Gamberoni Restaurant
By YP Contributor

Homestyle Italian Flavour

There’s so much richness in Italian cuisine, a restaurateur could be forgiven for trying to serve it all. Mike Colombaro, however, decided to focus the cuisine of Gamerboni Restaurant exclusively on Italian seafood. Since opening his restaurant in 1986, Mike has perfected his signature dish: Casseruola di mare (casserole of the sea). “You get the different shellfish,” he explains, “and a tomato sauce, basil, olive oil…and the pasta, it’s made with the same sauce as the fish.”

If that’s not enough to lure you in, Gamerboni’s calamari and scallops will. Each dish is cooked with the finest attention to detail by an Italian-born chef, making diners feel like they’re vacationing along the Adriatic Coast. And if you get to chatting with Mike, he’ll let you in on his personal recommendations. “My favourite dish right now is called the linguine Gamberoni,” he shares. “It’s garlic linguine with just scallops over pasta, with garlic, olive oil, a touch of chilli.”

My favourite dish right now is called the linguine Gamberoni. It’s garlic linguine with just scallops over pasta, with garlic, olive oil, a touch of chilli. - Mike Colombaro, owner
Gamberoni Restaurant

The Language of Italian Food

While Torontonians have no problem understanding the language of food – especially Italian food – they may have a bit of a hard time pronouncing the words. To help them out, Mike deliberately chose the name Gamberoni for his restaurant because it not only means “prawn” in Italian, but is also easy to say.

“Because we come from the coast of Italy – we come from Abruzzi, right on the coast of the Adriatic – and we wanted to sell fish, we decided on that name,” Mike explains, “and it sounded like something the Canadians could pronounce.”

Gamberoni Restaurant

Mixing the Old and the New

Gamberoni, like Italy itself, is a mixture of old-world traditions and cutting-edge innovations. The restaurant has art of Italian mountains and seas on the walls, the likes of which diners can share on Instagram or Facebook courtesy of the free Wi-Fi available. And while Mike long ago made the switch to individual menus, he still features a chalkboard on the wall with the daily fare. “We worked with the blackboard in the beginning for about 15 years and then we introduced the menu,” he says, “but also, we still do work with the blackboard…we call it the ‘Daily Menu’.”

Mike goes to the market every week to pick up the freshest produce and seafood, and they are these little touches that endear Gamberoni to diners. But on top of it all, Mike says the restaurant is just pure fun for him. He’s at a point in his life where he could be golfing in Abruzzi, but would rather spend his time with his customers and staff. “I enjoy talking to people,” he says simply.

Gamberoni Restaurant
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