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Friday, August 21, 2009

The Event: opening of Florentia Ristorante, 579 Mt. Pleasant. Toronto, July 27/09

 The Time and Date: Monday, July 27, 2009  6Pm to 8PM
The Event: opening of Florentia Ristorante, 579 Mt. Pleasant.
The Venue: Florentia Ristorante (
The Target Audience: media, friends, investors.
The Quote/Background: This is a Tuscan cuisine restaurant, owned and
operated by Milan Chef Bruno Soleri and Tuscan artist Marco Sassone
( Soleri has worked in Italy, at Chez Panisse,
and at Canoe. Sassone has exhibited widely, once lived for a long
period in San Francisco, and currently lives and works in Toronto and
Florence. He has a huge bibliography and catalogue of published
reproductions of his paintings. Some of his expensive and extensive
artwork hangs in the new restaurant, including a 17 foot mural titled
"Florentia" (1998) which portrays major Florentine figures of the
Renaissance. The restaurant is normally open Tuesday through Saturday,
but the launch party was held on a Monday. In fact, it was Sassone's
birthday today, so we all had the congratulatory raspberry and cream
millefeuille plus a chocolate cake at the end of the launch.
The Wines: The restaurant was pouring MezzoMondo Pinot Gris Chardonnay
2008 from Sicily, and MezzoMondo Sangiovese Merlot 2008 from Sicily.
Both wines were off their wine list, selling for $25. They also older
Tuscan wines such as Sassicaia 1994 and Tiganello 1997, both selling
for about $200 (there are four wines in this price category, some from
1988). The Frescobaldi Remole is attractive at $30. Corkage is $15, and
there are non-Italian wines on the list.
The Food: The normal menu features a fair bit of diary foods, with
fresh cheeses being a highlight. There is a formaggi freschi plate of
water buffalo mozzarella, bocconcini, fior di latte, and ricotta. There
is a burrata of fior di latte with cream. Chef has Tuscan lamb chops
with Swiss chard and cannellini beans. As well, there are smaller
pizzas, soups, other entrees, fish, chicken, and so forth. Tonight, we
had focaccia and bread with chard, anchovies and green onions. There
was cold rigatoni with fresh cheese, cherry tomatoes, and black olives.
There was potato focaccia. And there were three heavy-ish frittatas
with onion, tomato and pepper, and zucchini. Plus, thin crust pizza
with red pepper puree and mozzarella.
The Downside: but it was, as these openings go, lightly attended.
Usually they are packed.
The Upside: Tony Aspler and his wife Deborah Benoit were there. As if
to remind me, right in front of my vision there was an excellent
painting by Sassone of three pigs staring at me.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 90.

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