May 19, 2022
Claudio’s is all about Italian delicacies and hospitality | TheSpec.com

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Pescatore All Mare: bay scallops, shrimps and mussels, with herbed tomato and Paccheri pasta.

It’s like consuming meals ready by a proficient nonna, Diane Galambos writes.

I’ve written earlier than about my reminiscences of James Road North and the Armoury. That neighbourhood was additionally, at one time, house to a Hungarian butcher store and a Hungarian espresso home and bakery — the latter within the house now occupied by Claudio’s Ristorante — a part of an city renewal development.

Claudio’s was established in 2010 on Jackson Road by Claudio and Kristine Andreis. Plans to maneuver to the James North location they rented in November 2019 encountered obstacles. Leaving apart the influence of the pandemic, Claudio — the restaurant’s namesake — handed away in January 2022. Tributes referred to his ardour “for all issues Italian … (and) his storytelling and reminiscences which weren’t solely entertaining however weaved in historical past, sports activities, politics and a wholesome sense of humour.”

Claudio’s Ristorante’s owner and executive chef, Kristine Andreis.

His spouse, Kristine, is carrying on to honour his dream.

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The couple’s hospitality journey started in Toronto the place Claudio was a companion in Corso Italiano. Kristine says the primary time she laid eyes on him she knew she’d marry him. She is Croatian and her grandmother wished her to marry throughout the tradition. As soon as she realized that Claudio had been born in Vatican Metropolis, Kristine says he may do no fallacious in her grandmother’s eyes.

The interior of Claudio’s Ristorante is bright with sophisticated grey hues and furnishings.

As soon as collectively, Claudio dealt with the enterprise aspect and Kristine left an workplace job to deal with the cooking. Realizing how a lot she cherished feeding folks, she collected a wealthy financial institution of experiences together with effective eating kitchens and work in Holland, Macao, Columbia and, after all, Italy. The restaurant has the excellence of “Ospitalita Italiana” accreditation recognizing connoisseur excellence constructed on custom. Not realizing this whereas eating, we had been ranking our expertise as that of consuming meals ready by a proficient nonna.

The Roman-style menu, which can change bimonthly, isn’t intensive — which is an efficient factor. It indicators a pointy deal with making ready a number of issues nicely, with high quality components.

Burrata with arugula, cherry tomatoes and aged balsamic.
Burrata with arugula, cherry tomatoes and aged balsamic.Diane Galambos photograph

We started with the appetizer particular which was Burrata. Reducing via the outer casing, the delicate stracciatella spilled out onto recent arugula and cherry tomatoes which seemed extraordinary however via some magic tasted like summer time tomatoes. The aged balsamic drizzle additional elevated the dish.

Our second appetizer was Carpaccio Di Alba. Tremendous thinly-sliced Angus tenderloin was seasoned solely with salt permitting its flavour and texture to take centre stage. Topped with arugula, shaved Parmesan, a sprinkling of oil and white balsamic and a squeeze of roasted lemon made it elegant.

Carpaccio Di Alba: thinly-sliced Angus tenderloin with baby arugula, shaved parmesan and white balsamic.
Carpaccio Di Alba: thinly-sliced Angus tenderloin with child arugula, shaved parmesan and white balsamic.Diane Galambos photograph

The primary of Pescatore All Mare was a feast for the eyes with completely ready scallops, shrimps and mussels in herbed tomato and white wine sauce. The Paccheri pasta isn’t one seen typically. Kristine defined that custom favours serving combined seafood on these broad clean tubes of pasta, moderately than lengthy pasta.

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I used to be tempted by Osso Bucco (veal shank, greens, spirits/herbs sauce, simmered for hours with polenta) however selected the Vitello Funghi since I, too, had a yearning for a little bit of pasta. The tender grilled veal scallopini was topped with cremini mushrooms seared to that excellent color, texture and style. The veal sat upon the right quantity of (made in-house) spaghetti and rapini — deceiving as a result of it seemed plain however garlic confit and brown butter made it memorable.

Grilled veal scaloppini, seared mushrooms, spaghetti and rapini aglio e olio.
Grilled veal scaloppini, seared mushrooms, spaghetti and rapini aglio e olio.Diane Galambos photograph

We didn’t order a pizza, however it was loved at a close-by desk and Andreis talked about that their workforce will quickly be joined by an award-winning pizzaiolo from Italy. One fashionable choice is the Bruschetta Pizza which for some diners takes the place of a bruschetta appetizer.

My obsession with Italian desserts ensured that we hung in there for that closing course. Andreis mentioned that some desserts shall be do-it-yourself and one can anticipate tiramisu, sorbets and sometimes Zabaglione, or Pistachio crema.

Torta della Nonna: pastry cream on a shortcrust base, with pine nuts, almonds and powdered sugar.
Torta della Nonna: pastry cream on a shortcrust base, with pine nuts, almonds and powdered sugar.Diane Galambos photograph

Our choices had been spectacular desserts from the Bindi Firm, based in Milan in 1946 by Tuscan restaurateur Attilio Bindi. Pictures on their web site are mesmerizing. I’m particularly intrigued by Delizia al Limone — a sponge cake dome crammed and coated with lemon cream that I noticed on Stanley Tucci’s “Looking for Italy” TV program. I’ll have candy goals about that.

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We totally loved Bindi’s Cappuccino Cake — alternating layers of espresso-drenched chocolate sponge cake and low cream. Can anybody resist a cake referred to as Torta della Nonna (Grandmother Cake)? Not me. The pastry cream sandwiched between brief crust pastry was coated with pine nuts, almonds and powdered sugar — scrumptious and light-weight.

Cappuccino Cake: layers of espresso drenched chocolate sponge cake and coffee cream.
Cappuccino Cake: layers of espresso drenched chocolate sponge cake and low cream.Diane Galambos photograph

Consistent with their Ospitalita Italiana designation, there’s a well-curated wine and drinks menu.

Claudio and Kristine Andreis had a large, loyal fan membership that stored them going with catering over the past two years. Now the doorways are open on a brand new chapter and Claudio’s workforce is ready to welcome you. Kristine considers their new neighbourhood to be “soulful” and says “Hamilton is probably the most fantastic metropolis … the individuals are what makes Hamilton town that it’s …”

Quickly they may start providing lunch, Sunday/Saturday Brunch and a patio.

Claudio’s Ristorante

191 James St. N., Hamilton

289-389-6699

claudios.ca/

instagram.com/claudios.ca/

Hours: Thursday to Monday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday closed.

What I paid: Burrata $18; Carpaccio $19; Pescatore All Mare $36; Vitello Funghi $34; Cappuccino Cake $9; Torta della Nonna $9; Double Espresso $4.75

Wheelchair entry: Sure

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