347 Keele St.


Rating: ***

Dinner for two with drinks: $55

Not all service in Toronto is abysmal.

At Aquila in The Junction, the staff welcomes you like family or old friends — even if it’s your first time. And where they go the extra mile. At least tonight.

My companion has a headache and asks our server if they have anything. They don’t, he says, but he offers go out in the rain to get her some. The owner/chef overhears and arrives with a bottle. It’s quite a start to the evening.

The dining area is colourful and eccentrically decorated, while the upstairs bar and patio are more modern and streamlined.

The Northern Italian menu offers the usual suspects — pastas and meats with daily specials. Most of the items are affordable, with the exception of our appetizer.

Three Smoked Salmon Wrapped Scallops ($24) are dolloped with mango salsa, red and green wasabi caviar, and served with greens. Cooked and presented well, it’s not $24 good. That’s more than our mains.

The Veal Provimi Chop ($19) — 6 oz. with lemon butter demi glaze, served with potatoes and vegetables — is thick and juicy, but the veg are disappointingly bland.

The staff is so friendly, however, that you’ll return. After all, you’re family now.

Dining out

Mangia! Next weekend you can eat your way through the 11th Annual Taste of Little Italy. Enjoy everything from corn, funnel cakes, oysters, veal sandwiches and so much more. Go to for more info.

Help the Hungry By purchasing a ticket to Second Harvest’s Annual Toronto Taste on Sunday, you’ll help provide 250 meals to those in need. Go online to to purchase tickets.

In brief

Sugar Rush Life is Sweet (2328 Queen St. E.), a cupcake house in the Beach, offers an array of flavours — earl grey with orange, lemon drop, butterscotch. Call 416-698-0555 for info.