[Forest Hill] Il Mulino (Summerlicious)
2012 is the 10th year for Summerlicious, an annual Toronto summer foodie celebration that opens the door of more than 180 of Toronto’s restaurants. Delectable, three-course prix fixe menus are available at participating restaurants for lunch and dinner for between $15 to $45 per person, excluding beverages, taxes, and gratuity.
I can’t recall how many years I’ve participated in Summer and Winterlicious in Toronto. These are the two of the many events in Toronto that I look forward to every year, as it allows me to sample the food at some of Toronto’s top restaurant at affordable prices. It also allows me to explore some new restaurants the fantastic restaurant industry Toronto has to offer. One of the “new” restuarants I tried with year was Il Mulino.
Located in Forest Hill, Il Mulino is a cozy and romantic establishment that offers authentic Italian cuisine.
I chose Il Mulino because I loved it Summerlicious menu. For $35 per person for dinner, you can get:
Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Purée with Goat Cheese Red pepper Crostini
Baby Spinach Salad with Atulfo Mango, Roasted Sliced Almonds, Mint Leaves with Mango Mint Dressing
Steamed Mussels, Fresh Basil, Scallions in a Spicy San Marzano
Linguini with Lobster and Sun Dried Tomatoes in a Brandy Rose Pink Peppercorn Sauce
Grouper in a Lemon Basil Dressing and Seasonal Vegetables
10 oz U.S. Angus Beef Striploin in a Mushroom and Marsala Sauce
10 oz Grilled Veal Chop with Caramelized Pearl Onion & Port Deduction
Asparagus Risotto with Shallots, Tomato Concasse and Lemon Thyme
Lint chocolate Gelato from Gelato fresco
We started our dinner with freshly baked bread with olive oil and rosemary. This bread was absolutely declicious. It was warm and crusty. The crust of the bread was filled with the fragrance of rosemary. This freshly baked in-house bread was totally different from the cold (and sometimes somewhat stale) bread that is readily available when you go to an “Italian” restaurant.
My friend Alexis and I both ordered the mussels for our appetizer and we both loved our choice. The mussels were cooked perfectly in the spicy San Marzano tomato broth. I usually have mussels in a white-wine based sauce and I loved how tasty the tomato broth was. The spiciness also added a nice kick to the mussels. The sweet aroma of the basils also made this dish so irresistible. We both wiped our plates clean and still wanted more.
I loved this broth so much that I tried to re-create it at home last weekend. It was good, but it was nothing compare to what I had at Il Mulino.
I had the veal chop and Alexis ordered the steak as our main. Both meat were cooked to perfection! My veal was tender and juicy. It was seasoned well but not overly salty. The caramelized onion & port deduction added a subtle sweetness and complimented the veal very well. It was exquisite and I savoured every bite of it.
The steak was absolutely amazing. It was slightly charred on the outside and it was warm and pink throughout the centre. It was so tender that it literally melted in your mouth. The mushroom and marsala sauce added some buttery sweetness without stealing the flavour of the meat. I’d go back to Il Mulino just for more steak! The vegetables were also grilled and seasoned quite well.
Sadly, the dessert was sub-par. There was nothing extraordinary about them. I actually did not finish my peach cobbler. I also believe the menu said pear cobbler. Not sure if it was a typo. The presentation of the strawberry shortcake was really good and made the dessert look really appealing.
Despite a weak finish on the dessert, our dining experience at Il Mulino was excellent. The service was very friendly and attentive. The presentation of the food was solid and beautiful. Most importantly, the food was delicious and well executed. This is definitely a restaurant I’d go back to!