Neighbourhood: St Boniface
Address: 109 Marion St
Italian food, the kind served at the cozy nooks affectionately termed “red sauce joints”, has always had connotations of warmth, of a welcoming lack of pretention that treats regulars as VIPs. This appeal is on full display at Pasquale’s, where casualness meets craving-curing cooking.
While the restaurant has been in operation since 1977, the settled-in room on Marion Street dates to 1996. Owner Joe Loschiavo is often in the dining room greeting guests and serving plates of food.
For starters, baked formaggio cuts straight to the heart of a craving: a dish of melted cheese over a sweet layer of tomato sauce, ready to be slathered on housemade bread. Suppli, arancini’s smaller cousin, are small fried risotto balls stuffed with a pinch of mozzarella that stretches to impressive length when bitten.
Pasta is a can’t-miss proposition, doused in sauce and ready to be twirled onto a fork. Traditionalists are rewarded with peppery hot penne salsicce. For a hearty entrée, the vitello Pasquale is an ideal pick. The breaded veal cutlet is topped with plump shrimp and a rich, garlicky cream sauce zippy from gorgonzola cheese.
In the tradition of Italian grandmothers, servers encourage topping off the meal with a pick from the dessert case by the door. Take their advice—they know what’s good for you.