21 Baldwin Street (416) 595-6277
The Sambuca grill is located in the row of restaurants called Bladwin Village, on Baldwin Street east of Spadina. It has a cozy inside section and a good size patio to eat al fresco. I have been here before for a Winterlicious price fix a couple of years ago and it was quite good. Recently, my wife and I decided to try it. It was a warm September evening so we sat on the patio. We were the only ones on the patio. There were only about five couples inside and it was a Saturday evening. Some of the other restaurants around us were a lot busier.
We began by ordering calamari friti, which we order every time we see it on the menu. They came steaming hot with a small bowl of jalapeno aoli for dipping and a lemon wedge. They were just a little rubbery. We both ordered the same pasta special - it was a linguini in a tomato sauce with several shrimp, grilled chicken pieces, and green beans.
To our surprise the pasta did not arrive with bread of any sort. I have never been to an Italian restaurant that did not provide bread with an entree. We just got a bowl of pasta. The amount was substantial but the sauce was just ordinary and neither of us liked it - there was just something unusual about it's taste. Fortunately, the wine helped the meal go down. The service was timely, but the waitress lacked any personality or enthusiasm. All in all I don't think we will return anytime soon, there are much better Italian restaurants in this city.