King West’s Italian eatery, Oretta just launched a lunch special and Torontonicity was invited to sample the Pranzo Veloce experience! This $20 special, which translates to “quick lunch,” includes a starter, main and dessert from their main menu at a reduced price. For anyone who hasn’t tried Oretta’s delicious eats before, this is a great introduction to Executive Chef Gabriele Di Marco’s fantastic flavour combinations!
Oretta is the spacious restaurant located on the ground floor of 633 King Street West, located just east of Bathurst. The restaurant has a lovely bar located in the very centre in the main space, with a quieter seating area on the second floor, and a café with its own separate entrance located in the back. Guests can make reservations to sit in the front of area, which has a lovely view of the King West strip that allows for some great people watching.
The Pranzo Veloce menu is a small selection of items but comes with enough variety to accommodate a wide range of cravings. I opted for the seasonal soup: a butternut squash puree with toasted seeds, crème fraiche and olive oil drizzle. The soup was absolutely delicious and was full of flavour! The toasted seeds added a great crunch and paired nicely with the sweet butternut profile. This option can be made vegan, so make sure to ask your server upon ordering!
If the rising temperatures outside have you craving more vibrant flavours, try the salad: kale, radicchio, napa cabbage, fennel, broccoli and green onion tossed in an apple cider vinegar dressing. I would say this is a great option in the summer but ask what the seasonal soup is beforehand – that butternut squash was delicious!
Next came the main event, and we were torn between the Margherita pizza and the branzino, so we did both! The branzino comes on a bed of braised rapini with marinated olives and capers. The branzino skin is crispy and balances out the softer textures of the cooked olives and capers. The stronger garlic notes in the rapini complemented the saltiness of the olives as well, making this dish a great lean lunch option packed with flavour.
The Margherita pizza is a classic lunch option, and a great idea if you and your lunch buddy decide to share it so you can try more options. Just make sure to drizzle some chili oil over it to amp up the flavours!
We ended the lunch on a sweet note, with dessert! Thankfully, dessert options are a couple of perfectly sized small bites: cannoli or a biscotti. On our visit there was an amaretti cookie in place of the biscotti, so we ordered one of one (again). The amaretti was chewy in the centre and had the perfect crisp exterior – it was a delight to bite into! If you can only pick one, I would say to always pick the amaretti. It was such a treat, and well worth keeping an eye out for in the Oretta café.
If you can’t make it to Oretta for their Pranzo Veloce $20 lunch special, don’t fret as they have a fantastic dinner menu as well! Make sure to call ahead and make a reservation though, as this spot is packed during the warmer spring and summer months. If you can’t find a spot for the time you want to dine-in, may I suggest checking out their menu online and placing an order with your favourite local food delivery system as well! Just make sure to ask if their Carciofi fritti (fried artichoke hearts) are available – they’re amazing! If you recommend another dish on their main menu, comment down below and let us know what to look out for on our next visit.
You might be interested in reading Lory Diaz’s review of My Meatball Place on King West.