Grant van Gameren is joined by celeb chef Mas­simo Capra in sam­pling the city’s top Ital­ian-style sand­wiches. Which ’wich reps the Tri­col­ore? Our chefs pick the city’s most au­then­tic panini.

Midtown Post - - Contents - CHEFS MAS­SIMO CAPRA & GRANT VAN GAMEREN One of T.O.’s best-known Ital­ian chefs, Mas­simo Capra joins van Gameren this month in suss­ing out the city’s most scrump­tious panini. Bread is the build­ing block: “It should be soft and crispy and easy to chew,” Cap

Chefs Grant van Gameren and Mas­simo Capra’s T.O.

panini guide


NORTH POLE BAK­ERY, 1210 DAN­FORTH AVE. SALAMI, PRO­VOLONE & RO­MAINE, $4 “The bread is good; they have a nice amount of meat,” says Capra. “I like the thick cut of the salami,” notes van Gameren. “I like that they don’t cheap out!” Both chefs agree: this sand­wich checks off all the boxes.

B Homey good­ness

SUD FORNO, 716 QUEEN ST. W. SALAMI, CAM­BO­ZOLA & GREENS $7 “This is like a home­made Ital­ian sand­wich from your house, you know?” says van Gameren. Al­though the strong cheese com­petes with the flavour­ful salami, both chefs en­joy the pick. Capra: “It’s tasty, eh? Very tasty.”

C Meaty mav­er­ick

ABRUZZO, 9010 YONGE ST. SALAMI, HAM & CAPI­COLLO, $6.50 “Oh, they’ve got my favourite, the capi­collo di lusso!” says Capra. The downside is the bun, which doesn’t do much to stop the fill­ings from slid­ing out.

D Pick­led per­fec­tion

RED SAUCE, 50C CLIN­TON ST. MUF­FULETTA WITH MIXED MEATS, $14 “Here you go, buddy, just take a big bite!” Capra laughs, clutch­ing the huge sand­wich. “There’s no oil on this fo­cac­cia,” ob­serves van Gameren. Capra: “I guess this is home­made giar­diniera?” Both chefs en­joy the pick­led veg­eta­bles but agree the ’wich needs more olive oil.

E Amaz­ing mor­tadella

BAR BUCA, 75 PORT­LAND ST. MOR­TADELLA, STRACCHINO, GREEN TOMA­TOES, $10 “I like the idea of pick­led green toma­toes,” van Gameren says. “Some­one put a lit­tle bit of ex­tra thought in it.” “Mor­tadella is one of my favourites, eh?” notes Capra, rem­i­nisc­ing about his school days in Italy. He would, how­ever, pre­fer even more meat.

F Clas­sic combo

MEZZA NOTTE TRAT­TO­RIA, 5304 YONGE ST. PANINO RUS­TICO, $11 “I mean how can you com­plain about arugula, pro­sciutto and pro­volone?” asks Capra, of the clas­sic pair­ing. “I do like roasted red pep­pers,” notes van Gameren. Bread with more of a crumb would’ve im­proved the sand­wich.

G In­ter­est­ing idea

LIL’ BACI TAV­ERNA, 2013 YONGE ST. PANCETTA, ARUGULA, ROASTED TOMATO, $11 “I like the idea of the pancetta,” says van Gameren. Capra agrees but wishes it had been served raw: “Raw pancetta is the most spec­tac­u­lar thing in the world!”

H Ar­rest­ing arugula

CIAO WINE BAR, 133 YORKVILLE AVE. PRO­SCIUTTO DI PARMA, ARUGULA, BRIE, $10 “Now we’re talk­ing!” says Capra. “I don’t re­mem­ber Italy mak­ing brie — but that’s OK.” “An Ital­ian cheese would make more sense,” says van Gameren. Chef likes the choice of greens: “I love arugula in a pressed sand­wich.”

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