We discovered Michele’s Ristorante quite by accident. My friends and I were planning dinner and wanted to find somewhere close to the airport. One friend lives in the east end and the rest of us live in Mississauga, so we thought the airport area was easy access to the 401. We also wanted to pick a restaurant where everyone would enjoy the cuisine. We discovered Michele’s Ristorante while I was researching the restaurants at that Tim Horton’s plaza across from Spectrum Way. It is attached to a Best Western hotel.
Michele’s Ristorante is an authentic, old world Italian restaurant. Old world classy décor, professional waiters, upscale style dining (but the prices were very reasonable for the quality and style). Michele’s (pronounced Mickele’s) was formerly Alexandra’s Place which was located in that Tim Horton’s plaza. They were known for their amazing wood burning oven pizza. Apparently, there was a dispute and the chefs went on to Michele’s Ristorante, while the Fiamma Ristorante took over where Alexandra’s used to be. So therefore it seems Michele’s is the original Alexandra’s Place since the chefs all moved over there.
I arrived a bit early so ordered myself a glass of Pinot Grigio which wasn’t bad. (I know I should really stay away from alcohol as it hits me quickly, lol). Soon the rest of the gang (four of us in total) arrived and we placed our orders.
We started with this appetizer platter where you select five items for $19 – we chose 2 orders of the grilled shrimp, stuffed mushrooms, baked scallops, and polpetti (which means meatballs). The platter presented to the four of us was quite large.
There were eight pieces of nice sized, butterflied, cleaned and perfectly grilled shrimp. No other seasoning was necessary for this.
The mushrooms were just the regular sized mushrooms you buy at the grocery store, however they were so well made, to me they tasted like a mini portabello mushroom. It was stuffed with cheese, but the flavour was subtle which complemented the mushroom nicely.
The scallops were first made into some sort of paste and then placed into a large shell and baked (or however they cooked it). This looked really nice and I’m sure there are fans of this scallop dish, I just thought it was okay.
The polpetti (meatballs) were traditional meatballs served in a tomato sauce. It’s comfort food which I enjoy.
we also ordered bruschetta – Wow, that bruschetta was amazing. The tomato topping was zesty in a way that left a delicious lasting impression on your tastebuds. It was not soggy or mushy or too hard. Perfectly seasoned and oiled and whatever else they did to it. I am sure the bread is homemade. The crust was solid and crusty and chewy at the same time. It was nicely toasted to hold the bruschetta tomato topping.
Oh yes, we were also served fresh bread and butter at the beginning. Great bread – I had three pieces.
For our entrees we ordered a couple of selections on the menu and shared it all. The items we ordered were large for sharing. First we ordered the renowned wood oven baked pizza. We selected the Daviola – Spicy Italian sausage, jalapeno peppers, red onions, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. There were six slices of pizza, and the crust was thin that had a nice chew to it, but at the same time firm so the pizza doesn’t end up soggy. There were large slices of jalapeno which I picked off, and the pizza was loaded with spicy sausage.
We ordered a pasta platter for two ($39), where we could select two or three pasta dishes. The platter was HUGE, which we shared between the four of us and there were leftovers too! For the three pasta dishes we selected all seafood:
First was a lobster and shrimp with a light saffron/white sauce. The lobster was a meaty lobster tail. I could not believe this was part of the platter selection. Just this dish alone was probably close to $30 on its own!
The second pasta dish we selected was Linguini alla Vongole – Clams with your choice of tomato basil.
The third pasta dish was the Linguini alla Pescatore – Shrimp, calamari, mussles, scallops and clams in a red sauce as well.
I was amazed with how much seafood was in each of these pasta dishes. There were loads of clams and shrimp and calamari. They were all delicious although I thought the Linguini alla Vongole had a sweeter kick to the sauce. Did I already mention the portions were huge?
I could not pass up dessert in which I ordered a homemade tiramisu - it was light, not overpowering with coffee flavour, and it was moist. It was nicely presented on a large plate. My friend ordered the crème brulee in which they presented in this fancy bowl and the portion of the dessert looked pretty good. I did not have a taste of the crème brulee, but I can safely say my friend enjoyed it very much. Both desserts were garnished with a very fresh strawberry, and the cream in each dessert was so light and so good!
We also ordered a bottle of red wine (I cannot remember the name and I did not drink any since I had already ordered a glass of wine).
Total bill for four of us including tax and tip (one large appetizer platter, one wood burning oven pizza, a huge platter of three pastas, two desserts, one bottle of red wine, one glass of white wine, four coffees) was $200. It was well worth the price which actually was not a lot of money. I’m going to keep Michele’s Ristorante in mind when our work plans their company Christmas party.
(Sorry for the quality of the pictures, the restaurant had dim lighting and I couldn’t adjust my camera properly. The food does taste amazing which the photos don’t do it justice).
Address: Michele’s Ristorante – 5503 Eglinton Avenue West, Etobicoke, ON