Monday, July 10, 2017

The Good Son on Queen with Chef Vittorio Colacitti

Nestled in the heart of Toronto’s trendy Queen Street West and Dovercourt neighbourhood, The Good Son gives a cool new meaning to hip urban dining. Located in what was formerly a car wash, the space stays true to its bohemian roots, embracing the local Queen Street culture. Guests enter through the pantry, which serves as a hostess station and doubles as a pizza takeaway counter and retail outlet for the Colacitti family's olive oils. Further inside, leather wingback chairs and tufted booths furnish the lounge, while the kitchen at the back of the room overlooks a handsome 18-seat harvest table. The interior is festooned with faux heirlooms: old clocks line one wall, plates line another and mismatched chairs are scattered throughout. 

Opened in 2014 by Hamilton raised and former Top Chef Canada contender chef Vittorio Colacitti, The Good Son serves seasonally-influenced cuisine that draws on the influences of different neighbourhoods of the city with a menu that features outstanding wood-fired pizzas and a diverse range of flavours including Jerk Shrimp with crispy potato, green mango and fresh peanuts, Sea Bream Ceviche with roasted pineapple, citrus, avocado and crispy taro, and Bulgogi Short Ribs with kimchee fried rice and sunny-side quail egg. Inspired by Lorenzo Loseto, executive chef at George Restaurant and an early mentor of Colacitti’s, the Top Chef Canada alum refers to his style of cooking as 'Toronto' cuisine. "It focuses on balance. It’s seasonally driven and locally driven as much as possible."

Long before Andrea Bocelli was famous for his music, the Bocelli family has been known for wine - here our server is opening a lush Bocelli Sangiovese from Tuscany

Chef Vittorio Colacitti's menu of seasonally-influenced dishes that he calls 'Toronto Cuisine"

Handmade Pappardelle with Rapini

Pancetta Pizza with Arugula and Parmigiano

Wood Grilled Octopus with Piquillo and Shishito Peppers

Pizzaiolo making pizzas in the wood fired oven which was imported from Italy

Wild Mushroom Tagliatelle
Serves 6
Recipes courtesy of chef Vittorio Colacitti

900 grams all-purpose flour
200 grams semolina flour
8 eggs
12 egg yolks
4 tsp olive oil

2 lb wild mushrooms: oyster, chanterelles and portobello, stems removed & saved
2 tbsp olive oil
2 sprigs thyme
2 cloves garlic

Mushroom stock:
Mushroom stems
2 medium onions, chopped
4 sprigs thyme
1 fresh bay leaf

To finish:
Sea salt, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 tbsp dry white wine
chopped chives, to taste
chopped parsley, to taste
grated Grana Padano, to taste
cracked black pepper, to taste
shaved truffles - optional

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flours for the pizza dough and mix on low speed. Whisk together eggs and yolks and slowly add to the mixing bowl. Once incorporated, drizzle in the olive oil around the edge of the bowl, and continue mixing on medium-low speed until glossy. Remove the dough and wrap with plastic wrap. Let rest 30 minutes.

While the dough rests, trim the mushrooms, saving stems for stock. In a skillet, sauté the  mushrooms on high with olive oil, thyme and smashed garlic. Don't crowd the mushrooms in the pan, rather, sauté in small batches. Remove from pan and set aside.

Place the mushroom stems, onions thyme and bay leaf in a pot of cold water, so that it comes about 2 inches above the level of the ingredients. Simmer on medium for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the stock to steep for an extra hour. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, and set aside.

Roll out the pasta dough using a home pasta roller. In a large pot of boiling water, add enough sea salt so the water tastes like the ocean. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook the onion until softened and fragrant. Then add the wine, mushrooms and mushroom stock.

Place the fresh pasta in boiling water for 1 minute or less, then strain and place in the pan with the mushrooms and stock. Simmer gently, constantly tossing until the pasta is tender. Add a knob of unsalted butter or a splash of olive oil. There should still be liquid in the pan but it should not be soupy. Plate and garnish with chives, parsley, Grana Padano and pepper. For extra glamour, add shaved truffles.

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