Last month Porzia unveiled their latest menu revamp with a Spring media launch – partygoers crammed into the intimate Parkdale venue and sampled the goods to the sounds of Olen Only and Jay Strut on the turntables.
The preview was enticing enough that when Porzia invited us back for a sit-down tasting, we gladly accepted. Executive Chef Basilio Pesce served up seven beautifully constructed plates – highlights he personally selected from his new and recently launched spring menu.
An Italian restaurant that boasts local, ethically grown and raised ingredients, Prozia opened in 2013 and quickly gained notoriety in the city for its authentic flavours and out-of-the-ordinary dishes. One such stand-out is Pesce’s stunning grilled octopus served on velvety semolina cream.
The cocktail menu is refreshingly extensive, with a variety of classic, contemporary and experimental mixes for the cocktail enthusiast who has tried them all. We opted to kick off our meal with some fresh prosecco drinks that transported us to southern Italy in springtime. The evil eye is an excellent choice – a blend of belvedere vodka, strega alberti benevento, prosecco and lime. Another winner is the lovely flower child, which true to its name, is infused with lavender.
We started with Cotechino, which we learned was a type of Italian charcuterie meat; it was served with fingerling potatoes and a caper garlic sauce. This, along with the peperoncino (shishito peppers) had us won over immediately, securing Porzia a spot on our list for “best after work drinks and apps” spots in the city.
While not every dish of the night was a home run, you’re guaranteed to get to first base by the end of the meal. Pesce is a master of his craft and likes to play with textures and flavours. Perhaps not all of his contrivances will be crowd-pleasers, but foodies will appreciate the skill and intention. The octopus dish, however, is everything you hope it to be, and we are still dreaming about that chocolate pie dessert.