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Since I wanted to check out a store at the Shops at Don Mills, Mike and I decided to drop by Fabbrica for dinner. Owned by Mark McEwan, Fabbrica is located next to his high-end grocery store, McEwan.


We made a reservation through OpenTable and even though we were here on a Saturday evening, it never got too busy in the restaurant. However, we did have an early dinner at 5:30 and were out of there by 7.

The atmosphere at Fabbrica is definitely more casual than Mark McEwan’s other restaurants such as Bymark and North 44. The kitchen is quite open and features a wood-burning brick oven in plain view. After seeing some tasty looking pizzas coming out of the kitchen, I considered getting a pizza but later decided on one of the fresh pasta dishes instead.

We started off our meal with some complimentary bread, which we both really enjoyed. It was nice and crusty on the outside while warm and soft in the middle.

Mike and I love cured meats, so it wasn’t a surprise we decided to start with one of Fabbrica’s cured meats – the Prosciutto (La Torre) for $13. Other options include Berkshire prosciutto (our first choice, but they were out), cacciatorino,  capicollo, calabrese and lardo which range from $10 to $13 for a serving. If you’re with a few other people or want more variety, you can choose four types for $27.

Mushroom and gorgonzola crostini

The prosciutto we ordered came with a good portion of meat, crostinis and pickled vegetables. I enjoyed the prosciutto and liked that it wasn’t too salty. It tasted quite nice with a bit of the grainy mustard which was included on the platter. I just wish they gave us a few more crostinis as there were only three of them for so much meat.

Since we were starving, we decided to order a second appetizer, Crostini – mushrooms and gorgonzola torta ($10), which came with five pieces of tasty crostini. I loved the mixture of mushrooms and liked that they didn’t toast the crostini to a crisp as they were still a little soft in the middle. Overall, I thought they tasted great but they were literally sautéed mushrooms with melted gorgonzola on pieces of toast – something we could have easily made at home.

Crab fettucine

For my main, I went with the Fettucine – crab, guanciale, cream and soft poached egg ($26). Wow. This dish was delicious! The mixture of the garlic, cream and guanciale (aka bacon) was incredibly tasty. The soft poached egg which topped the entire dish was a welcome addition and gave the sauce a nice consistency. As for the pasta itself, it was perfectly cooked and had a nice bit of bite to it.

My only complaint was the amount of shells I found in the crab. I didn’t think too much about the first piece of shell I found in the dish. However, when I started adding more pieces to my pile, I realized this wasn’t a one-off. So, I decided to let the server know. He looked really confused for a moment and mumbled something about letting the chef know. I wasn’t looking for a free meal (I did still really enjoy the dish, after all), but I felt the problem wasn’t acknowledged. A simple apology would have been nice!

Mike went with the Linguine – clams, shrimp, white wine, garlic and chilli ($22). The linguine came served in a light white wine and garlic broth.

Seafood linguine

Although the broth was decent, it was quite light and didn’t have the same flavour punch as my fettucine. I tried one of the clams and found it to be overcooked and chewy. I didn’t try the shrimp but Mike said it was cooked well (as was the pasta). The linguine was just a decent dish for me… nothing special.

To end off our meal, we decided to try the Tiramisu di Fabbrica – white chocolate sponge, espresso mousse, amaretto mousse and frappucino ($10), which turned out to deconstructed tiramisu. The espresso mousse was sandwiched between two layers of crisp sugar, reminiscent of the tops of crème brulee. The mousse was light and the sponge cake had a nice espresso flavour. I thought the tiramisu was decent, but similar to the linguine, I didn’t think it was anything special. The second part of the dessert was a frapuccino topped with whipped cream. It tasted quite light as it wasn’t overly sweet and was a nice refreshing end to the meal.

Tiramisu di Fabbrica

Overall, I thought the food was decent but the only thing that really stood out was the crab fetuccine (which had quite a bit of shells in it). I also found the service to be a little disappointing as our server just seemed so indifferent and inattentive. With so many other great Italian restaurants in Toronto, I don’t think I’ll be going back to Fabbrica anytime soon.

At a glance:
• Located in the Shops at Don Mills
• Modern decor, casual atmosphere
• Decent food, but nothing special
• Recommended: Crab fettucine (just watch out for shells!)

Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3 stars
• Service: 2 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars

Fabbrica on Urbanspoon

  1. Ingrid @ Silly & Hungry (Reply) on Monday 14, 2011

    Hey Jess! Great Fabbrica review – very honest. I actually just mentioned Fabbrica’s pizza in a recent restaurant review i did (I thought the pizza was great). I do agree with you about the service though, it’s not that great.

    • Jess (Reply) on Monday 14, 2011

      Thanks, Ingrid! I’m afraid if I’m not honest, people won’t trust my recommendations! The pizza was good, eh? We should have gotten one instead of the seafood linguine… I had major regret after seeing so many delicious-looking pizzas go by. I’ll have to check out your review 🙂

  2. Precilla (Reply) on Monday 14, 2011

    I loved the crab fettucine, but it was the only thing that I tried at Fabbrica because I was there for a work lunch. Luckily, I didn’t find any crab shells. I’m sorry to read about the service issues. The service was really slow from my experience.

    • Jess (Reply) on Monday 14, 2011

      Only one thing? You definitely chose right! Out of everything we tried, that was the only thing that really stood out.