Around the Carousel: Our 2nd Trip to The Old Spaghetti Factory!

2 Comments

If I wasn’t so concerned about being hauled away by restaurant staff and possibly banned from the restaurant forever, I would have totally climbed on to one of the carousel horses.  You know, for a photo op.  For fun *whistles innocently*.  But I do have some sense and self-restraint (as well as pride), so I didn’t.  So no pictures of me sitting on a painted horse, but I have plenty of pictures of yummy pasta and the OSF for you all! 

My first post about The Old Spaghetti Factory was a month ago and I thought it would be a nice time to share my 2nd trip there back in September!  My honey, Richard, and I had such a fantastic time our first time there in August that we made another trip the next month and were seated inside the hanging carousel!  Like I mentioned in my first post on OSF, the decor in this restaurant is adorable and I’m hoping that in my lifetime I’ll be able to have sat in all “areas” of the restaurant.  I know, I’m a food nerd, ha.  Thus far I’ve been seated in the cozy elevator booth, the carousel, and beside the “library” desk 😀

Now here’s a little secret about me: I’m not fond of buying or spending money on drinks when I go out to eat.  When I go to school, I’ll bring my own snacks and juice and water and when I go out dining, I’m the one who usually orders a plain ol’ water.  Obviously, I’m excluding establishmens like coffee shops and bubble tea houses as the whole point of those places is to order drinks.  Other than those types of places though, I’ve always had the mindset that spending money on food was more worth it than spending money on overpriced drinks (seriously, $3 for a tiny glass of apple juice?  Over $2 for a bottled beverage?  No, thanks!) as many places don’t include a drink in the cost of the meal itself. 

Which means when I go out to eat, a menu’s drink selection has to seriously impress me and entice me in order for me to even consider getting a drink other than water.  Pop and iced tea is not good enough.  I don’t drink pop anyway, but regardless, I want to drink something that I don’t or can’t drink any old time.  And whaddaya know, Old Spaghetti Factory opened a can of whoop ass on me!  If there’s any place with a good selection of fun, delicious drinks, it’s here.  Flavoured lemonade, Italian sodas, yogurt smoothies, eeee!  What you see here is my peach Italian soda with a lime wedge, YUMMY!  So in this respect, Deb has been trumped by OSF.  I really don’t feel that badly 😀  It’s delicious.

Old Spaghetti Factory is so wonderful for a pasta head like myself.  For my first visit, I ordered the clam spaghetti which was yummy in the tummy!  This time, I wanted to order a non-spaghetti dish (variety is the name of the game!) so I chose the goat cheese agnolotti: goat cheese stuffed pasta with sundried tomatoes, sliced button mushrooms and red onion, all bathing in a rich pesto cream sauce.  Given how much I love cheese, pesto, cream sauce, mushrooms, and sundried tomato, this was basically heaven in a dish!  It was warm and comforting, seasoned perfectly, and an absolute joy to eat.  

I had no idea what agnolotti was though.  It seemed so similar to ravioli to me since both pastas are stuffed with meat and/or cheeses and both are often in square or rectangle shapes, so I did a little research and brushed up on some pasta knowledge.  Agnolotti pasta is a part of the broader ravioli family, but differs in the way it’s made.  While ravioli is made by using two thin pasta sheets (one as the bottom layer, one as the top), agnolotti is made with one thin pasta sheet folded over into either sqaure or rectangle shapes, or into half moons, like my dish up top.  Agnolotti is also closely related to the Piedmont region of Italy and is often referred to as a type of Piemontese pasta. 

There’s something you may not have known! 😀  It may sound geeky, but I love learning about food and its origins and everything so this is golden to me.  Seriously, I’m excited right now because I’m planning on learning about herbs in the near future.  Go me *fist bump*.  Enjoy the pictures everyone!

*****

The Old Spaghetti Factory is located at 54 The Esplanade, just south of Front St. E, between Yonge and Church St.

Scrapbooking materials used: bubblegum pink, goldenrod, emerald green, and white cardstock (Recollections); patterned paper; black alphabet stickers (Staples); medium scallop circle paper punch (ek success); black felt tip pen (Sharpie). 

Advertisements

Round and Round the Fork it Twirls: The Old Spaghetti Factory

10 Comments

This may sound ridiculous, but pasta is such a treat to me.  I love pasta like nobody’s business and I make giddy “mmm” noises every few seconds when I eat it.  This is a passion that I unfortunately can’t share with everyone as my dad touches pasta with a ten-foot pole, my brother is apathetic towards it, and my best friend does not like spaghetti *cue incredulous, confused look from me*.  That leaves only my mum and me.  And my honey Richard. 

After years and years of hearing about The Old Spaghetti Factory (located at 54 The Esplanade, south of Front St.E, in between Yonge and Church St.), I finally skipped on over for the first time this past August for my birthday and was I ever brimming with excitement!  And it did not disappoint in the least.  I can’t even begin to tell you what a nutcase I looked like as soon as Richard and I were shown to our table, which by the way was the cozy, private, romantic vintage elevator booth with actual buttons inside!!  Oh my word.  Talk about cute.  Oh right, back to me looking like a nutcase.  This restaurant is BEAUTIFUL.  Up high are stained glass light fixtures, a gorgeous chandelier in the front foyer, and each section of the restaurant has its own “theme” and decor.  There’s a section where you can be seated in an old-fashioned streetcar, an an Amsterdam bicycle club, in a library-like space, and much more.  At the centre of it all is an elevated carousel with beautifully painted horses and I ran around the perimeter of the restaurant snapping pictures like I was part of a brigade of paparazzi.  That, or an over-eager tourist with a forefinger spasm.

If you’re a pasta head like me, the menu is heaven.  Besides the appetizers such as salads and soups, the first portion is dedicated to 9 spaghetti dishes with different sauces and meat, and the rest of the menu is dedicated to lots and lots of pasta!  Penne, lasagna, manicotti, linguine, fettuccine, cannelloni, the list goes on and I could seriously eat here for the rest of my life.  There are 6 vegetarian dishes and you can substitute for whole wheat spaghetti and gluten-free. 

Not only is the pasta so yummy, their drinks are fantastic.  Seriously, how many places do you know of that serve flavoured Italian soda, flavoured lemonade, and drinks like iced cappuccino?  I love lemonade and wish so many other places served it.  And to make things even sweeter, The Old Spaghetti Factory has a daily price fixe menu that you can order from, as well as a separate dessert menu if you wish to forgo the spumoni icecream that is included at the end of your meal.

Wait, end of your meal?  Included?  Yet another wonderful thing that I love about this place is that all main dishes include an appetizer (your choice between a green salad or bowl of minestrone soup; if you want clam chowder, spinach salad, or Caesar salad instead, you can upgrade for an extra $1.29) and icecream for dessert!  They normally serve their special Spumoni icecream (a mix of pistachio, chocolate, and vanilla), but you can order plain chocolate or vanilla icecream as well.  Oh!  As well, a nice warm loaf of crusty bread is served with your meal with regular butter and garlic butter and let me tell you, the garlic butter is delicious.  It’s a yummy, comforting, well-rounded meal and it’s great because a lot of the time want you go out for a meal, you want to try an appetizer or you want to order a dessert but the prices for both are just out of your range sometimes, so this is really fab as you’re looking at an average $20 dinner.

I had myself a jolly good time sipping my bowl of minestrone soup (which by the way is very good as they put lots of vegetables, beans, and little pastas in it; they do not skimp on ingredients), slurping my beer mug of flavoured mango lemonade (ignore my scrapbook page that says peach, I made a boo-boo), stuffing my face with delicious clam spaghetti, with butter clams and white béchamel cream sauce and LOTS of freshly cracked black pepper!  I am a fiend for cracked black pepper and this is the scene that usually plays out when the waiter or waitress comes back with the grinder.  Waiter/waitress: “say when” *starts twisting the grinder*.  Me: *watches for 5 minutes*.  Just kidding!  I’m exaggerating, but really, I do love it when places offer the cracked pepper, and if it suits your fancy, you can also ask for some parmesean cheese or chili flakes too.  To end off the meal, I had the special Spumoni icecream.  It was a fantastic meal and the atmosphere was fun, the food was delicious, and the service was super friendly.  Especially as I ran around like a monkey with my camera.  Staff just looked on amusingly.

Scrapbooking materials used: forest green, goldenrod, red, and pink cardstock (Recollections), Purple Daze patterned paper (Recollections), pasta stickers and carousel embellishment (Jolee’s), adhesive gems.