Image of chocolate-frosted carrot cake and tiramisu from Vino Rosso

Family Dinner Out: Go Fish and Chocolate-Frosted Carrot Cake

Several weeks ago my family and I tried a prix fixe menu offered by an Italian restaurant we’ve never been to.  Our taste buds were pleasantly delighted at Vino Rosso, which is located in the Bay and Wellesley area of Toronto.

I hadn’t thought of this place as a family place, especially since we were the only patrons with a child when we were there.  It was only after we left that I realized Vino Rosso is a nice place to have a family dinner.  

vrbreadI usually bring something to entertain my daughter while we wait for our food.  That night, I brought a pack of Go Fish cards.  We enjoyed playing the game in our spacious booth while snacking on the focaccia bread the restaurant makes in-house.  The bread tasted good, but it would’ve been better if it were served toasty warm.

vrappsFor our appetizers, my husband and I shared a flavourful crab cake and grilled calamari.

vroctopusThe calamari was grilled to perfection.  It was juicy and not burnt, which brought back memories of the amazing seafood we had when we were in Greece.  The calamari was nicely accompanied with capers, olives, diced tomatoes, red onion, lemon, and greens.

vrsalmonFor my entrée, I had a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth-like, moist salmon.  It was dressed with lemony butter, and very delicious.

vrsteakMy husband had a medium-rare, juicy steak.  We were told it was from Ontario and aged approximately 37 days.  It was cooked just right as well.

vrpastaMeanwhile our daughter enjoyed her homemade penne with cheese.  I couldn’t believe her plate of pasta was actually a kid-sized portion.

We were savouring and struggling to finish our entrees.  We felt like we were too full for dessert, but were curious to have at least a taste.

vrdrawingHaving put away the Go Fish cards, we ended up drawing on the paper runner that lined the tablecloth.  Perhaps this is an atypical thing for patrons to do at this restaurant, as we weren’t offered any crayons, which family restaurants usually offer.  They didn’t seem to mind the artistic activity though.  Actually, after our dinner, my daughter wanted to keep her drawing.  The chef had come out to speak with us, and he provided us with scissors to cut out her drawing.

When our desserts arrived, two things struck me.  One was that the carrot cake was frosted with chocolate icing instead of the typical cream cheese frosting.  The other was the strong, but warm, smell of cinnamon emanating from the carrot cake.  The carrot cake was moist and good.  We’re not big cream cheese fans on our desserts, so the chocolate frosting worked for us.

vrtiramisuThe tiramisu was soaked in Frangelico.  We had no problems finishing it despite being stuffed from our meal.

Overall we enjoyed Vino Rosso and would return.  We would call ahead to reserve a booth.  It provided some privacy and sparked my daughter to make shadow puppets with my husband against the wall with the candlelight in the dimly-lit restaurant.

Have you been to Vino Rosso?  What were your favourite dishes?  Did you draw on the paper runner?

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