Review: handmade pasta and flash-baked Neapolitan pies at Sagra in the Junction
240 Annette St., 416-767-7200
Husband and wife team Robert and Sandra Mandarino, owners of the Slow Room café on College Street, have opened a pleasant new trattoria in the Junction. The true measure of success at any Italian restaurant is the gnocchi, and chef Sivithar Sitsoruban gets his just right: the dumplings are soft but firm, with a perfect chew-melt ratio, dressed but not drowned in a light, lovely marinara and brightened with basil and ricotta. Sitsoruban applies the same delicate touch to his octopus carpaccio, accented with sharp bursts of flavour from lemon segments and arugula. Off the menu of wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, the Salsicce pie, topped with excellent homemade sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers and fresh fior di latte, is a standout. The deceptively simple cooking is matched by stripped-down decor—plain wood tabletops and white walls adorned with Italian posters. The owners promise a liquor licence in the coming months, but for now patrons will have to settle for San Pellegrino sodas and mineral water.