Sherman's Food Adventures: Livia Forno e Vino

Livia Forno e Vino

When Livia first opened, I was quite aware that they had some killer bread and other baked goods.  Further more, I also knew that they had a breakfast and lunch menu that I was interested in trying.  However, watching Mijune's IG stories, I noticed that they were suddenly doing a dinner service featuring their house-made pastas.  Well, that really piqued my interest.  When Viv suggested we go out for date-night, that was the perfect segue for us to try it out.  Just a tip, there was no mention of reservations available on their website, but indeed you can make one (well, when this Covid-19 thing has passed).

We tried to emulate Mijune (of course we couldn't completely get there) by ordering as much as we could handle beginning with the Vitello Tonnato.  As you can clearly see, this was well-portioned and carefully plated.  Supremely thin, the slices of medium veal were moist and barely needed any effort to chew.  On top, the tuna mayo was creamy and fishy (in a good way) while salty enough to flavour all of the meat.  The capers added more salt and a touch of tang.  We really loved our next dish in the Clams all'Arrabbiata featuring Baynes Sound Manila clams, tomato and chili.  Usually, I loved any pasta in an arrabbiata sauce, so this was going to be a win even if it was mediocre.  Now this was far from that as it was outstanding!  All the clams were open being buttery and just barely cooked-through.  They were briny and sweet while the arrabbiata was tangy and spicy.  To top it all off, we were served a side of Livia's famous sourdough.

Off to the 3 available pastas, we had the Agnolotti alla Piemontese stuffed with veal and rainbow chard.  These were supremely al dente, possibly a bit too much so in my opinion.  However, that wasn't a deal-breaker since we loved the chewiness.  Inside, the veal was full-flavoured and the reduced braising jus was silky, meaty and nicely spiked with black pepper.  If I had to compare, I would give Oca Pastificio across the street the slight edge in terms of the agnolotti.  Next up, the Orecchiette con Rapini e Salsiccia was fantastic.  Great texture on the thumbed pasta with a chew that had rebound.  Best of all, the combination of rapini, fennel sausage and chili was impactful.  We got hits of the fattiness from the sausage as well as the licorice taste from the fennel.  Brightness from the rapini and then a hit of spice from the chili.  Really good.

Our last pasta was purely vegetarian, but happened to be my favourite too!  Considering I loved the squash agnolotti at Oca Pastificio as well makes me wonder if there is some vegetarian in me!!!  The delicious Tagliolini ai Finferli was graced with chanterelle mushrooms, white wine and parmigiano.  That meant it was full of earthiness and nutty saltiness while balanced by the crisp white wine.  Just enough moisture graced each al dente noodle so it didn't clump together.  Simple but well-executed.

We tried both desserts starting with the Orange Blossom Semifreddo with sesame crunch and blood orange.  This lived up to its namesake by being floral and lightly sweet.  We found the semifreddo not completely set so it was rather soft.  However, it wasn't a huge deal as it was light and fruity (just how I like it).  With that being said, the Chocolate Nemesis Cake with rum and chestnut cream was the better of the two.  It was rich and chocolaty while being light and fluffy in texture.  Not sure if the figs really went with this cake, but the cream was aromatic and light. Overall, we really enjoyed our dinner at Livia.  There is no doubt we will be back and hope everything is good with Livia after the restrictions have been lifted due to Covid-19.

The Good:
- Well-prepared food
- Super kind service
- Quaint

The Bad:
- Small, some seats are tight (but it makes it more personal and quaint IMO
- Super nice people, but we weren't checked on enough


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