What do all restaurants have in common on a Monday night? They are all closed! Except for 7 Numbers Restaurant, where Mama Rosa (aka Rosa Marinuzzi) uses the quiet, low-traffic day of the week (once a month) to teach foodies, cooks and food aficionados the Italian way of cooking. For $85 per person, Chef Rosa teaches you the way to Italian cooking with a hands-on lesson, a 3 course meal, all the wine you want and even a few lessons in Italian. Each class is unique and intimate with a limit of about twenty people per class thus giving everyone an opportunity to get their hands dirty.
With Rosa’s effervescent personality and way of cooking, one is bound to have a great time while tasting, cooking and chopping alongside her. She is a force to be reckon with and her passion for cooking simple, yet delicious dishes shines through with her food. The ambiance is lively and the flowing glasses of wine definitely liven up any Monday night!
Starting with the salads, Chef Rosa is of the mind that simple and minimalistic is always better, and that generosity in the use of salt and olive oil is a must. From the Caprese salad, to the Grilled Calamari with fricassee, and the Pepper and Arugula Coat Cheese salad, Rosa teaches us how much fun one can have with a salad, and how much flavour one can get out of those leafy greens.
Rosa’s pastas are four-dimensional in taste. They are addictive, comforting and extremely tasty. While making the Shrimp Linguini pasta I noticed that the chef uses her secret home-made sauce – Giardiniera – also called “sotto aceti”, which means “under vinegar”, a common term for pickled foods. The Italian version includes onions, celery, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, olive oil, pimentos and hot peppers. The pickled vegetables are in white wine vinegar. Bringing all the flavours together in the pasta dish, from the meat, to the tomato and even the garlic. A must have when you visit the Mama.
In tune with the pasta, 7 Numbers also applies the traditional tomato sauce, with the Giardiniera of course, to the fish of the day. The night’s dish consisted of arctic char that was tossed in a fine layer of seasoned flour and then cooked in less than 4 minutes in the infamous tomato sauce. The end result? A buttery fish that absorbed all the flavours, exploding with a punch in one’s mouth. Who would’ve thought fish could even do that? Simply brilliant.
As the night went on and we got to spend more time with Rosa, we discovered that she has a sultry side. She believes that food should be sexy, and well, fun. So she created the Sexy Duck Leg, a tasty piece of leg (duck) cooked in white wine and baked golden with rosemary branches. A juicy fall-of-the-bone decadence.
A big thanks to the Mama and her staff for making Mondays the new Fridays with their smile, love for cooking and great food.
Foodie Tip: 7 Numbers also has a location on the Danforth! Head over to 307 Danforth Avenue if that’s closer to you!
Until next time Foodies!
Venue: 7 Numbers
Specialty: Southern Italian
Location: 516 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario
Menu items: Caprese salad, Pepper with Arugula and Goat Cheese, Grilled Calamari, Shrimp Linguini, Fish of the Day and Sexy Duck Leg