Neighbourhood: Osborne South
Address: 696 Osborne St.
(Editor’s Note – This business is no longer open.)
Nothing says amore like the food of Italy. Freshly baked bread and made-from-scratch pasta have diners at Vesuvio feeling as though they’re at nonna’s table. But it’s spunky young Chef Adam Pimentel who’s in the kitchen sending out all that love. He’s succeeding because he cooks from the heart. “My sauce is a version of my grandmother’s,” he writes on the menu about his pasta al pomodoro.“No two batches are exactly the same, but are all infused with grandma’s love.”
The young chef assumed ownership of this classic Osborne South restaurant three years ago. It was a rough go at first, but he has since been winning back the customers who had been loyal to Vesuvio’s long-established owner Luciano Costa.
The restaurant is truly a family affair: his sister often lends a hand in the kitchen, and during one visit a large group of relatives stopped by.
More so, the chef makes an effort to personally deliver food, quality check with guests and even clear a table or two in between his kitchen duties.
The lower level’s rustic brick and beam decor pops with stunning oil paintings depicting Italian life. The burgundy and burnt orange colour scheme continues on the second level (only used on weekends), where small tables positioned at bay windows give dining duos a view of the bustling neighbourhood.
Every meal starts on a high with the signature savoury rosemary and tomato bread. For a light starter, the Tuscan proscuitto salad is daintily arranged with wedges of tomatoes, balls of bocconcini and slices of meat dotted around greens. The simple flavours bounce off each other, giving this dish unexpected depth. As described on the menu, the feta salad is “fabulous,” with crisp romaine and chunky vegetables doused in a sharp balsamic vinaigrette blended with feta.
For lovers out on a Valentine’s date, the five ‘Feel the Love’ combo platters make for great conversation while sampling each dish. Similar to a buffet, these dishes keep the palate stimulated.
‘Dress to Impress’ is a six‑dish taste extravaganza offered for $26 per person. Fresh, taut shrimp simmering in garlic butter and salsicca con peperone—picante house-made sausage and peppers mixed with chunky tomato sauce—serve as starter-like items. For pasta, a rich fettucine alfredo is paired with fiery alla rossini, fusilli tossed in rosé sauce that emits smoky bacon flavour followed by bursts of chile heat. These flavours make alla rossini a standout for ordering à la carte. Entrées on the combo include servings of a lemon veal and pollo lina, chicken rolled with a beef, ham and bacon stuffing. This protein-packed tube, with a light bread coating, is baked to a crispy gold.
If you prefer an entrée to yourself, ravioli di Adamo is a highlight. Al dente tomato pasta pouches are filled with a velvety crab and goat cheese mixture. A sweet sun‑dried tomato and lemon butter sauce adds a zing, but still allows the decadent stuffing to shine through.
Desserts are made in-house and change daily. Finish with the tiramisu, a classic end to a true Italian feast.
Vesuvio is open Tues-Thu 11:30 am‑2:30 pm, 4:30‑9:30 pm; Fri 11:30 am‑2:30 pm, 4:30‑10:30 pm; Sat 4:30 ‑10:30 pm; Sun 4:30-9 pm.