Living in Bells Corners isn’t so bad. It’s an older neighbourhood, with plenty of schools, parks, and stores. And lately we’ve been trying out some of the restaurants close to home with the happy realization that there are a few gems right in our backyard so to speak!
When it comes to Italian food, especially pasta, I’m sort of a picky customer. It’s understandable, right? After sampling fettucini Alfredo in Rome and pizza in Naples, the food here in Canada doesn’t always quite measure up. On Sunday night, after a long week of baby time, we decided to head out on a date to Zola’s on Robertson Road, with the little man in tow, and while he napped we had a great meal of mussels, wine, and homemade pasta.
Zola’s looks unassuming, perched at one end of a plaza and looking dark from the outside. Inside, it’s clean and modern, with a counter of fresh goods for sale (lasagna, bread, pasta sauces and desserts). It’s small and cosy, with Adele’s hazy vocals playing softly in the background and not a bad table anywhere. We sat by the window with Baby J and looked over the menus carefully.
Tyler opted to get an appetizer of mussels in a slightly spicy garlic and wine cream sauce. I munched on a couple of them, but then realized that dipping the bread in the sauce was heavenly and tried to restrain myself from eating all four rolls myself.
We both decided to get pasta as the main course. I chose a spinach and cheese cannelloni, drenched in more melted cheese and tomato sauce (there’s also a meat version) and Tyler selected the spaghetti puttanesca which featured ropes of pasta smothered in a spicy sauce, olives, and salmon-based meatballs. We both liked our meals a lot – the pasta is homemade, slightly thicker and chewier than the store bought stuff, and you can also order it gluten free.
We hadn’t been to Zola’s since welcoming our son into the world, and we clinked our wineglasses to his safe arrival, to our first couple of months of parenthood, and to being able to still go out for a first class meal (the little guy slept like an angel the whole time). The restaurant was very quiet and our waitress didn’t bat an eye at us bringing a baby – we felt very welcome.