Thursday, 31 May 2012

Spacco

Spacco literally means a long narrow opening, and if you do happen to venture down the long corridor just off Yonge street that’s just what you’ll find. Greeting you is its 7 pool tables ($18/hr), decent lounge décor, a wood burning oven for their pizzas and a giant Italian dominated menu. The huge courtyard patio is a draw during warmer months, and there’s plenty of room in the dining room and bar for those not into billiards. They feature a DJ and dancing on weekends, although there’s no official dance floor.

A Yonge and Eglinton institution, Spacco has been around for ages. People feeling too lazy to go downtown often wind up here for drinks and pool. With a couple beers on tap (Mill Street Organic, Coors light, etc) and the standard bar rail, most people will find something to suit them. There was no official ‘bar menu’ so it’s likely best to stick to the classics here and save your trendy cocktail cravings for south of Bloor.

Saving pool for later, we were tempted by the standard pub fare classic, the battered calamari ($13). Crispy battered and flash fried, these chewy rings came in a bountiful portion, we didn’t even finish half of it. Sided with massive lemon wedge and a ramekin of caper aioli for dipping, the variations in texture were well balanced. The batter was well seasoned to boot with obvious flakes of spicy black pepper.

The Beet Salad ($13) was a lovely blend of red and gold beets sitting atop a mound of baby spinach and accompanied by a sliced chicken breast, then finished off with a generous helping of creamy goat cheese.  The white balsamic dressing played nicely with the rich goat cheese, and took the edge off the baby spinach that can sometimes taste bitter.

While we were off to a good start, the Porcini mushroom risotto ($19) missed its mark. Chock full of field and porcini mushrooms, the risotto was oozy and cooked well enough; too bad it was literally swimming in olive oil. The fresh rosemary garnish promised on the menu was conspicuously absent, replaced by a smattering of parmesan cheese.

The Tutto Carne pizza ($16) was a meat-lovers fantasy; pepperoni, Italian sausage, pancetta and cappicollo liberally spread over a mozzarella and tomato sauce. Cooked in a wood oven, I was hoping for more charred pieces and bubbly crust, it definitely could have used a few more minutes getting fired up, resulting in some doughy crust.

While the food occasionally left something to be desired (hello rosemary!), on the whole Spacco is a decent alternative to the standard pub fare, and the patio alone is worth checking out this summer.

Spacco Restaurant and Bar is located at 2415 Yonge St.

Spacco takes reservations and has event planning available for larger parties.

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