In her opinion:
As we headed down to Toronto on the Sunday of the Canada Day long weekend to enjoy some quality time in "the big city", we weren't quite sure where we were going. We love Toronto and try to partake of its food and culture as much as we possible can. Many times we just head down with no plan in mind. Our intention on this particular Sunday was actually to stay west of the Pride Parade festivities; and therefore, we decided to hang out around Liberty Village. I had suddenly remembered a restaurant that I wanted to try...School, unfortunately, they were closing around the time we walked in the doors. Where now?
We headed east on Liberty Street and caught sight of Bar Vespa's patio! It looked inviting enough and actually quite cool, so we parked the car and took our chances. Since it was past the brunch hour, the patio was not full at all and we were shown to a table right away by our lovely waitress.
Our waitress brought us a delicious herb and olive oil dipping sauce for the bread to begin our meal. She also brought us some butter so little man could enjoy the bread as well.
After checking out the menu, I decided to have one of my favourite Italian dishes...spaghetti and meatballs! This seems simple enough but I have had really bad spaghetti and meatballs. Truly delicious spaghetti and meatballs has a pure simple taste to it. That probably made no sense but that's the best way to describe it...it's simply a delicious tomato sauce which allows the tomato to shine through no fancy ingredients. The meatballs should just be succulent little spheres of meaty goodness.
This was good spaghetti and meatballs. The sauce was a little chunkier then I'm use too but still had the tomato as the star. The meatballs were very well done. They were succulent and juicy...actually a little pink in the middle...which was fine with me. Overall, a really good version of spaghetti and meatballs.
Bar Vespa is a lovely restaurant in Liberty Village with a great patio. The food is very good, the service excellent and the ambiance was also very charming. I enjoyed my lunch at Bar Vespa very much.
In his opinion:
When roaming the gastronomical streets of Toronto, you would think that it would never be an issue to find a place to eat. Well...sometimes it is a bit of a challenge especially when the place we had in mind closes at 3 PM??? Redirecting our minds further into Liberty Village, we came across a couple of good restos with patios and it ended up being a coin toss type of decision.
We chose Bar Vespa, the sleek, sophisticated Italian eatery with a great patio as well. Upon arrival there were very few people there as we had just missed the Brunch hour but still was ok with us. We were seated in the patio by a very engaging waitress and browsed the menus.
I ordered a Mill Street "Birra Sophia", a tasty beer made especially for this restaurant by Mill Street Brewery. The waitress brought some homemade bread along with a very tasty herb and olive oil bread dip and that certainly hit the spot and helped to open the appetite.
For my entree, I decided on Linguine Alla Vodka. Granted I have had vodka in many ways, even in pasta but with linguine would be my first time. It felt exciting to have a first here.
The linguine comes with grilled chicken breast, baby spinach and vodka cream sauce. It's topped with goat cheese and herbs and the goat cheese was the perfect topping I must admit. The pasta was perfectly al dente and the dish works well together, even the chicken was cooked perfectly enough not to feel like an outsider to the pasta.
The service was also very good, our waitress was attentive, always had a smile and engaged in conversation. Although we sat in the patio, the interior is so very nicely decorated and sleek that I would like to eat in there, given the chance.
The Good: Good food and good service is a wining combination in my books. The food is not too traditional Italian but has all the right dishes you may be looking for.
The Bad: The food is missing that wow factor, even though it is pretty good.
The Verdict: As I had been told before, it's a great place to try if you are in the neighbourhood but not really a special occasion place. Go for the Monday night $10 pizzas, they are a great deal and enough for 2 people. Absolutely a great place for a beer or drinks, especially on the patio.
I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating