Our first full day in Toronto and we fancied a nice brunchy kind of lunch so with a bit of pre-holiday research I had booked us into Via Vai for their weekend brunch. A brand new restaurant, soaring glass, artwork and a great menu. Previously an art gallery, Via Vai is now a wonderful pizzeria restaurant and wine bar with 45-foot floor-to-ceiling windows making for a light filled and glorious space in which to while away an hour or two. It’s kept true to it’s gallery routes with the painted walls and wonderful murals throughout.
Via vai is Italian for “come and go” and this easy ambiance and atmosphere is evident in this eatery and in the cooking of Chef Joe Friday. Despite the lure of the Wood-fired Neapolitan pizza we both went for some of the other delicious offerings on the brunch menu.
We started with 2 Mimosas ($8 ea) and sharing an asparagus salad ($11), a ginormous bowl of leaves, asparagus and a perfectly poached egg on top with a gorgeous spicy dressing made for a fantastic start.
For mains, he was feeling hungry and had the Pancetta Burger ($17) while I chose the Carbonara ($14). I have never seen a prettier bowl of carbonara…both were perfect dishes, and tasted just as good as they look…
Both were truly excellent dishes and more than nicely washed down with a bottle of Monte Tessa Chardonnay ($40). Wines are almost exclusively Italian here. Our total bill (including 13% tax/not including service) came to $110.74.
Our brunch was a great start to our holiday and set us up well for a stroll around nearby Yorkville which is the older part of Toronto and a little afternoon shopping. Toronto has some great shopping and the Eaton Centre is a great place to start, every shop you can think of is here from high street to designer – 230 of them to be precise. Located at the south-west corner of Yonge Street and Dundas Street and easily accessible by public transport, subway, streetcar or bus. On this visit, I bought some nice pieces in the sale at BCBG, picked up lots of (read: too much) make-up in Sephora (as well as some basics from Aeropostale, American Eagle and Old Navy).
All in all, a great Saturday – from Mimosas & great food to shopping and make-up! Our day finished off with dinner that evening with family who live in Toronto in Allen’s on the Danforth. Allen’s is an Irish pub but not as you know it, serving wonderful food with a lovely outdoor patio area. It’s a short streetcar ride from downtown, up Broadview Avenue (with its great city views – more on that in another post!).
Eaton Centre | 220 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 2H1 | 416-598-8560 | www.torontoeatoncentre.com