Regina Pizzeria & Trattoria
By YP Contributor

Southern Italian home cooking available on College Street

Do you ever crave good old hearty spaghetti and meatballs and wonder why you rarely see it on an Italian menu anymore? Look no further; this staple dish from Italy has had pride of place on the menu at Regina Trattoria and Pizzeria for decades alongside a delectable array of Southern Italian tried and tested favourites. All are dishes from where owner Livio Balzamo and his family hail."It’s all food that I ate when I was a child,” he says. “It’s what my mother cooks."

Livio goes round to his parents every Sunday with his siblings for lunch to sup on mom's divine dishes, then he opens for the evening trade at his restaurant."Regina’s is all about traditional food," Livio says.

Tasty pasta dishes, rustic pizzas that look like they've just arrived from Italy by special delivery, antipasti and delicious Italian desserts are on Livio's menu. You can enjoy it all in a welcoming Italian-style restaurant complete with white table cloths and sparkling wine glasses. In summer there's seating for seven on the patio. "We have the French doors open in the warm weather so even if you're inside, it's like you're outdoors."

When someone comes into the kitchen specially to thank the chef, that makes our day. - Livio Balzamo, owner
Regina Trattoria and Pizzeria

Second generation Toronto Italian

Livio's father and uncle started Regina Trattoria and Pizzeria back in 1967 with take-out and delivery (the restaurant still has five drivers whipping around Toronto). "In the early days it was a fun place to hang out," says Livio. Livio took over when his dad and uncle retired. "Most of our staff are long term,"he says. "Our pizza guy Vince has been with us since the early 80s making themost amazing pizza. Our wonderful chef Ritorio has been with us for around the same amount of time. He came from Italy when he was 17 and walked into ourplace asking for a job. He set to work in the kitchen and has been with us eversince making all our pastas, dressings and antipasti."

If you're looking for an Italian theme for an event, Livio and the Regina team have experience in preparing menus for up to nearly 500 people, but can equally do intimate dinners. "We are used to preparing everything on site. I have anetwork of servers, cooks and bar staff. If I don't have it I can find it. I'm Italian, darling!"

Regina Trattoria and Pizzeria

Italian Roots and Fresh Ingredients

"I was born in Italy and we came here when I was six,” says Livio.”I go back regularly. It’s where I met my lovely wife in 1989." When in southern Italy, Livio picks up recipe ideas for Regina Trattoria and Pizzeria. "There are amazing things there I’ve never tasted. I love to try them out here."

Using fresh ingredients is the key, he says.  "We use fresh herbs, olive oil and the best parmesan. This all makes a difference in Italian cooking." And his clientele appreciate it. "When someone comes into the kitchen specially to thank the chef," says Livio, "that makes our day."

Regina Trattoria and Pizzeria
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