Julia's Ristorante

A while back I had written about an Italian place on Dundas, and how I found my experience there to be...disappointing to say the least. Julia is a restaurant on Lakeshore that is the creation of the same owner, and my experience at Julia was night and day.

Julia is a beautiful location on the corner of a block on Lakeshore with a large patio in the summer. I would describe the decor as elegant chic with eclectic light fixtures and art on the wall. The restaurant is dimly lit with candles on each table to give it a cozy feel. 

The menu is a bit more upscale with an Italian/Latin fusion, and there are some really interesting choices. Our server was incredibly patient with us and knew the menu inside-out. She helped us pick between the dishes we were debating and her suggestions turned out to be exactly what we were looking for.

As we were waiting for our food, fresh bread was brought to the table (in a colander instead of a basket) and we nibbled on it with fresh oil and vinegar. The bread was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, but it was cold so that threw me off – not room temperature, but actually cold as though it was from the fridge. I found that odd.
We started with the Fondue which was a mixture of sharp cheeses that was kept warm over a tea light and served with cubes of bread and blanched asparagus and green beans. The vegetables were served cold, but nice and crisp, and their sweetness cut the creaminess/saltiness of the cheese nicely. It was an okay dish and fun to eat, but it wasn’t amazing.
Seafood Bouillabaisse was full of fresh seafood simmered in a flavourful tomato broth. There were crab legs, fish, mussels, clams, scallops and shrimps that were all perfectly cooked and tasted fresh. Nothing was over cooked or tough, and there was no fishy smell, to any of the meats. The broth was sweetened from the seafood and there was a slight kick from the seasonings that blended everything together into a delicious combination. Served with slices of bread for sopping up the broth, the dish was extremely filling and I would recommend it only if you’re very hungry or sharing!
Lamb Osso Bucco was a nice change from a standard osso bucco. It was served with polenta and grilled rapini which added delicious textures and flavours to the dish. The portion of lamb was huge and fell off the bone into tender, flavourful pieces. The sauce was tangy and slightly sweet with mixed well with the mild bitterness of the rapini. The creaminess of the polenta tied everything together wonderfully. 
 The food was delicious, and service was attentive without being overbearing. Our server knew the menu well and listened to our needs to make excellent recommendations. I would come back solely because the service was so excellent.

Julia's Ristorante on Urbanspoon
Julia's Ristorante
315 Lakeshore Rd. E., Oakville


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