Alimento Fine Food Emporium
– A clever duo of Italian grocery mart coupled with a
high-end restaurant, Bar Mozza
Toronto, ON (July 25, 2010) Torontonians can now be treated to an Italian restaurant/food mart experience without having to venture out of the city. Alimento Fine Food Emporium (www.alimento.ca), located on the trendy King West Street strip (522 King Street West just west of Spadina Avenue) is a unique spot where you can sit down to eat Italian cuisine at Bar Mozza and/or shop in the adjacent food mart for Italian cheeses, meats, pastas, desserts, olive oils and more. Gear up your taste buds and come explore.
With the concept of offering high-end Italian cheeses (over 140 different types), delicious appetizers, and mains-to-go, Alimento Fine Food Emporium, is the perfect stop on your way to and from work. Enjoy a relaxing sit down meal, shop to fill your pantry or sit down and order one of their aromatic wines and practise the art of dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing). This resto/shop plays homage to all things Italian.
We wanted to do something new in the city which still kept the strong sense of Italian tradition”, says Marco Contardi, Owner, Alimento. So we created a unique hybrid of old world charm of Italy, in our restaurant, while bringing in high-end Italian groceries and pre-made meals to King West.”
The food mart’s mains-to-go and pre-made meals are made in-house daily, with love, just like in nona’s kitchen. The homemade dishes, rotating on a daily basis, can include: Pesto Capelletti with Bocconcini Grilled Veggies ($4.50), Rose Fusilli with Artichoke Hearts, Spinach and Grilled Veggies ($4.50). The enormous meat section offers treats such as Tuscan Style Ham, indulgent, prosciuttos and other varieties of high-end meats. They also serve a variety of freshly in-house made breads including ciabbatta and focaccia.
The pantry shelves in the mart offer over 50 choices of high-end pastas imported from Italy, one of the largest selections of pastas in the city. You can even find a large number of gluten-free options such as rice, corn and spelt pastas. Distinctive truffle oils, tapenades, and Italian chocolates are just a few of the specialty items on offer.
Helping the environment and enabling patrons to reduce their carbon footprint, Alimento has a unique olive oil refilling program. Customers pay a $2 deposit with purchase and return their used glass bottles to exchange for fresh refills at a self-serve station.
Pastry chef, Michelle Lee, (formally of Soma) is putting her own spin on the in-house desserts to craft mouth-watering sweets by mixing both Italian and Canadian flavours. Some of the treats you find behind the counter include: mason jar servings of Trifle, Lemon Cake Limoncello and Panna Cotta ($4 -$5 each), Pine Nut Honey Tart Cake ($4), Maple Mascarpone Cheesecake ($5). Other treats include a variety of biscotti and Italian biscuits.
The restaurant, Bar Mozza, menu is comprised of seven insalates, four apri stomacos, eight primis and fourteen pizzas all reasonably priced from $9-$19. Insalates include: Brussels Sprout Salad (with shaved brussels sprouts, plave cheese, pancetta and apple), Verde (green beans, garlic, pistachio, aged caciocavallo), Capicollo (radicchio, rosemary vinaigrette, lentils and watercress). Apri Stomaco include: Fresca Fritta (battered fresh cheese, cream of arugula, lemon, prosciutto), Crocchette di Baccala (tomato sauce, lightly breaded salted cod, bomba vinaigrette ) Some primis/pizzas include: Spaghetti Alla Carbonara (guanciale, egg yolk, parsley, pecorino cheese, green peas, sundried tomatoes), Pappardelle Al Ragu (braised lamb and pork in a tomato sauce, parmigiano) and Fileja (heirloom tomatoes, garlic and olive oil). Carciofi (fior di latter, artichoke, onion) Monte Vesuvio (tomato sauce, fior di latte, hot sausage, red pepper, basil) Delish!
The restaurant is also the perfect venue for celebratory dinners, from weddings to bat mitzvahs; and can accommodate 49 for dinner or 70 for cocktails. The open space allows for an unforgettable ambience for your special occasion.
ABOUT THE CHEF
Chef Joe Friday was born in North Carolina, raised in Okinawa, Japan, trained in French Cuisine. His impressive culinary journey began when he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America to train in pastries and savories. At the age of 20 he was one of 10 pastry students selected from around the world to work in the international culinary program at Walt Disney World. Six months in, he was pulled out of pastries to start working the hot line and has been working in savories every since.
Within three years time he had worked his way up to sous-chef and had successfully moved around to five different restaurants within the Disney family, to be exposed to different cuisines and cooking techniques at each, and working with influential chefs such as Chef Michael Yan (from “Yan Can Cook”) and Disney’s Executive Chef, John State. He then left for Europe where he staged at restaurants in Norway and England and then traveled back to Japan to learn the art of Japanese noodle making.
He returned to the US to sous-chef at the Hilton Hawaii Village and then became the Executive Chef at Giovani’s in downtown Honolulu. Friday moved to Canada in 2010 to work under Jason Bangerter for the opening of Peter Oliver and Michael Bonnocini new venture, Luma at the TIFF Bell LIghtbox. In the Fall of 2011, Friday joined the team to open the new Bar Mozza, part of the Alimento Fine Food Emporium at King and Brant where he is now the Executive Chef.
Alimento was founded by the Contardi Brothers; Marco, Anthony, Joe and Albert Jr., who come from cheese makers and sellers dating back over 40 years. Their grandfather Marco Sr. was the founder of Grande Cheese, which has been carried on by their father Albert Sr. and has now passed into the four brothers’ hands. The brothers wanted to do something unique, fun and young. After pondering these concepts and their background the idea for Alimento was born.