Scarpetta chef Scott Conant loves everything about this dish, down to the “thoughtful” basil garnish. “This transports you to someplace in Italy or your grandparents’ backyard,” he says. Price: $16.50
PIZZERIA LIBRETTO 221 OSSINGTON AVE.
This take on the Italian classic features a not-so-traditional oxtail sauce, of which our critic says, “You can tell that this was braised with a deft hand.” Price: $10
OREGANO NORTH, 13071 YONGE ST.
Conant was at first wary of this dish, considering Gorgonzola and sun-dried tomatoes too heavy a combo. “I enjoy this much more than I thought I was going to. The flavours are very good,” he says. Price: $14
BAR ITALIA, 582 COLLEGE ST.
Most excited about the appearance of this dish, the polite chef tries to conceal his disappointment after tasting it. “The gnocchi are a little heavier than I would want them to be.” Price: $15
FABBRICA, 49 KARL FRASER RD.
Conant is impressed with the texture of Fabbrica’s gnocchi, but the sauce “doesn’t pop as far as the flavour combinations go.” He speculates it was overcooked and moves on to the next dish. Price: $20
SOTTO IN THE VILLAGE 425 SPADINA RD.
“These are more heavy, along the lines of what’s traditionally expected. I don’t know if it’s necessarily better,” the chef says. He prefers gnocchi to be light and fluffy. Price: $15.95
MODUS, 145 KING ST. W.
Conant enjoys this dish from Modus, even though the gnocchi are slightly undercooked. “That’s what happens in kitchens,” he says with empathy for the busy cooks. “The sauce is good.” Price: $19
GRAZIE, 9100 JANE ST.
“There’s a good amount of garlic in this sauce,” Chef Conant says of Grazie’s dish. Although “the basil isn’t as fresh and bright” as that used in the winning dish, he still enjoys this one. Price: $14.75
This article appears in the January 2012 issue of Post City Magazines