Dolce Dinner Party at Ristorante Sotto Sotto Oakville
Dolce’s fifth dinner in its series of curated dinner parties set the mood for the season of joy and spirit of giving
With the holiday season fast approaching, Dolce’s fifth dinner in a series of curated dinner parties took place on November 13th, in perfect time to set the mood for the upcoming season of joy and giving. Guests enjoyed a delicious five-course menu at Sotto Sotto in Oakville, the second location for the Toronto restaurant that has been a long-time favourite dining spot for A-list celebrities and that city’s well-heeled. The Oakville outpost is located at the street level of the prestigious Randall Residences in Old Oakville, a lakefront neighbourhood known for its beautifully preserved heritage homes and charming streets lined with upscale restaurants and boutiques. Upon entering the restaurant, guests stepped into the stylish bar area backed by a large framed-glass wall that offered a glimpse of the kitchen team busy at work. From there, guests proceeded to the main dining space, which features high ceilings and large, gracefully arching windows. The refined ambiance created by candlelit tables and their elegant place settings under the soft light cast by the Italian floral- inspired hand-blown glass chandeliers immediately drew guests to the intimate space.
Sotto Sotto specializes in traditional Italian dishes made with the finest ingredients sourced locally or imported from Italy, including many with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) certification that guarantees their authenticity. The menu for this evening was carefully designed by Sotto Sotto owner Marisa Rocca, along with her brother and restaurant manager, Fabio Vacca, and executive chef, Raffaella Talacci.
Dishes highlighted the quality, flavour and versatility of the Zerillo Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil that was used throughout the menu. The oil is produced at Azienda Agricola Fratelli Zerillo in Puglia by the third generation of the Zerillo family of olive- growers. At their family farm, Nicola and Giovanni continue the olive-growing, olive-oil making tradition that their grandparents began a hundred years ago, harvesting olives strictly by hand, milling them within 48 hours, and processing them without the use of heat or chemicals. These production methods serve to maintain the quality and flavour of the resulting oil and to ensure that it retains high levels of the polyphenols that contribute to good health.
The exquisite meal began with a family-style spread of appetizers that included polpo alla puttanesca, polpette and arugula salad. Two primi dishes followed, black truffle risotto and pasta amatriciana, the latter a typical dish of Roman trattorias, a nod to the restaurant’s Roman owner and Roman-focused fare. The main dish was trio of rack of lamb, sausage and grilled calamari, to indulge the finest of palates. And for dessert, strawberry tiramisu, the restaurant’s twist on the timeless classic. A collaboration with Connoisseur Wine Imports brought treasures from Portugal and Italy that heightened the taste experience of each dish. Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist Frank Moyo serenaded guests with a thoughtful selection of songs enhanced by his suave and versatile voice. Frank credits his Nonna Rita, who he also considers to be his best friend, for the positive impact that she had on his life and for inspiring him to write Italian music. That music and his warm relationship with his grandmother have stolen the hearts of Torontonians.
The happy chatter at each table of conversations with new friends also flowed between tables, which is part of what makes Dolce’s dinner parties special. As guests left, they took with them a joyful aura of new memories and of gratitude. As with each dinner in the series, Dolce is proud to donate net proceeds to The Stop Community Food Centre, one of Canada’s first food banks, founded in the 1980s. With the number of people in Toronto relying on food banks skyrocketing this year, this initiative is now more important than ever. Dolce dinner parties continue to strive to highlight the importance of cultivating the values of kindness, gratitude and community in our daily lives.