NOCE Restaurant

NOCE on Queen West opened 22 years ago and I just recently went for the first time. I regret not paying this amazing Italian restaurant a visit sooner. They serve the freshest food I have ever experienced. The employees at Noce are outstanding, super friendly and outgoing! They seem to love their jobs and really engage with the guest.  The chefs know exactly how to incorporate the flavours of Italy and work with the most beautiful ingredients. Truffle, Bottarga, and Parmigiano Reggiano to name a few. I grew up eating traditional Italian food and I am very particular when it comes to choosing an Italian restaurant. I was very impressed by all aspects of this restaurant. I highly recommend checking out Noce especially, with the holidays quickly approaching.

They recently renovated and the interior is absolutely stunning. I love how rustic and retro meet modern and eclectic. They have several rooms to dine in which is perfect for a date for two to a party of 20+. I think this is the best spot to take your family or friends this holiday season and would recommend it to anyone who knows what good food is. Noce is a great place to go for any occasion and I highly recommend checking out the features on the board. It’s such a lovely restaurant to spend an evening and I can’t wait to go back during the holiday’s.

DSC_0515DSC_0516

_DSC0519
Queen West Room – The main dining room overlooking Queen Street West at Trinity Bellwoods Park. This dining area has the perfect view of the talented NOCE Chefs preparing menu dishes.  
_DSC0521
Noce has a set menu but also offers specials that change accordingly and frequently. They now offer Sunday dinner service.
_DSC0525
“God made food, but the devil made chefs”
_DSC0526
The Tuscany Room – This room offers a lively dining experience is semi-private can be customized to your preferred seating arrangements; perfect for your next get-together. Book your holiday dinners here asap!
_DSC0535
The Queens at 875 – Aperol, St. Germain Elderflower liquor, grapefruit, Fiol prosecco   
Honolulu – Crystal Head Vodka, Mango liquor, Amaretto di Saronno, lemon, orange bitters
_DSC0543
Olive Ascolane –
Fried meat filled olives. These are the perfect appetizer for any olive lover! Yes, they are fried but they are not greasy at all and are the perfect combination of crispy and full of flavour.
_DSC0557
Crostini con Baccalà-
baccalà affumicato, bottarga di muggine. This is a must order!! Creamy cod on house made squid ink bread. topped with a true Italian delicacy. 
_DSC0561
Tonno Scottato – Wood fried tuna, tonnato sauce, infornate olives, crispy capers, pickle purée, parsley. I love that they used the wood oven for cooking more than just pizza. The crispy capers add the best touch on this dish. They add just the right amount of salt to the fish.

_DSC0573_DSC0577

_DSC0595
Ecuadorian Shrimp – Giant shrimps fresh from Ecuadore. A variety of imported fish come in to the restaurant on Thursdays. These were to die for and super smokey.
_DSC0604
This was my absolute favorite menu item. Im pretty sure this is one of the featured specials. Pastina with a light tomato brodo, Clams and Rapini pesto. Everything about this was incredible. I love having pastina because my Nonna (Italian Grandmother) used to make it for me as a kid. But this was another level! I love the delicate clams and powerful taste of the rapini pesto. 
_DSC0620
Cauliflower roasted with Gorgonzola
_DSC0630
Crispy brussels sprouts with creamy goodness inside. Every time I go to a restaurant and there is brussels sprouts on the menu, I always order them. I have ordered them 50+ times and Noce makes them the best! Plus they are topped with Parmesan, which makes them 100x better.  
_DSC0639
16 OZ Ribeye – Cooked to absolute perfection. I am not a big steak orderer but I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seasoned lightly with salt and garnished with fried basil leaves. This steak is crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth tender on the inside.  

_DSC0652

_DSC0656
Sex in a pan – Roasted base with Nutella, mascarpone whip, chocolate and crunchy. There is always room for dessert when it tastes this good.

Continue reading “NOCE Restaurant”

Advertisements

Strawberry, Orange Mint Smoothie

This is a healthy, refreshing version of a strawberry daiquiri. So easy to make and will be even better as the weather starts the heat up! I use the Ninja Blender and I have never been disapointed with it.

IMG_3148

 

INGREDIENTS 

1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (about 3 large strawberries)
1 small clemintine 
mint leaves, stems discarded (as desired)
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 ice cubes

 

DIRECTIONS 

Add liquid ingredients first.
Add frozen ingredient.
Add fresh ingredients.
Blend until smooth.

 

DSC_0571

 

DSC_0574

 

DSC_0552

LOOK GOOD AND FEEL EVEN BETTER WITH LOVE ARCTIC

If you follow my Instagram @melinamagnatta_; You would know that I am a bit obsessed with making smoothie bowls. I love trying out new powders, supplements, and toppings for my bowls and Love Arctic had everything I needed.  Love Arctic carries healthy products with a taste of the arctic and their goal is to share peaceful moments when enjoying the products. All of their products are Vegan, Non- GMO and Gluten-Free which makes me feel a bit better about what I am consuming. I was lucky enough to try 4 different products from the company and they were all unique and tasted really healthy!

“It could be the moment you sprinkle our lingonberry powder on your breakfast oatmeal, snack dried bilberries in between a hectic day of meetings at work or sit on your couch in the evening with a cup of arctic herbal tea in your hands. That moment you forget the rush of your life and just enjoy your arctic moment”- Saara, Founder of Love Arctic.

CRISP – ORGANIC LINGONBERRY POWDER

DSC_0490.jpg

The lingonberries are handpicked from the woods in Northern Finland and are then ground into a powder form. By adding 1 tablespoon of lingonberry powder, it is equivalent to 90 g of fresh berries. The colour of this powder is really fluorescent pink, which is an easy way to make your smoothie look pretty. Lingonberry powder is also an excellent way to add a bit more fibre to your diet. 

 

DAWN – GROUND FLAXSEED AND BILBERRY

DSC_0467.jpg

This product is harvested at the most northern part of Finland, close to the Arctic Circle. The flax is ground and mixed with handpicked bilberries, this is good to add to yogurt with some granola. Dawn is high in omega-3 fatty acid and is a great source of magnesium. Magnesium helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue throughout the day. Dawn is also an easy way to add protein to your meal. The recommended serving size is 19g of protein!

 
SWEET BLUE – ORGANIC DRIED BILBERRIES, SWEETENED

DSC_0499.jpg

This is perfect to add to your oatmeal or smoothie bowl! Also excellent for baking, I could imagine would be good in some berry bran muffins. What I love most, is that these berries are infused with pear juice concentrate to sweeten them. NO SUGAR!

 

FRESH – ORGANIC BLACKCURRANT POWDER 

dsc_0465

Blackcurrant powder is high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to maintain the healthy function of the immune system during and after physical exercise. Also high in Vitamin K. Vitamin K contributes to the maintenance of strong bones. The powder also adds a beautiful dark blue colour to smoothies and a great taste. 


THANK YOU LOVE ARCTIC FOR THIS AMAZING COLLABORATION AND EXPERIENCE. ALTHOUGH THESE PRODUCTS WERE COMPLIMENTARY, MY OPINION AND CONTENT REMAIN UNBIASED.

The best Gluten-free products.

Let me begin by saying, I LOVE GLUTEN. But my boyfriend and some family members of mine are allergic. Thanks to Udi’s and Glutino, eating Gluten-Free has never tasted so good. Just because you are breaking up with Gluten, doesn’t mean you need to suffer. Over the years, I have learned how to cook Gluten free meals and make some pretty awesome recipes. Mastering a great GF recipe is not always easy and can sometimes take a few try’s, that’s why I rely on Udi’s and Glutino! They are both certified Gluten-free company’s that create delicious and affordable products.
The variety is endless, they carry everything from baking mixes, boxed cookies, bread, pretzels, breadcrumbs, crackers and more where that came from. Udi’s and Glutino create high-quality foods that I have never been disappointed with. They have an amazing reputation and I know that they are both companies I can trust. The last think I want is the ones I care most about feeling sick, hurting and feeling uncomfortable because of something they ate.

Down below are my all time favorite products made by Glutino and Udi’s. I have tried all of these and would highly recommend them to someone suffering from a Gluten intolerance/allergy. These products have really changed my life in the kitchen and make eating Gluten-free exciting.

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Vanilla Crème Cookies

Cookies-V.006-Chocolate-Vanilla-Creme-6-78523-07033-8-700x411.jpg

These cookies are so freaking good! Just like Oreo’s, but gluten-free.

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Pretzels
G_CvrdPrtz_Fudge_US_v007_FV.jpg


How can you ever go wrong with chocolate covered pretzels, let alone chocolate covered anything?

 

Gluten Free Lemon Wafers

Lemon-Wafers.jpg

These Lemon Wafers taste exactly like Froot Loops to me, which I love! They are super sweet but so addictive.

 

Classic Hamburger Buns

hamburger

This is a product that I have really been thankful for. We do a lot of BBQ at my house, so I always make sure to pick some of these up if I know we are having GF guests over.

 

Salted Caramel Cashew Cookies

udis-gf-cookies-collection

I have tried all three flavors of the Soft-baked Cookies and the Salted Caramel Cashew are by far my favorite. There so addictive and literally melt in your mouth. The perfect cookie to pair with a cold glass of milk. Step up your cookie jar game and go get yourself some of these, I highly recommend.

 

Gluten Free Au Naturel Granola

granola

Love adding this granola to my yogurt and smoothie bowls. I like that is simple and does not have too much going on, yet still is crunchy and flavorful. The ingredients are straightforward; CERTIFIED GLUTEN FREE OATS, WILDFLOWER HONEY, CANOLA OIL.

 


Thank you Glutino and Udi’s for this amazing collaboration and experience. Although these products were complimentary, my opinion and content remain unbiased.

Winterlicious @ Hawthorne

This past weekend I was invited to a Winterlicious menu tasting at Hawthorne Food and Drink. The restaurant is located on Richmond Street East with easy parking and is 100% wheelchair accessible. They are open Monday-Friday for breakfast and lunch and Tuesday-Friday for dinner. They open Saturday and Sunday for Winterlicious only.

Hawthorne Food & Drink’s sole purpose is to give back to the community and deliver farm to table meals. The restaurant serves delicious dishes made from local and seasonal ingredients. They also provide careers for people in need of skills and employment. I love that the staff were passionate about their jobs and carried a friendly attitude. Hawthorne’s menu changes often and takes inspiration from the farms of Ontario and the neighborhoods of Toronto. The presentation of the food was always creative and artistic which I enjoyed the most. This restaurant was a bit out of my element when it came to certain textures and concepts. The flavors were incredibly bold and pungent at times which I also wasn’t expecting for some dishes. 

Starter

Pickled Platter

It was very sweet that the Chefs at Hawthorne wanted us to taste their famous pickled platter but most of the pickling just was not for me. There are not a lot of things that I WON’T eat but unfortunately, blue cheese is one of them and that was a part of this massive spread of pickled foods. The platter also included two different types of boiled eggs. Tumeric and Beet, both which were bold and tangy. This is a great option for someone who appreciates pickled foods!

 

 

Appetisers

Wontons+Tartare * (Can be made GF), (Local)

dsc_0724

The servers and Chefs were all wonderful and accommodating when it came to choosing a gluten free dish. Instead of the Tartare being served with wontons we substituted with watermelon radish slices. The tartare was served a huge portion size and was big enough to share. The taste was good but this ain’t no beef carpaccio.

 

Daily Croquette Poutine * (Local)

dsc_0719

This was a creative spin on the “poutine” I thought I was ordering. Really crispy, which I loved and the gravy was perfect. Was tasty, although I did not really taste the cheese in the dish.

 

 

Entrées

Jerk Pork * (Can be made GF), (Local)

dsc_0736

Pork belly on top of a rice and edamame cake. The flavors in this dish were bold, especially in the jerk sauce. This dish was awesome but I would personally like it better if the pork was jerk seasoned, not just the thick paste globbed on top. It was a bit difficult to evenly disperse the jerk “sauce” evenly. Some bites getting too much jerk and others not getting any at all. Overall this dish was good and glad it was gluten free. Also really enjoyed the presentation and look of the candied decor.

 

Whole Roasted Carrot Ginataan * (Vegan), (Local), (GF)

dsc_0732Just by looking at this dish, I was impressed. It was a fair portion size and felt like I was eating clean and healthy. The red and puffed quinoa were light yet filling and the roasted carrots were well done. Topped with coconut-ginger velouté, which kind of tasted like green curry to me…This was AWESOME.

 

 

 

Desserts

Pasteis de Nata – Portuguese Egg Tart * (Local)

DSC_0758.jpg

I was expecting a bit more from this, probably because I work in a bakery and love egg tarts. The taste was really nice and light but I found that it wasn’t cooked enough. It was a bit rubbery and jello like, which I’m not familiar with or fond of.  The crust on top was delicious and I kind of wanted more of it.

 

Winter Vegetable Cheesecake* (Vegetarian), (Local)

dsc_0757

This was a nice choice for a Gluten-free dessert, minus the cake crumbles on top. The taste was very healthy and did not really feel like I was eating dessert. Not typically a “sweet” I would crave because I am more of a chocolate dessert kind of girl but, it was well done for what they were trying to achieve.

 

 

 

 

Thank you Hawthorne Food and Drink for having me it was an awesome experience!

Winterlicious @ R & D

R&D ( Rebel and Demon ) is a restaurant that I had been to before, but this year I really wanted to try their Winterlicious menu. We decided to go for lunch and would I would definitely go again. Owned by Eric Chong, MasterChef winner and Michelin-starred chef and MasterChef judge, Alvin Leung.  This time we actually got the chance to sit at the Chefs Table and talk to Eric. I was a huge fan of him while he was competing on MasterChef Canada, so this was really exciting. Made my experience at R&D all the more enjoyable.

Appetizer – Glass Noodle Salad (vegetarian)

dsc_0605

Each course was amazing and something unique. The cold noodle salad was so refreshing and full of flavour. I liked the choice of vegtables they used here. Topped with a sweet miso vinaigrette, this appetizer was overall a good pick!

Entree – Seafood Curry

I had never tried seafood curry before but this one will be hard to beat! They load the rich and creamy curry with seafood, I was impressed with the amount of food they give with the lunch for Winterlicious. This dish does not actually come with the coconut rice, it was an additional cost. Although this really did bring the dish all together, I couldnt imagine the curry without it.

 

Dessert – Sticky Toffee Pudding (vegetarian) OR Lychee Panna Cotta

The Toffee Pudding was not much of a pudding. I was not expecting the cakeyness consistancey of the “pudding” , but I loved it! Huge size dessert, big enough to share. Steamed Malaysian date cake, maple caramel, vanilla ice cream and pineapple.This was a great choice. I also got to try the Lychee Panna Cotta with Macerated blackberries, housemade granola with ginger. This was light but an amazing dessert, i actually prefered this one over the Toffee Pudding.

Maggie Oakes – Montreal

A quick visit to Montreal calls for some amazing food at Maggie Oakes. I had heard great things about this beautiful restaurant and had been wanting to try it myself. The restaurant was unique and was like nothing I had seen before. The decor was simple and elegant and so was the food ( simple in a good way ). We enjoyed a few drinks to go along with our feast and really did enjoy ourselves.

I loved the way that the ingriedients they use in the dishes were incorporated into decorative statement pieces. On one side of the restaurant they had a wall covered in a display of fresh growing greens, spices, and plants. All edible, all used in creating the perfect menu options. On the opposite end of that, was the meat. Aged meat, sealed up in glass showcases. I had never seen anything like this and thought it was so different and awesome.

 

The drinks were amazing and fairly priced. They were not your average cocktails which I liked! Light and not overly sweet, great for a huge dinner.

 

Everything we ordered, we shared. I love going with a larger group that enjoys the same type of food as you. We tried the sweet potato and leek soup, which had nutmeg sour cream. It was  fresh and was a great start to the evening. We also tried the beetroot duo, which was a dish with arugula, roasted walnuts, toasted goat cheese. This was incredible, so rich and decadent!

 

 

The main that I ordered was the linguini with butternut squash. It was hard to decide because, I kid you not…everything on the menu sounded amazing but this definitely caught my eye. I am a fan of pretty much anything butternut squash. The pasta was very filling but the pecorino shavings, toasted pecans and sage all came together to create an unforgettable dish. I also got to try the sweet potato ”manicotti” with homemade ricotta, roasted red pepper sauce. I thought this was very unique and had a modern twist on the classic manicotti recipe. I loved this and I am going to try and make this at home!

 

 

We also ordered the grilled bavette to share amongst the group. This was served with green tomato chime-churri, french fries and a homemade ketchup. It was all great but the bavette was honestly nothing that special. It was good, but nothing to rave about.
The burger on the other hand, was great! Topped with La Savaging cheese, Kumato tomatoes, bourbon glazed onions, and homemade ketchup. As if that burger wasn’t enough it also came with fries.

Overall an amazing dinner at Maggie Oakes and would love to come back and try the brunch. Next time I visit Montreal, I know exactly where to go.

Queen Margherita Pizza ( Dundas )

This past weekend, I had an awesome experience at Queen Margarita Pizza. I went for dinner and enjoyed their PRIX FIXE menu option. With this you get to choose one appetizer, one pizza and a dessert, for only $30! This is the perfect pizza spot to bring somebody with a gluten allergy as well. There are many gluten-free options that are actually tasty. Here are a few of the items that I tried from QMP , all of which were amazing.  The restaurant is very spacious and would be great for a holiday party with friends and family.
APPERTIZERS

Grilled Kale
Whipped Ricotta, Fried Chillies, Parmigiano, Pine Nuts

 

Beef Carpaccio
Asparagus, Lemon, Pine Nuts, Parmigiano

PIZZAS

Roberto Scallopini AKA Birdman 

Kale, Parmigiano, Garlic Aioli
Dried Tomato, Toasted Sunflower Seeds, Black Pepper

Diavola ( gluten free)

Fior di Latte, Hot Sopressata Black Olives, Hot Peppers

DESSERTS

Thank you Queen Margarita Pizza for hosting such an amazing dinner! We will be sure to come back soon, especially with the holiday season fast approaching.

Hungry Amoo – Toronto

The most recent restaurant that I have visited, Hungry Amoo. This is a great spot for snacks and drinks on Ossington, you have to check out! All the dishes that I tried were creative and so flavourful. Hungry Amoo offers dishes from different international cuisines, some of which I had never tried before. Something that I really love about this restaurant is that the menu is seasonal and changes based on which ingredients are most fresh.

All the employees here were very friendly and helpful, especially our server Yasmine. She was passionate about the menu and explained how it worked, so we could get a better understanding of the type of cuisine. Yasmine also recommended a few dishes, which I found really nice. Needless to say, we were definitely taken care of @ Hungry Amoo.

But my favorite thing about eating @ Hungry Amoo, is that we left with belly’s full of wonderful food! And all of it was gluten-free.

dsc_1047

Cool bar setup! Delicious cocktails too, most of which I had never heard of before. I tried the pomegranate spritz and I found it had such a unique flavour. This is definitely a great place to go for drinks with friends!

 

 

dsc_1110
Tamarind Beef (GF) $12

Crispy Pulled Brisket, Cashew, Date sauce, Brussel Sprout. This dish was by far, the favorite dish of the evening. The beef was so tender and cooked beautifully. I had never tried Tamarind Beef before, and I was really impressed.

 

Overall, I had a great experience dining at Hungry Amoo. I would recommend trying it out here because the menu is so diverse and unique. They master all different cuisines, theres a bit of everything.

 

Thank you to the Hungry Amoo Team and to Yasmine for being such a great help! I will be back to try the Pistachio Soup.

 

 

Platito – Toronto

A couple of days ago, I visited Platito for dinner. This is somewhere I had been meaning to go for a while now. I was attracted to this restaurant because of the fried chicken and purple waffle pictures going viral on Instagram. This damn waffle really caught my eye and had me adding Platito, to my list of cool Toronto restaurants to visit.

I had the pleasure of dining with a few other foodies, which was awesome. @EatFamous and @FeedMeToronto are two Instagram foodies, both really friendly and fun people. These two Instagrammers are both people I look up to in this industry and learned a lot from them. Thank you Ryan and Gerry!

dsc_0977
The moment I had been waiting for! FRIED CHICKEN AND UBE WAFFLES. And lets not forget the Maple Butter! This whole dish was my favorite.

Thank you Platito Team for the great food and service. I had an amazing time and enjoyed some awesome Filipino Soul Food!