It was the name that grabbed me – “Sagra dei Matti” – Festival of the Crazies… Some cultures devote a single night or at most a week to the Lord of Misrule and the general topsy-turviness of turning over the asylum to the inmates. In Tuscany, they give a month. And now it seems that is also true on Adelaide Street West – at least at Tutti Matti, the Tuscan-style restaurant created a decade ago by chef-owner, Alida Solomon.
Her Festival of the Crazies honours the restaurant’s tenth anniversary as well as the traditional town festivals of Tuscany. Basically, Solomon has put together a month of family-style dinner parties with a different theme each week – starting on November 16 and carrying right on almost to Christmas. Here’s how she describes this month of Sundays: “Tutti Matti will transport the centuries-old heritage of the Tuscan Festival to Toronto with ‘Sagra dei Matti’, a celebration of food, wine and ‘La Vita Toscana.’ It will be loud with lots of laughing. Talking with hand gestures will be required. The food will be insane. The wine will make you mental. Like all great family feasts, you will leave with a satisfied belly and a full heart.”
That wine, incidentally, is called La Sarta (it means “the seamstress”), the first collaboration between Salomon, acclaimed Italian Winemaker Roberto Cipresso and award-winning designer, Laura Wills. “La Sarta,” they say, “is the result of the alchemy of two grapes and two extraordinary vineyards—one in Sicily and the other in Tuscany. The minerality and elegance of Sangiovese blends beautifully with the fruit, fragrance and opulence of Syrah.”
It sounds delightful.
Hie thee to Tutti Matti (364 Adelaide Street West, 416 597-8839) after November 16th. Prix-fixe “family style” dinners begin at $80 per person, including a glass of the new La Sarta Vino Rosso. Reservations are recommended.