A shopping mall in North York seems like a rather offbeat location for Mark McEwan to open his latest restaurant – most celeb chefs stick to the downtown core, to take advantage of the nightlife. But loyal gourmands have been filling seats at Fabbrica since it opened last October.
McEwan’s family-style menu offers the usual categories (antipasti, panini and pasta among them), and while some dishes score average marks, others soar. The restaurant’s eye magnet is a giant wood-fired oven that turns out pizza pies in less than 90 seconds, Neapolitan-style ($17–$23), which are delivered by brusque, black-clad servers who fit right in with the high-end decor. A collaborative effort, the restaurant features graphics by Concrete Design Communications and a dark-toned interior by architecture firm Giannone Petricone Associates which straddles industrial and Old World and incorporates steel, wood, glass and tile. But, really, we’re here to eat, and a peek into the glassed-in salumeria filled with prosciutto is proof enough food is taken seriously. Pastas and pizzas are the main draw, but try the polipo salad of chickpeas, arugula, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, and octopus meaty enough to satiate die-hard carnivores ($18). This is a great place to sample McEwan’s creations without breaking the bank, even if you need a Zipcar to get there.
By Kelly Jones
Photos by Finn O'Hara
As featured in DL Spring 2011