January 19, 2012

Dinner @ Fabbrica

Previously, I enjoyed my lunch experience at Fabbrica quite a lot, so I wanted to take my friends there for dinner one day to try out more dishes.
I found the restaurant a little too dimly lit, and I actually liked it a lot more when the restaurant was bright and sun-drenched during lunch hours. Like Bymark, the salt and pepper do not come in shakers.
I remember really enjoying the bread last time, and this time was no different. The bread was warm and spongy in the center. We asked for some butter in addition to the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and that butter was really really good. However, it was a little hard to flag down our server.
My boyfriend started with an insalata di Fabbrica with romaine hearts, pancetta, toasted focaccia. From the description, I imagined this to be similar to a Caesar salad. I appreciated that the dressing was tangier and lighter, which made the salad more refreshing than the usual heavy Caesar salad.
  The salad was followed by tortiglioni with oven baked Fabbrica meatball, tomato and buffalo mozzarella. This came out as a stunning casserole of cheese-topped baked pasta, and it smelled amazing! The portion was very generous as well. I enjoyed the pasta, but somehow, it just didn't measure up to how good it looked. Perhaps it wasn't as cheesy as I would have liked it to be. I also wanted more of that crunchy baked crust on the top, and somehow there didn't seem to be enough of that. 
I ordered the fettucine again with crab, guanciale, cream and soft poached egg. I really loved it the first time, and it was just as delicious this time around! The cream and egg yolk were quite rich together, so I was more than happy to share my pasta around the table so I could try other items.
My friend Sandy (check out her blog here) wasn't feeling too hungry and ordered a beet salad with prosciutto, pistachio and balsamic. This salad was a lot smaller than the insalata di Fabbrica and they were around the same price. I certainly wouldn't have been satisfied with this salad as my main course.
My friend Mel opted for the risotto with carnarolli rice, roasted pumpkin and double smoked bacon. I believe she ordered it because we absolutely loved our butternut squash risotto from Mildred Temple's Kitchen. This version was definitely not as good. The rice, for me, was a little underdone, as I prefer them to be mushier in texture. It also wasn't as creamy as Mildred's risotto, and the pumpkin flavours didn't really come through for me.
Finally, my friend Mona opted for a polpetta pizza with Fabbrica meatball, cured tomato, onion, and pickled chili. I tried a small corner of the slice, and it was really really tasty. From that bite alone, I almost felt compelled to come back to try their pizza! Unfortunately, the pizza was a little too spicy for my friend, but for someone who can take heat, it was super delicious! Although I did enjoy my dinner here, the prices are pretty high. Alas, there just aren't many good Italian restaurants around where I live (Scarborough/Markham area), so my options are pretty limited when I'm craving Italian food. I would go back, but perhaps not anytime soon.
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