Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lo Presti's at Maxwell's

165 Jackson Street East
Hamilton, Ontario

After a bad few days at work, I was lucky to be taken out to Lo Presti's at Maxwell's. Having lived in Hamilton for nearly 10 years, I had never heard of Lo Presti's. That's because I usually go for the more affordable La Cantina around the corner. Lo Presti's is a higher end Italian restaurant, very old school with a stuffy design (think carpets and velvet). However, it also provided old school service with very attentive waiters, and the owner (I'm guessing) stopping by to make sure everything was good.

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Complimentary garlic bread and antipasto.

I was very surprised to see that the restaurant was quite busy on a cold Monday evening. We were led to the back and given a table on a raised platform. It was rather dark (resulting in poor pictures). We were served complimentary warm garlic bread and some antipasto, consisting of olives, marinated mushrooms and feta. A restaurant always gets point for serving warm bread, ensuring you have something to nibble on while your browse the menu. I also enjoyed the antipasto dish, especially the marinated mushrooms. I am already planning on making some at home!

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Spinach & Pear Salad and Soup of the Day.

My companion started out with the pear and spinach salad ($8 - the prices online do not seem to have been updated) while I started with the soup of the day, a cabbage and kielbasa soup ($6). I like all soups so even a cabbage soup sounds appetizing to me. However, the soup had a too common restaurant problem of being too salty, probably because it was kept warm, and water evaporated from it. The kielbasa made the soup even saltier (and I am one who loves salt!). Otherwise, I actually really liked the soup and would consider making cabbage soup!

Cheese stuffed Ravioli's.

For our main dishes, my companion ordered the ricotta stuffed ravioli's ($18), being the only vegetarian option on the menu. He seemed to really enjoy them. I ordered an appetizer that I figured would be sufficient for me: blackened scallops on a bed of lemon risotto ($18). Boy was I right! I can't believe anyone would order that as an appetizer and follow with anything else!

Blackened Scallops on a bed of lemon risotto.

I very much enjoyed my dish. The scallops were big and cooked properly. I also really enjoyed the risotto. How decadent to combine risotto and scallops! Unfortunately, this dish also had the same problem as my soup. The Cajun seasoning from the scallops was too salty and it seeped into the risotto. Let's just say I was downing glasses of water! I initially thought the hot peppers was an odd topping but I actually really enjoyed them, probably because I like pickled hot peppers! As I mentioned above, the portions were quite generous which is why we did not indulge in dessert.

Close-up of a scallop, because I love them!

Overall, Lo Presti's was a very enjoyable experience. The kitchen should just lay off the salt a bit. For a dining experience, it's great because the staff was very attentive and there is a nice, old school atmosphere.


Ivo Serenthà said...

My compliment for your blog and pictures included,I encourage you to photoblog


Even week another photo album

Greetings from Italy,


Gastronomer said...

Was this a date?!