Where to eat? It was one of those last minute moments when you find out friends are coming in from out of town and you can only meet tonight (Monday) for dinner downtown Toronto, and some of your favourite restaurants are closed. What to do? …text your restaurant life lines and ask. In my case it’s my son Evan and my friend Mo Hassan. In this case my two restaurateurs could not help because of the location I was seeking in the Toronto area, Bloor and Avenue Road. So I call the hotel in which my friends would be staying and ask the concierge.

I was directed to this restaurant on Bloor called bar Mercurio. After speaking with Tijana at 6:13 pm and she mentioned that she votes that the chef makes the best gluten-free pizza in town. I said my favourite words, “I’m in” and book at 7:30pm reservations for 4.

We arrived at 8:00pm right on time! LOL! We were greeted with smiles all around. A table outside was waiting for us, but so was the rain. After we just got comfortable, we quickly got up and asked to be seated inside to get out from the rain. And I don’t say this often, but kudo’s to the choice of music. It sounded like the music from the movie LA Story. All was feelgood!

Decor was old-style, friendly, warm italian. The staff worked together like a charm bracelet, each one had a spot and complimented each others roles. Our server, Rob was so friendly, and kind while allowing me lots of extra time to decide between the Halibut and the GF Pizza. I got to taste the Halibut, which was outstanding, flaky and moist with a hint of black pepper that really made the taste pop. But, I did order the GF Pizza. I felt that it was a sign, third restaurant that I’ve been to telling me that their GF Pizza is the best. Before I go on about the GF Pizza, I will share that our friends truly enjoyed their meals and Jeff LOVED his pasta arrabiata. And he is the KING of arribiata. I don’t think he spoke much while eating his meal.

The GF Pizza… Tijana you were right! This homemade crusted pizza with a hint of buffola mozzarella (that’s how I ordered it), artichokes, garlic, fresh pomodoro, baked in a designated GF wood burning oven was ideal!!!

It was very thin, with a light crunch and a simple taste of carb heaven, topped off with the right amount of everything including the ‘light on the cheese’. I enjoyed every bite. I felt satisfied when it was complete and my tummy was feelgoodExcellent.

There were no GF and dairy free desert options, so Jeff asked our server Rob if Chef would create a fruit plate with melted dark chocolate. This seems to be our new desert of choice when we are out, as I make this at home all the time and it’s a feelgoodYum and we both like it.

After everyone ordered desert, it took about 10 minutes for everything to arrive. First coffee and tea for 3, water for moi. And then a very delicious looking chocolate cake for our friends to share. And a gorgeous plate of fruit some chopped, some cut, some sliced and even diced to perfection drizzled with enough chocolate to make me feelgoodHappy. I love my chocolate! And this was feelgoodChocolate!

Thank you to Giuseppe (Joe) the owner and your wonderful staff for offering us and our friends a great dinning experience. It was kind of you to drop by our table and invite us to an aperitif to complete our wonderful meal.

Check out www.barmercurio.com

If I may suggest, since you are family run restaurant, have a simple comfy high chair on hand for when people drop by from out of town with a 1 year old. Lucky for all of us, our visiting baby was amazing and enjoyed her stay at bar Mercurio along side all of us.