This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending another DKLoEvents for a media tasting at CANO Restaurant. This is an Italian restaurant (with Mediterranean influences) that is located in the west-mid-side area of Toronto. Its major intersection is St. Clair Avenue West and Dufferin Street (St. Clair West Subway Station is the closest subway station).
The event was slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. and I arrived there ten minutes before the start time. We were the only ones at the restaurant for the entire evening; they had the entire restaurant just for our event in order to help them promote their food and drinks.
The space inside was a very modern and casual space with dark wood elements. There was a spacious bar for all your cocktails needs as well.
As everyone arrived and settled in, Darren provided us with a brief introduction about CANO Restaurant and what to expect that night. We were then welcome to order one drink from the bar (using a drink ticket). At this time also, various dishes from their menu began coming out from the kitchen for us to take photos of and promote.
The lighting was perfect here. It was especially helpful that there was an open window to the street for maximum natural light for ideal photography.
After the photoshoots, we took our seats by 8:15 p.m. and could order a la carte from the items that we had photographed. (Actually, at this time, there was a little confusion about what we could order and what we couldn’t order — our table of six actually ended up ordering two items less than we would have if we had known that we could pretty much order exactly what was brought out from the kitchen for photographing.)
I also placed my drink order at this time at the bar. I chose the interesting-sounding Ibisco. It contained Havana Club, mint, red jalapeno, fresh grapefruit juice, and house made hibiscus juice. I watched as the bartender passionately made the drinks for each and every person. I could really tell that he enjoyed his work and socializing with the customers as he made the drinks.
The Ibisco turned out to be a red-coloured drink. When I saw the bartender slice up the red jalapenos and put them fresh in the drink (and I smelled the spice), I was a little fearful that the drink would be too spicy for my taste. Fortunately, it didn’t turn out to be the case and it was a very nice cocktail.
I tried a sip of the La Fresca.
I also tried a sip of the Cano Mojito. It was very refreshing and light!
At our table, we ordered two calamari dishes, two arancini, two octopus, one burrata pizza, and one each of the gnudi pasta. We didn’t know that all of the dishes were actually available for ordering due to misunderstanding.
The Arancini were the first to arrive. There was risotto, fontina, beef veal pork ragu, and green peas inside the crunchy deep fried rice ball. I admired how the arancini were perfect spheres! The inside of the arancini was very tasty.
I was looking forward to the Burratina pizza very much. It looked amazing when I was photographing it earlier! This had burrata, tomato sugo, and basil on it. I thought that while the burrata was delicious and the pizza crust was extremely thin, it was so thin and crunchy that its texture tasted resembled a cracker’s thinness.
I was also very much looking forward to trying the Gnudi con Funghi. These were hand made ricotta gnudi with wild mushrooms and truffle cream. Mmm, this was absolutely delicious! I loved the truffle cream mixed in with the mushroom sauce and the wild mushrooms themselves. The hand made ricotta gnudi were very, very soft and different from the texture of gnocchi (although this wasn’t gnocchi).
The tomato version of the gnudi dish was the Gnudi di Pomodoro. This had hand made ricotta gnudi as well with roasted tomato sugo, and burrata. I really enjoyed this one because of the burrata. The burrata were in big chunks and made for a really tasty combination with the refreshing tomato sugo.
By this point in the tasting meal, there was a definite lag in the arrival of the food. We had to ask the server about our missing antipasti dishes.
It took a while but our two dishes of Cano Fritto did arrive. This was a dish of fried calamari, cod, and shrimp served with a house aioli. I really liked the fried seafood here, especially the shrimp that was very firm in texture! I liked how the batter wasn’t thick at all either. It was very good calamari and overall dish.
The Polipo was the grilled octopus platter with redskin potatoes and salmoriglio. This also took a while to arrive and we also didn’t receive the two orders that we had placed. We only received one order. The grilled octopus was very good; not chewy and nicely seasoned.
By this point, it was stretching to 9:30 p.m. It was getting late and I was feeling antsy about getting home at a decent hour especially since I still had to take public transit and switch lines a few times to get home. We asked the server about our missing pasta dish and we were told it would be coming shortly. We couldn’t leave this Italian restaurant without trying their pasta!
(Aside from the pizza, I noticed that all of the dishes we received for eating were actually smaller than the ones they gave us to photograph…. hmm….)
The Linguine di Pesce was a really delicious pasta dish! It had sea scallops, mussels, tiger shrimps, and calamari in a roasted tomato sugo. The spaghetti was al dente and the sauce was light yet delicious. The seafood in this pasta dish were fresh. I tried the tiger shrimp and mussels and both were great!
I’m really grateful that I got to try CANO Restaurant as a part of the DKLoEvents. Thank you Darren for organizing this lovely media tasting and to CANO Restaurant for serving us with good Italian fare.
FTC Disclaimer: Although DKLoEvents and CANO Restaurant invited me to a complimentary tasting, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the companies.