January 22, 2020: We had a pre-lunar new year family gathering at Novita Italian Cuisine (25 Cochrane Dr). There were about 20 of us and we had booked ahead of time with the Italian restaurant for a large group meal with a prix fixe dinner of $33 per person.
Opting for a prix fixe dinner for such a large group made it easier to coordinate the meal with the restaurant as opposed to everyone ordering a la carte from the regular menu. I had dined here previously and enjoyed the Italian cuisine. It was nice to return again to try their three-course dinner menu. (Also, since boycotting the Toronto-run ‘licious events, I haven’t had a prix fixe meal in a while. It was really nice to enjoy three set courses in one sitting.)
I was really impressed with the taste and quality of the food on this visit. All of our family members who predominantly enjoy Asian cuisines found the tastes of the restaurant fitting to their taste buds.
Here’s the prix fixe menu that we had for our group that evening:
We were first served with some complimentary bread and olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I was famished and ate at least two pieces of the starchy bread before our meal began.
For my appetizer, I chose the Soup of the Day which was a butternut squash soup. It was so comforting and smooth and delicious. I licked up every bit of it.
Ken chose the Mussels, which turned out to be an absolutely fantastic appetizer choice! The creamy white wine garlic butter and herb sauce was out of this world. The scalloped dish was filled to the brim with meaty plump mussels too. The sauce was truly amazing and I would totally return to this restaurant just for that sauce. (Perfect for lapping up with bread too.)
The third choice for the appetizer was the Fried Bocconcini Bites. On another night when I was not craving for some comforting soup, I would have totally chose this dish as my appetizer. These were deep fried and served with spicy tomato sauce. When the dish arrived to those who ordered it, I was indeed disappointed to see so few pieces on the dish. Luckily, I was able to try one of these. It was pretty good and cheesy, but I was glad I stuck with my choice of soup.
For my main entree, I chose the Shrimp Paradise Pasta which had shrimp and sausage tossed with angel hair pasta in a pesto aioli. I love thin pasta with pesto aioli dishes. This one was pretty good. I finished all of the stringy pasta cleanly.
The Osso Bucco was braised veal shank simmered in tomato sauce and served with a rose risotto. Again, on another day where I wasn’t craving carbs, I would have totally ordered this dish (more worth it for meaty dishes like this too). In fact, most of our family members ordered this dish.
This was a very hearty portion and the colour palette looked amazing. The braised veal shank was quite tender, and the bone even had some bone marrow in it too. (Most of those who ordered this dish didn’t finish it since it was so hefty and packed the remainders home.)
The third choice of the entree was the Fish of the Day, but no one sitting close to me ordered it so I didn’t snap a photo.
Dessert was a choice between Panna Cotta or Tiramisu. Of course, in this situation, I ordered one dessert and requested my husband to order the other one so that we could share and try both. 😀
The Tiramisu was a classic one and tasted terrific. I had no complaints about it. I certainly finished off the night on a sweet and delicious note.
The Panna Cotta was not bad, but I did enjoy the classic Italian dessert tiramisu more.
Again, everyone was very satisfied with the portions, tastes, and service of Novita Italian cuisine that night. We were the only large group dining in that night. The restaurant was otherwise quite quiet. It’s difficult to satisfy a group of 20+ people when everyone has different tastes and also when they are mostly used to dining on Asian dishes. It was a successful dinner event!