TOSTO QUICK­FIRE PIZZA PASTA

DINE and Destinations - - SPONSORED CONTENT -

And you can’t rein­vent your Nona. We’ve got so much pasta in this city you could string noo­dles from one end of Toronto to the other. So, why do we need more? Be­cause, when it’s good, it’s won­der­ful.

We’re spoiled in Toronto by our wealth of choices: we want bold flavours, gen­er­ous por­tions, we don’t want to wait and we don’t want to pay. We want to fill our bel­lies, but not empty our wal­lets. En­ter Tosto, Ital­ian for “de­ter­mined.”

The word is out, and we can hardly get in the door (and what a door!) Why? The pasta is made from scratch twice daily; the share-size por­tions are a bounty of fresh vi­brant in­gre­di­ents—the toma­toes are prized Cal­i­for­nian Stanis­laus; sev­eral hun­dred sheets of au­then­tic Ro­mano pizza dough, each one hand-crafted are delectably crunchy; and the price is so rea­son­able it must be a mis­take. Ev­ery­thing is freshly pre­pared, cooked a-la-minute and served over the counter. No­body else is do­ing this. “How can they make money?” I ask my­self on my fifth visit.

This is a new in­ge­nious restau­rant par­a­digm. Look out! Th­ese guys have got it down and are the talk of the town and are at­tract­ing the condo dwellers, the close by Mem­bers of Provin­cial Par­lia­ment, of­fice work­ers, the de­tec­tives and me all with one thing in com­mon: we’ve stopped cook­ing. More flavour­ful than home cook­ing, qual­ity in­gre­di­ents are served faster and at even less cost than at home.

Michael Lublin, Brand Vice Pres­i­dent of the MTY Group Inc, has been in­volved in food ser­vice and hos­pi­tal­ity for over 20 years, and tells me, “Our phi­los­o­phy is a to­tal value propo­si­tion that we are a true “home meal re­place­ment,” driven by qual­ity, quan­tity and price point.” With such high vol­ume, the price can’t be beat.

The MTY Group is the en­gine be­hind Tosto. Al­ready op­er­at­ing 3,000 restau­rants un­der 40 brand ban­ners, this is the first “fast pre­mium” con­cept in Canada. MTY’S CEO, Stan­ley Ma, has clev­erly as­sem­bled a smart hip team and a hot sexy brand. “We be­lieve we’re not com­pet­ing with any­one else,” shares Lublin. “We’re driven to be­come the leader in the mar­ket, be­cause with ev­ery dish we serve, one per­son al­ways wins: the cus­tomer.” Through MTY’S fran­chise and in­ter­na­tional li­cens­ing pro­gram, Tosto projects 12 to 15 new stores of sus­tain­able growth within the GTA in the next few years, while three more units are be­ing added to the com­pany’s flag­ship Bay Street lo­ca­tion this fall.

Thin crust sheets of au­then­tic Ro­mano pizza are of­fered as sin­gle, share or group. The Funghi, made with three kinds of wild mush­rooms, pecorino, sun-dried toma­toes, béchamel sauce and white truf­fle oil; and the Brasato, with six-hour slow cooked braised beef, moz­zarella, arugula and a sunny-side-up egg are quick-fired in a pro­pri­etary recipe that packs as much flavour as it does crunch. A fork full of Aragosta lin­guine, chock full of east coast lob­ster, with gar­lic and olive oil is love at first twirl; while the Polpette is the rich­est, most savoury tex­tured spaghetti and meat­balls I’ve tasted in many a moon. An­tipasti, sal­ads and hearty sand­wiches will have to wait un­til I’ve eaten through all the pasta. The range of wines fo­cuses on Ital­ian.

Tosto did not rein­vent the wheel. But what Tosto did by suc­cess­fully com­bin­ing qual­ity, quan­tity and a value driven price, was in­deed bril­liant! Add to this the con­tem­po­rary de­sign and the util­i­tar­ian en­vi­ron­ment that keeps the fo­cus squarely on the food, you get a per­fect fit that makes Tosto’s “quick­fire” menu, sim­ply ad­dic­tive. Nona would be proud! Look for the or­ange doors ….

YOU CAN’T REIN­VENT THE WHEEL.

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