A sur­pris­ingly fill­ing meal of spaghet­tini, sea bream and more

How our bel­lies were left happy and our gums were left stained at Joso’s

Annex Post - - FOOD - By Caro­line Ak­sich & Karolyne El­la­cott

For the past four decades, Joso’s (202 Dav­en­port Rd.) has been woo­ing guests — ev­ery­one from David Cro­nen­berg to Drake — with its fish and bac­cha­na­lian art­work. And at 41 years young, the place is ever perky. Upon walk­ing in, you are se­duced by the volup­tuous sculp­tures, and you can’t help but get in the mood … to dine, of course. So, armed with our Sir Robert Bor­den, we trot­ted up­stairs and set­tled in a cosy nook, ready to feast on

Dal­ma­tian fare.

the sips

This time, there was to be wine. Af­ter hav­ing es­chewed wine for all the carbs last month at Buca Yorkville, we knew the er­ror in our ways. Un­for­tu­nately, but one glass of Ries­ling was or­dered — cost­ing a rea­son­able $11 — and it was rel­ished by Karolyne, who, un­like Caro­line, hadn’t been re­cently struck down by that ubiq­ui­tous flu.

the picks

Glee­fully mop­ping up olive oil with bread, plen­ti­ful (and free!) in the ta­ble’s bas­ket, we pe­rused the menu with the re­main­der of the hundo. Two things were a must: some­thing done up in cut­tle­fish ink and seafood from the grill. With two sepia op­tions avail­able — the gi­ant risotto and the far more man­age­able spaghet­tini — it was clear that the $28 pick was ours (the risotto would’ve gob­bled half the budget!).

Af­ter we in­quired about the fish of the day, the server saun­tered over with a sil­ver tray heavy with to­day’s va­ri­etals. There were oys­ters, squid, oc­to­pus and a myr­iad of fish from var­i­ous seas. Rather than em­bar­rass­ingly ask­ing the price of each fish, we opted for the orata (sea bream). We threw in some swiss chard for good mea­sure and good health. With those three items our money was swiftly eaten up.

the main event

The spaghet­tini ar­rived first: Strands of the stuff swim­ming in a black sea. It took about two bites for our faces to be splat­tered with ink. By the bowl’s end, our nap­kins had be­come Rorschach tests. A first date dish this is not (our tongues and gums re­mained stained well into the next course).

Next was the fish, with golden skin and fork-ten­der flesh. We divvied up the night’s per­fectly grilled star, which looked slightly less glam­orous af­ter our botched at­tempt at debon­ing. Re­gard­less, it was de­li­cious.

As we pre­pared to depart, Croa­t­ian crooner Oliver Drago­je­vić ser­e­naded us at the end of our (sur­pris­ingly) fill­ing meal. It wasn’t quite a trip to Dubrovnik, but for a mo­ment we for­got we were on Dav­en­port.

A view of the pescatar­ian-friendly meal

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