Mondello Ristorante is most certainly firing on all cylinders these days. Following a somewhat challenging start after their restaurant's reorganization a couple of years ago, Mondello has matured nicely into a dependable and consistently satisfying dining destination, particularly in the last year.
Turnarounds are most often predictably unsuccessful as anyone who has kept track of the “Restaurant Makeover” outcomes on Canada’s Food Network TV channel knows. Yet with their clear focus on customer satisfaction these folks clearly deserve all the compliments they are earning as a result of their determined ever-better attitude. Something no restaurant designer or consulting chef can ever deliver.
Everything we tasted today had a sumptuousness that indicated great care and pride was taken in its execution. There were also plenty of little things that made the experience special. Such as the delightfully fresh bread and its refreshingly smooth oil and balsamic accompaniment. The distinctive black table linens and thankfully soft music playing in the background to add to one’s comfort level while the fireplace provides a touch of winter coziness.
After sampling the food friendly Flying Squirrel ale, we settled on it as our beverage du jour. This meal began with the omnipresent fried calamari, only here it is just barely coated and flash fried to maintain tenderness and flavor while avoiding the usual chewy texture and oily aftertaste. Our perfectly just-seared sea scallops served on a bed of grilled shaved fennel and topped with a garlic and pine nut butter sauce was culinary perfection. Delicious.
Since we so thoroughly enjoyed our meat and fish entrées on our last visit here, we decided to broaden our experience and construct a shared pasta tasting menu for our mains. Our mains of Lasagna, Eggplant Parmigiana, and spectacular cream-bathed Cornish Game Hen Ravioli provided some Wow! moments. The lasagna and ravioli both won “best-evers” from my seasoned dining partners and I agreed. Chef's light tomato sauce is bliss on a plate. We shared a distinctive Grilled Fresh Pear, Walnut and Arugula salad with our mains and it provided a refreshingly sweet contrast to the savoury items.
And then there is the helpful and attentive service by the charming Heather. Poised, knowledgeable, and observant, she doesn’t miss an opportunity to try to please. How rare in someone young.
Another notable feature, Mondello has its own adjacent off-street parking lot. I have no hesitation to strongly recommend Mondello to you as a first class destination restaurant.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.