Weekly Lunch Pick: homey Italian fare at the revamped Little Anthony’s

Weekly Lunch Pick: homey Italian fare at the revamped Little Anthony’s

Little Anthony’s chicken parmigiano (Image: Renée Suen)
 

Earlier this year, the long-in-the-tooth downtown Italian spot Little Anthony’s underwent a three-month renovation and transformed into LA’s Italian + Bar, a casual osteria in the shadow of the Sheraton Centre (sister restaurant Mediterra made a similar transition last year, becoming the lauded Estiatorio Volos). Having shed its tired steakhouse attire, the modern, revamped dining room is filled at lunchtime with financial district office workers chowing down on Italian comfort food classics. Our order of chicken parmigiano ($18.75) is a faithful nod to nonna: two halves of a crisp breaded chicken breast are sandwiched by oozing cheddar and mozzarella curds, and are drenched in tangy house-made tomato sauce packed with onions, roasted bell peppers and cremini mushrooms (perfect for sopping up with the cubes of herb-flecked focaccia). A small lemon-dressed arugula salad helps cut through the dish’s richness. To complete the hearty meal, we pair the chicken with a tart and spicy glass of ripasso ($11.50)—and imagine warmer climes where it hasn’t been raining for most of the last month.

The cost: $40 including tax and tip

The time: 44 minutes.

LA’s Italian + Bar, 121 Richmond St. W., 416-368-2223, littleanthonys.ca, @little_anthonys