We visited Mattarello, a newly opened Italian restaurant, located at 230 Commerce Valley Drive, Unit 2A next to Tapagria in Thornhill this past weekend. I heard about it when MarkhamFood posted about it on their Instagram feed and raved about the food. (Mattarello takes over the unit previously occupied by It’s A Bao Time restaurant.)
We came here for lunch after checking out the Summer Festival (c/o Taste of Asia) at King’s Square (which was disappointing and barely had any food vendors).
We were one of three other tables dining in for lunch close to 1 p.m. so it was quite empty for a weekend lunch. There is plenty of parking available in front of the restaurant. Inside, the space has been newly renovated to reflect a very classy and elegant atmosphere. Even the washrooms are newly renovated and match the rest of the restaurant’s marble and gold elements (they provide Aveeno moisturizing lotion as well as Listerine mouthwash). The faux marble tables in the high-ceiling dining room are well spaced out, and there is a semi-open dining room for a small private party on the other side of the restaurant.
Mattarello soft opened on August 18 and their grand opening is on September 8, 2022. At the time we visited on August 28, the server informed me that their liquor licence is still pending.
The menu isn’t very large and it was shocking to me that the prices were so high. I didn’t look on their website ahead of time to peruse the menu and didn’t expect these prices (resembling upscale restaurants in downtown Yorkville). The “Bread and Butter” in the appetizer section was $12 alone! DH wanted to order this to see what the hype was about. But for simply bread and butter to be $12, I vetoed this decision. I didn’t want to spend $12 on just bread and butter. He did comment that I could blog about it though to share the experience lol…
We ordered three things to share and all three items were delicious and very top notch quality. For what it’s worth, the elevated prices do reflect the freshness, quality, and taste of the food. Just be mindful of this before booking a meal at Mattarello.
It’s also not a very toddler-friendly restaurant. It’s meant for small groups, romantic dates, corporate meals for adults.
The service was attentive but needs improvement. Our server came back twice to personally refill DH’s glass of water from the water pitcher. My mom and I had mugs of hot water with lemon and they weren’t refilled. The server also misheard me. I told her to just remove one water glass from the table, but she removed two. She also took away the fourth set of cutlery assuming that the toddler wouldn’t need any utensils without asking us first.
It took a little bit of time for the food to arrive (15 to 20 minutes). We all found it odd that the pizza was served on a metal Chinese food steamer with three legs. It didn’t quite seem to fit the atmosphere of the sophisticated restaurant and also wasn’t very practical because when we were taking slices of the pizza to eat, the steamer didn’t hold up the pizza sturdily and the entire plate of pizza would become lopsided and fall down. The server noticed this too and came over to help. I hope they realize that while placing the pizza up on a higher pedestal looks better aesthetically, it isn’t sensible because the pizza holder isn’t sturdy enough.
Now for the food:
The Tuscan Sunset pizza ($24) had grilled chicken, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, and bianco sauce on it. This had six pre-cut slices and was simply one of the best pizzas I’ve had in an Italian restaurant. The pizza was so gooey with goat cheese and creamy bianco sauce. It was the perfect amount of savouriness too. The crust was not like your typical bland dry crust. DH commented that they probably used high quality flour. I would highly recommend ordering their pizza (I have a feeling that all of their pizzas are just as delicious).
The Homemade Pesto Gnocchi ($26) was a large hollowed plate of potato gnocchi with basil pesto, buffalo mozzarella, and thyme pine nuts. It appeared as a very delicate portion, as we expected. The potato gnocchi was pillowy soft. I made the mistake of not digging into this dish when it was first served on the table as the gnocchi probably would have tasted even more pillowy soft (much like the amazing gnocchi we had in Italy back in 2018) before it cooled down.
The Squid Ink Arancini ($14) arrived with three portions to share and was much generous than I anticipated. (I kept my expectations low and even banked on only one arancini on the plate.) This appetizer item was unique and delicious. The exterior shell was lightly battered and fried while the rice inside was soft and tasted of squid ink (DH said he could taste it). The tomato sauce accompanying it was rich and savory.
This was a very upscale Italian restaurant in the Thornhill/Richmond Hill area and I would recommend it if you are looking for a high quality authentic Italian meal to splurge on.
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