A week or so ago Joanne Kates favourably reviewed Imperia, a new Italian restaurant close to our place, so we decided to give them a try for my birthday.

I think it’s fair to say we weren’t as bowled over as Joanne but nevertheless they seem to have a good product at a decent price. They have a pleasant thin-cut baguette bread with a white bean and artichoke spread. J. happily vacuumed up the grilled and raw mushroom salad–a generous variety of her favourite non-husband-compatible food, in an attractive presentation. I likewise enjoyed the seared scallops with bacon-wrapped green beans and a sweet potato purée, though I’m having difficulty with the idea that “bacon-wrapped beans” seems to mean one green bean cut up and wrapped. The lopsided portion thing continued with the pastas–a generous quantity of papardelle with braised lamb for J., and maybe 7 or 8 Ravioli with veal and spinach stuffing for me. Nevertheless the ravioli was very good, would be excellent (to my admittedly salt-phobic palate) with a bit less salt. J. characterizes the lamb pasta as “homey comfort food” which seems about right to me.

We shared a dark chocolate and mousse terrine for dessert, which was very good and not too sweet. We were also tempted by the cheese plate but decided to save it for another occasion. Our waiter helped us find a very likeable 2004 Chianti Classico at $45 ($21 at Vintages).

We like the atmosphere of the place–it’s not a huge room but it doesn’t feel small. The service was very good, attentive but not in your face. With our bottle of Chianti, tax and a good tip our total came to about $155.

In short: not perfect, but worth another visit. They’re at 17A Yorkville Ave, across the street from the Yorkville library near Bloor.

[Edit: you can see the review, if you go through Google.]