Last night was basically one of the worst nights I had in awhile as a moment triggered me into a downwards cycle. That however, is a long story for another time. I am not sure still if I will tell it here. To cheer me up on this essentially grey day, JH drove through some heavy traffic (i.e. Toronto festivals everywhere blocking streets) to bring me to Sugo. Sugo is an Italian-American restaurant (old Brooklyn-ish vibe) owned by two Torontonians. It is located at 1279 Bloor Street West (right near the intersection of Bloor and Lansdowne. To our luck, the “Big Bloor” festival was set up right outside their shop today, so JH and I got to see the marching band show and hustle & bustle all from our window seat.
The restaurant is not huge. There are, I believe, three four-seater and one two-seater, but all tables can be divided into twos, or re-arranged in some combination of fours. JH and I sat right by the window. There appears to be space for a patio, so it looks like they can definitely fit more capacity in the summer if they wanted to. The restaurant is very characteristic of an italian family restaurant (or am I generalizing?) – striped white and red tablecloths and red wooden chairs. There are pictures of boxers around all the walls. To create a feeling of ease and fun, there is a foosball table right at the entrance when you walk in. The atmosphere was pretty chill, and I wish I had brought my SLR to catch more intricate details.
The menu is written on the wall because I think they have a lot of take-out customers. If you choose to dine-in, they also bring you a drinks menu.
When I first saw pictures of Sugo’s food online, I had to admit that it made me pretty hungry. Seeing the dishes in person is even more salivating. JH and I ended up ordering:
- The Meatball ($7) – This is a hefty dish. The sauce is made from scratch and is absolutely delicious. I think they import their tomatoes from Italy. It was very addictive. We spoke to one of the owners and he said that the meatballs are poached in tomato sauce for five hours. You barely have to cut into them with a knife – they are so soft and tender. This was one of my favourite dishes.
- Gnocchi ($10) – I had read online in some reviews that the portion was pretty small. Given what we ordered I thought the portion was really reasonable. The gnocchi erred towards the chewier versus softer side, but I still loved it because of that addictive sauce and the basil that came with every bite.
- Veal Sandwich ($13) – I do not know how many times I will use the word hefty when it comes to Sugo, but this sandwich was also hefty. JH and I shared it because of all the food we ordered. I think it would make a good, substantial meal on its own, but because we ordered too many other dishes, it just felt like a lot. The sandwich was really good. The bun was warm, the veal was cooked perfectly, and it had that addictive sauce smothered all over it again. I could not complain one bit.
- Mozzarella Sticks ($6) – I did not love this dish as much. It was not that it was not good, but we had a couple of outstanding dishes with the meatball and the veal sandwich. The stick also kept on breaking on me every time I tried using my fork or a bit of pressure on it by picking it up with my hands. I kind of wish I ordered another one of their pastas. I had eyed the rigatoni and should have went with my gut instinct.
All in all, the food was comforting and all-around satisfying. Service was fantastic. The owners were such nice and friendly people. They asked us for our feedback in a non-aggressive way, and even on our way out, they gave us a meatball because we told them how much we loved it. I think we will definitely come back so we can finish the menu. I really hope they do well just for the fact that 1) their food, albeit simple, is delicious, and 2) they are incredibly nice people. Thank you Sugo.
Other little details:
- Parking – We parked in the Green P just north (to the right) of Bloor and Lansdowne.
- There is no dress code.
- There was no music, but it felt like a family restaurant, or just a place to take it easy. There are two tv screens playing sports.
- The restaurant is well lit with a lot of natural light.
- We showed up at 11:40AM just after they opened on Saturday without a reservation. Tables fill up but their orders come quick so they can turnover tables quite efficiently.
- They only accept cash or debit.
- If they have not partnered with Foodora or Ubereats yet, I hope they do. I would happily order their food online.
- Social Media – Instagram