Osteria Dei Ganzi – Italian restaurant review

Osteria dei Ganzi

So continuing with the trend of visiting places barely out of infancy, we visited Osteria Dei Ganzi. It was its fourth evening being open.

Ganzi took over what used to be the Hive. While we never visited the Hive it had always had mixed reviews and we were always more comfortable just going to the Blake House or the Keg Mansion.

The restaurant is in a 120 year old home formerly owned by the Gooderham family. It appears that all the original architecture is in place and Ganzi has dressed the decor up with some chic Italian inspired art work. Think Andy Warhol meets Betty Page.

Ganzi decor

The bar is massive and apparently the patio will seat 200 people. Seating inside is cozy but do take note that it does get quite loud, so if you are looking for a quiet Italian place then look elsewhere.

The menu is simple yet effective. You have your meat and cheese boards, fancy breads, salads, meats, pasta and pizza. Most everything comes directly imported from Italy and they also have a private wine list that is brought in.

Service took forever but it was expected for a new place. I ordered a French martini. Yes a French martini in an Italian restaurant. But I guess the bartender wasn’t quite sure what French martini was and it was way too strong for my liking.

We split the grilled goat cheese salad and while it took forever to arrive it was excellent. It was very refreshing and well executed.

Grilled goat cheese salad

I had the “catch of the day”, which was halibut wrapped around crab meat. Our server said it was pan seared but it was poached and poached perfectly. The long wait for food was totally worth it. Not only in taste but the portion size was very generous. I just want to mention that the crab melted in your mouth. Not sure what kind of sauce the chef used but it paired perfectly with the crab. This dish should stay on their menu!

Halibut and Crab

We also shared the spicy pizza. It was absolutely delicious but it wasn’t that spicy. The crust was impossibly thin yet retained a great chew. The sausage and mushroom topping while a little sparse were top notch.

spicy pizza

The chocolate tulip dessert was good but too sweet to finish it all.

tulip dessert

After we finished our meal, the chef came out to greet us and wow, what a nice guy! Reminded me of the Italian, singing chef Pasquale Carpino.

Ganzi purposely keeps all the food under $20.00 and as I mentioned the portions are generous. Yet by the time we left our bill after tax and tip still hit $100.00 so it isn’t exactly cheap and in the same ballpark as we spend across the street at the Keg Mansion.

Would I go back? Probably, but just for the patio and maybe a snack or two. It is a welcome and needed addition to the neighbourhood and the buzz is already quite big. Give it a couple more weeks and try Ganzi for yourself.

Buon appetito!

Osteria Dei Ganzi
504 Jarvis St.
Toronto, ON

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