A look at Enoteca Sociale’s birthday makeover and menu update

A look at Enoteca Sociale’s birthday makeover and menu update

More on Enoteca Sociale

Name: Enoteca Sociale
Contact: 1288 Dundas St. W., 416-534-1200, sociale.ca, @enotecasociale
Neighbourhood: Little Portugal
Owner: Pizzeria Libretto Group
Chef: Kyle Rindinella (Libretto, Local Kitchen)
Accessibility: One step at entrance; washrooms in basement

The food

Enoteca Sociale celebrated its 10th birthday with a makeover: the room was nipped and tucked, and the menu got an update. Before you clutch your pearls, fear not, the beloved amatriciana and cacio e pepe pasta plates are still there. The revamped offerings focus on dishes from Italy’s Lazio region, an area that borders the Tyrrhenian Sea and includes Rome, and include things like ricotta cavatelli and pasta alla zozzona, a porky and pecorino-y Roman rigatoni dish. The Chef’s Selection is also new: the four-course, $55 prix fixe will change daily, but always finishes with either a whole-roasted branzino or a pork chop.

All the bread and pasta—and even the butter—is made in-house. An order of bread includes red-fife sourdough, herbed focaccia and some whipped lardo. $5.


The cheese board will change regularly. The one pictured here includes trebbione (a hay-covered sheep’s milk cheese from Tuscany); a blue cheese from Thronloe, Ontario, called Devil’s Rock; and a capreggio from PEC’s Fifth Town. $22.


There’s a selection of new small plates, too, including buttered toast topped with marinated white and brown anchovies. $7.


The kitchen makes a puntarelle salad with endives, anchovies, a hint of garlic and a sprinkle of pecorino. $13.


For the popular amatriciana, house-made spaghetti is tossed with guanciale (cured in-house from Perth Pork cheeks), tomato sauce, pecorino and chilies. $17.


And here’s the cacio e pepe spaghetti. $16.


This ricotta cavatelli is tossed in a creamy sauce that gets a hit of salt from anchovies and a some bitterness from rapini. $17.


Pasta alla zozzona is one of the four Roman sister pastas (along with carbonara, cacio e pepe and gricia). These freshly extruded noodles come dressed in a tomato-and-egg-yolk sauce, topped with pork-fennel sausage and guanciale and finished with fresh cracked pepper and shaved pecorino. $19.


The four-course, prix-fixe Chef’s Selection will change daily, but always finishes with either a whole roasted branzino or a pork chop. $55.


The kitchen cures its own guanciale and ’nduja, and pickles in-season veg.


Some extruded noods.


Rindinella, finishing off the puntarelle salad.


Rindinella (left) and Rocco Agostino of the Pizzeria Libretto Group.


The drinks

Wine is the drink of choice here, though Enoteca Sociale also has a great selection of small-production local beers, as well as almost two dozen different amari, which find their way into some creative Italian-inspired cocktails. The 120-bottle wine card is about 90 per cent Italian, 10 per cent Ontarian. The list works its way from the northern cuff of the boot all the way south to the toe. There are, of course, the familiar Italian grapes on offer (Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Montepulciano), but the all-consignment offerings also include a few esoteric labels, like Le Ragnaie’s Miscelone, a Tuscan bottle of co-fermented red and white grapes.

Here are some of the bottles currently on offer.


The space

FutureStudio oversaw the two-month renovation, which gave the 55-seat room a Roman refresh. The fluted walnut walls were inspired by Corinthian columns, while the spangled Edison bulbs have been replaced by vintage stained-glass lamps. The other big change is the added banquet seating which wraps around the now-curvaceous walls. “There’s really no bad seat in the house,” says Rindinella. The charcuterie room, however, was left untouched and is still available to host private dinners.