Trattoria Nervosa: The Golden Charm of Yorkville

Nhi La

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Summertime dining calls for lighter fare to beat the heat, and nothing is more fitting than casual trattoria dining on an open air patio.  The rich history of Italian cuisine with its numerous regional delicacies makes each trattoria experience special and unique.  On this side of the Atlantic Ocean, Italian eateries can range from family-friendly chain restaurants to high-end establishments serving multiple courses with paired wines.  The appeal of trattoria dining is that it is versatile enough to offer something for everyone.

Trattoria Nervosa is no different.  The golden house on the corner of Bellair and Yorkville Avenue, this long-standing restaurant, formerly known as Café Nervosa, has a diverse menu offering salads, pizzas, and pastas, as well as some heftier main dishes.  Service is casual, but professional.  The ambiance allows restaurant patrons wearing Dior to be just as comfortable as those in Abercrombie & Fitch at the adjacent table.

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This is exemplified in their artisan Italian cheese plate.  A selection of rustic imported cheeses is served on an elegant elongated platter with a quenelle of fruit chutney to balance the sharp saltiness of the cheeses.  This complement of flavours makes a fantastic antipasto, but would be just as delicious at the end of a meal, where it is also a dessert option.

The Caesar salad is somewhat less successful.  Diners expecting a conventional creamy dressing will be disappointed by the oily vinaigrette, but may find solace in the fragrant pancetta and capers served in lieu of traditional bacon bits.  Unfortunately, the high oil-to-acid ratio in the salad dressing dominated the entire plate, making even a robust lettuce like romaine wilt under the flood of oil.  While still very tasty (the restaurant even sells its own estate olive oils), the expected texture of a crisp summer salad was lost.

Where Trattoria Nervosa shines is in their pizzas.  Delicate thin crusts are also offered in whole wheat and act as a strong but subtle foundation for toppings like cured meats, fresh vegetables, and assorted cheeses.  The calabrese pizza is a personal favourite, topped with thinly sliced potatoes, roasted garlic, and parmesan cheese.  This carb lovers` pizza is light despite being starchy and is perfect with a chilled glass of pinot grigio.

The vast menu selection is sure to keep diners returning to try new dishes.  With its generous portions and reasonable prices, Trattoria Nervosa could very well be the best value on Yorkville Avenue.

Trattoria Nervosa – 75 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto.  416-961-4642