate in conjunction with the Dark Chocolate Gelati. DELISH!
Happy Campers! (Photo by Brian (@theurbancraze)
There are some hits and misses, but as a whole I enjoyed the dinner. Our server was wonderful in helping us throughout the night, and not to mention so patient and friendly! I can say without a doubt I would return even if it came out of my own pocket. Thank you to Mark McEwan and The McEwan Group (@TheMcEwanGroup) for their generosity and lovely dinner! :)