Mangia & Bevi – 260 King St E. – (416) 203-1635

 

I ran into a friend this week (@ Dinosaur Jr.) who commented on how he hadn’t seen a new Toronto Food Blog post in about a month. My wife and I were in Barcelona at the beginning of the month, and I figured my next Blog post would be about the amazing food we had over there. This overseas commentary seemed like a sure thing after we returned to Toronto and failed to have a meal as good as we did while in Spain. This all changed late last week, however, when one of my clients suggested we have lunch at Mangia & Bevi… easily the best meal since I’ve been back, and possibly the best lunch I’ve had anywhere this year.

Tucked away in a commercial building on King St E (with a side entrance on Ontario St.), the place is packed on Wednesday at lunch. We’re lucky to get a seat for four, sharing half of a rustic dining table with other patrons (who we ended up knowing). I’m quickly surprised at how economically priced the Sandwiches are… about half-a-dozen that are $10 or under with a Side Salad of Mixed Greens. The Beccato (pictured above) is stuffed full of Grilled Sausage, Roasted Red Peppers, Tomato Sauce and Provolone Cheese… and like all the Sandwiches on the menu, is available at lunch only (from Noon until 4pm).

The chalkboard outside claims to serve “The Best Pizza in Town,” so we order 2 (as you do). There are 31 to choose from ranging in price from $10 to $17 (including a wide array of White Pizzas), so we’re glad our clients had eaten here before and could recommend a couple of beauties. We order The Burina, which is covered in Sausage, Pancetta, Garlic, Chili Flakes, Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella, and is served with a sidecar of 3 sauces varying in spice. We also try a new addition to the menu, The Trentina, which is liberally dressed with Speck, Arugula, Gorgonzola, Mushrooms and Tomato Sauce. I think it’s safe to say that our whole table was in agreement: Mangi & Bevi would give any pizzeria in town a run for its money in terms of being the city’s best.

I am feeling like something particularly salty on this day, and couldn’t help but notice the billing of pasta that was made-to-order. The Putanesca($16) had absolutely everything I was looking for: Onions, Anchovies, Capers, Olives, Chilies, Tomato Sauce & Parsley. I found myself using the bread to literally clean the bowl.

Anyone who has read this Blog before knows that I am not a dessert guy, yet I can’t help helping myself to the house-made Tiramisu that’s brought to the table. Throw in a bitter Double Espresso, and we have had one of the nicest lunches in recent memory.

Due to its proximity to work, great home-cooking and cool atmosphere, I will be back for certain… and often. Thanks for the recommendation, Jess.

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